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Anger Properly Managed 31 (Final Word)

A Final WordAngerTarget Point, Vol. 31 of 31   
   
A Final Word …

Thank you for signing up for the subject of Anger Properly Managed.

It would greatly help us to hear from you. Your feed back is absolutely invaluable to us in hearing how this TargetPoint may have helped or strengthened you in some way. After all, that’s the point-the TargetPoint! If it is not helpful, it merely joins up with the stream and myriad of information that pounds our nation on a daily basis-from TV, to books, to the internet, and on and on.

Do you have any thoughts for improving our subject matter, our format, our presentation? Do you have a testimony of how a particular TargetPoint may have helped you? With your permission, we would publish your testimony and the blessing and assistance would certainly be multiplied to many others.

And finally, it’s important to tell you that our desire is to continue to offer the TargetPoint ministry FREE OF CHARGE. The reality is that the cost of developing and producing a single subject is $1200.00. If this has been helpful to you, perhaps you would like to sponsor the cost of a TargetPoint subject for $1200.00; or even a partial amount, translating to $37.50 per volume, or $262.50 per week, or seven volumes. If so, please contact us at 719-649-1000. You can use your credit card or send a check to On Target Ministries and memo it to TargetPoint. Or, just contact us at vince@otm.co and let us know of your desire to help.

Thank you for your support and interest in reaching out to others and assisting in building up the body of Christ.

May God richly bless as you and I grow together from glory to glory in Him.

Vince D’Acchioli
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Anger Properly Managed 30

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 30 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Wrapping It Up

Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:3;
But we . . . are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. II Corinthians 3:18

In our discussion over the last thirty days on the subject of Properly Managed Anger, we have looked at what anger is and where it comes from; what happens when anger is internalized; what happens when we vent our anger; the proper management of anger; the keys to do the same; and finally, how God is the only answer to keeping our anger under control.

It is important to live our lives in right relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and to allow His control of our temper, our disposition-then and only then can we experience freedom and joy in Him, and right relationships with others.

I would encourage you to print out this document and cut out the Keys listed below. Carry this list in your wallet or purse and let the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit work these Keys into your heart mind and spirit:

SIX KEYS TO PROPERLY MANAGED ANGER
1. DON’T LET IT BUILD
2. BRING IT TO GOD NOW
3. EXAMINE THE CAUSE
4. GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS
5. GET TO THE ROOT
6. NEVER PAY BACK EVIL FOR EVIL

Brethren (and sisters), I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13,14 (NIV)

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
A Final Word
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Anger Properly Managed 29

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 29 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Worms and Butterflies

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. II Corinthians 5:17

Life Implication:
You’ve probably figured out by now that God is the only answer to keeping our anger under control. We discussed the aspects of, and the keys to, properly managed anger.

The world talks about learning how to control anger through meditation, Zen, New Age thinking, remedies that are man made and man inspired. As a result, our culture has never been angrier. A recent article in the Parade Magazine of our newspaper asked the question, Why Are We So Angry? Another article was entitled: Gate agents targets of ‘ground rage’. And another, Man faces 3 years for animal cruelty. Article after article discusses, road rage, sky rage, sideline rage. Has our collective fuse suddenly become shorter? Have we all lost our patience?

Have you ever heard of a butterfly being called a converted worm? Recently the six year old grandson of a friend of mine was asked why he wanted to be baptised. His immediate response was, I want to be a new creation.  This little guy had it right! He had received Jesus Christ into his heart to be the Lord of his life. He was obeying Christ’s direction to us to repent and be baptized, and rather than just being a converted worm he wanted a whole new being.

Life Application:
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, now is the time. You will find that as a new creation in Christ Jesus, you become just that. He will transform you if you let Him.

If you have had a problem with anger, He will help you let the past be past-and allow the old things to pass away.

Perhaps you have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ that He is the Son of God, but you have never made Him the LORD OF YOUR LIFE. It’s simple, but it’s hard in that it’s a matter of faith and trust. Ask Him today to take over. Ask Him to increase your faith and trust. Only by His grace can we get a handle on properly managing our anger.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Wrapping It Up
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Anger Properly Managed 28

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 28 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Forgive and Forget

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. . . . I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5: 38, 39, 44, 45

Life Implication:
From the corporate level to the family level . . . loving your enemies is just not the name of the game. The hardest thing in the world is to pray for those who spitefully use us. We want to defend ourselves to the nth degree. We want revenge! But properly managed anger NEVER PAYS BACK EVIL FOR EVIL.

A friend of mine has a son who has been spitefully used over and over in a work setting. Recently a new job possibility came along for my friend’s son. Even though the “spiteful use” of the son was God’s way of preparing this humble hearted young man for a possible new venture-my friend had to pour out his heart before the Lord in repentance-for as the father of his son he was literally relishing the thoughts of the new position bringing revenge on behalf of his son.

No matter how ugly or mean spirited or awful someone is, whether they’ve committed murder, rape, or the like, you need to GET THIS!!! God loves that person every bit as much as He loves you.

Life Application:
To help you apply forgiveness to your life, let me simply tell a story. Corrie ten Boom was a young woman when she was hauled off to Aushwitz with her sister for hiding Jews during the terrible time of the Holocaust. Her sister, Betsy, died there under the inhumane, inhuman, terror of several Communist guards. Many years later, Corrie came face to face with one of those guards. The guard had come to Christ not long after the horror of those days. Corrie had to make a decision at that moment whether or not to forgive this man that had wreaked incredible desecration upon her life. In a moment of choice, Corrie, with God’s help, reached out and shook hands with the former guard and forgave him of his atrocities. At that moment, Corrie was released in her spirit. She no longer had to carry the heavy burden of hate in her heart. SHE CHOSE NOT TO PAY BACK EVIL FOR EVIL, and God freed her.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Worms and Butterflies
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Anger Properly Managed 27

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 27 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Roots

Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.  Hebrews 12: 14,15

Life Implication:
After giving up our rights in any situation that makes us angry, it’s much easier to get TO THE ROOT cause of why you might be angry.

In our verse for today, the scripture speaks of having a root of bitterness by which we can become defiled. I want us to look at two different types of roots here. First, there is the root of bitterness, or the root that is causing the anger to arise.

Second, let’s examine the root of the vine that, as Christians, we are engrafted into. Jesus says, I am the vine, you are the branches. Speaking of Jesus, Isaiah said: And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, who shall stand as a banner to the people… That’s the root we want to be tapped into. He is our TAP-ROOT!

Life Application:
When you feel anger arising, pray and ask God WHAT IT IS HE IS TRYING TO SHOW YOU. Let Him lop off those unhealthy branches in your heart.

Often, my wife, Cindy, and I STOP TO PRAY when we are in the middle of an anger-filled argument. I encourage you to do the same, whether with your spouse, or with a friend who also knows the Lord. I have to admit, that is one of the hardest things to do . . . but in the end, it is the most effective thing we can do. God exposes the truth of our heart attitudes, He flays away that bitter root. It’s pretty tough to talk to the Lord in the presence of your supposed adversary without letting go of your rights, and getting to the root issue.

If your anger is with someone who is not a follower of Christ, then simply tap into the living Vine, the Lord Jesus Christ, and ask Him to expose the root cause of your anger.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Forgive and Forget
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Anger Properly Managed 26

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 26 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: A Legal Issue

Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts give him a drink; for in so doing, you will heap coals of fire on his head. Romans 12:20

Life Implication:
So far, we’ve looked at key actions such as not letting your anger build by getting laminated to God, bringing that which makes us angry to God immediately, and finally, examining the cause, the facts and the feelings involved.

Today let’s discuss one of the toughest and most anti-cultural keys to properly managing our anger:
GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS!

You can’t believe I said that, can you? Let me repeat: GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS! That is anathema to our current American way of thinking. But, think about it. Who had every right to speak up and defend Himself? Jesus, of course. Jesus gave up His rights as the Son of the living God, the King of the Universe, the One who created those guys who were nailing Him to the cross. We need to focus on Him. He paid the temple tax; He could have come down from the cross; He didn’t have to turn His other cheek. He had every heavenly and earthly legal right to speak up.

When you give up your rights you release the other person. When you give up your rights it’s difficult for the other person to respond in an angry way. There’s nothing to get a hold of, nothing to grab onto. It literally disarms the other individual involved.

Life Application:
We live in a world that promotes self-defense, both physically as well as psychologically. In the business world, getting the upper hand, being ahead of the game, is applauded. Think of a time when you perhaps were harshly criticized. What is your first impulse? Most likely, it is to deny the accusation or to defend your rights in the situation. But, defending or denying only incites further argument. It also focuses more attention on your attacker’s negative point.

A better way of handling it is to stop, ASK GOD TO GIVE YOU HUMILITY OF HEART, and then ask the person with whom you are speaking, What do you mean? This gives you time to compose yourself-and often reveals the underlying issue that really needs to be addressed.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Roots
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Anger Properly Managed 25

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 25 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Telescopic Binoculars

Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind. Anonymous

Life Implication:
Anger, out of control, definitely causes the mind to think irrationally. Rational thinking allows us to EXAMINE THE CAUSE.

As you examine the cause, look at the facts and then compare the feelings those facts generate. For example: Remember my illustration yesterday of the young man that took my daughters to an R-Rated movie? The FACT was that his actions exposed my daughters to an unhealthy environment. The related FEELING was that I felt violated as a Dad. Let’s look at another example: Perhaps the FACT is that you have been passed up for a promotion at work. The accompanying FEELING is that of rejection.

Remember that the ANGER IS YOURS. Someone may have known how to push your anger-button, but the button is yours and so are the feelings it triggers.

Life Application:
It has been said that, When you lose your temper . . . you lose the ability to think sanely and to make balanced decisions. Take time to look at the FACTS and to evaluate the FEELINGS involved. Often we only deal with one side, the facts or the feelings. When you find yourself in a particular situation, it is important to look at both sides of the issue.

Sam Horn, president of Action Seminars and author of Tongue Fu! (love the title) says: Before you respond to the situation that has made you angry, ask yourself, Will it help…or will it hurt if I speak out?  Keep quiet if your remark won’t help but could hurt. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up if you’re being treated badly. Asking yourself this question will give you time to formulate an effective response rather than acting on impulse.

God gave me time to formulate with Him how I would respond to the young man as a violated Dad. God gave me the High Road of righteousness rather than the Low Road of anger.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
A Legal Issue
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Anger Properly Managed 24

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 24 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Heart Attacked or Heart Attached

When the train goes through a tunnel and the world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and TRUST THE ENGINEER to get you through. Corrie Ten Boom

Life Implication:
As we look at our next key, BRING IT TO GOD NOW, please revisit with me the verse we looked at in Volume One of this series. Ephesians 4:26 and, in addition, verse 27- In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, nor give place to the devil. 

To illustrate this principle, I often tell the story of the young man who took my two teen age daughters to an R-Rated movie. To put it mildly, I was furious when I learned of it after the fact. I wanted to grab that kid and tell him in no uncertain terms just exactly how I felt. A good right hook to the jaw might help! That would have been a sure way to give place to the devil!

To make a long story short, it was several days before I had the opportunity. But by then, God had gotten hold of my heart. I brought my anger to God. I had prayed and began to focus on what happened not on the young man involved. By the time I was able to talk with this young lad, I was able to speak to him not only from my own father’s heart, but also from my heavenly Father’s heart. We talked about integrity and the things of this culture that negatively influence our lives. By the time we were finished, this young man walked away having had positive encouragement poured into his life to help him grow in Christ. And needless to say, he never took my girls to that kind of a movie again.

Life Application:
Do you get furious and upset, acting rashly to a situation? Or is your HEART SO ATTACHED TO GOD (your Engineer) that your anger can lead then to a rational discussion and ultimately to a positive result? Remember, your anger has nothing to do with the other person-it has EVERYTHING to do with you! Don’t Let the sun go down on your anger is not a license to go grab the other person before dark! That verse is saying, YOU deal with YOUR anger before the sun goes down. Very important truth!

Make Jesus your Number One Priority. As Rev. Charles Stanley recently wrote: When you make Jesus your priority, you are consciously choosing to live in obedience. He will show you how to order everything in your life according to what is best. Listen to Him. Just as the Lord orchestrated my conversation with that young man, He will orchestrate the concerns of your heart if you BRING IT TO HIM IMMEDIATELY.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Telescopic Binoculars
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Anger Properly Managed 23

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 23 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Are You Layered or Laminated?

Therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may CLING TO HIM, for He is your life and the length of your days. Deuteronomy 30:19,20

Life Implication:
There’s a somewhat overworked phrase that has to do with obtaining KEYS to this or that-Keys to the Kingdom, Keys to whatever the discussion may be about. What do you think of when you think of a key? Did you think the following?  A key is used to open something!  You say, That’s pretty obvious, Vince! Well, overworked or not, keys do work! So today we will begin looking at KEYS to properly managed anger. Put each one of these on your mental key ring and use them regularly! Here they are-Managing Anger Properly:

1. DON’T LET IT BUILD; 2. BRING IT TO GOD NOW; 3. EXAMINE THE CAUSE; 4. GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS; 5. GET TO THE ROOT; and, 6. NEVER PAY BACK EVIL FOR EVIL.

Let’s take a look at the first key: DON’T LET IT BUILD. If you allow anger to build, it becomes like layers of an onion. With all those layers, an onion becomes pretty hard on the exterior.

Donald J. Mechling, Ph.D., in his discussion on the handling and expression of anger, gives some excellent rules of thumb: Say it soon (don’t save it up); say it with conviction (mild tones with angry words just confuse people.)

Keeping these thoughts in mind, the most important thing is to be LAMINATED TO GOD. Don’t be angry with what people say, says Fenelon, a Catholic priest who lived in the 1600s.  As far as people are concerned, you will never be able to satisfy them. Silence, peace, and union with God should comfort you from all that people speak against you…Come to God often just to sit in His presence and renew yourself. In other words, laminate yourself to the God who created you and who loves you.

Life Application:
If something someone has done or said is really bugging you, discuss it first with the Lord. Ask His guidance as to when and what to say to that person. That’s the first step to not letting your anger build up to the point of a volcanic eruption. C.S. Lewis has a great exhortation: The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.  From personal experience, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt, that counsel from God is the only counsel that will work in your favor and help you not to allow anger to build up in your heart!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Heart Attacked or Heart Attached?
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Anger Properly Managed 22

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 22 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Table Turning Wrath

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'”  Matthew 21:12,13

Life Implication:
For the past seven days we have been concentrating on specific aspects of properly managed anger. Let’s take a quick snapshot of what I called Controlled Anger:

1) IT HAS A PURPOSE; 2) CORRECTS DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR; 3) IS WITHOUT HATRED; 4) EXPRESSES CARE; 5) IS NOT SELFISH; 6) KEEPS THE RELATIONSHIP; 7) EXPRESSES CONCERN; 

Today, let’s look at the eighth and final aspect of properly managed anger-it FOCUSES ON INJUSTICE TOWARD GOD, rather than focusing on injustice toward self. Here we look at what is unrighteous as opposed to what is upright.

Interestingly enough, the Bible never criticizes God’s anger. However, God is all knowing, all-wise, sovereign, powerful, and perfect. We, on the other hand, as imperfect human beings, can misinterpret circumstances, make mistakes in judgment, react quickly, and sometimes become vindictive and vengeful. Humans have difficulty judging between real and apparent injustice. We need to look carefully at the situation and ask God’s help in judging any injustice toward Him. IS OUR ANGER MIS-PLACED OR IN-PLACE? The key is whether self or God is truly the issue.

Life Application:
If one is self-centered that individual is engrossed in oneself and one’s own affairs. When you begin to feel anger rise up within you, take 15 seconds to ask yourself these questions: Does what you’re feeling come under the category of RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION or are you full of self concern? Is what is making your blood boil a miscarriage of justice against another, or are you focused on yourself and how you feel? Remind yourself of what Proverbs 29:11 says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” Be sure your righteous indignation takes a PATH OF RESTORATION, not a path of destruction.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Are You Layered or Laminated?
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Anger Properly Managed 21

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 21 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Grounds for Divorce

Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Romans 14:19

Life Implication:
Yesterday, we talked about the fact that properly managed anger keeps the relationship. Part of the process of preserving a meaningful relationship with an individual when you find yourself angered over something that has occurred, is that properly managed anger EXPRESSES CONCERN. The word concern is an antonym of the word indignation. While concern goes to the heart of the matter and focuses on the problem rather than upon the individual, indignation focuses on self, how it hurt me.

Personal indignities . . .  is listed under Other Grounds for Divorce for nearly every state in our union. Indignation is synonymous with anger and hostility. It stems from a feeling of having been wronged and results in humiliating, degrading, or abusive treatment. A German philosopher once said, No man lies so boldly as the man who is indignant. Remember that our Lord said the devil is the father of lies.

Life Application:
Watch, look and listen today! WATCH for what makes you begin to feel angry. LOOK for the cause of that anger. LISTEN to your heart’s response and ask yourself if you are focusing on the problem rather than upon the individual involved.

If you find you are focusing on the problem while feeling concern for the individual involved . . . Congratulations! That’s great progress! But, if you are not expressing concern for the individual and you are just plain indignant, then it’s time again to run to the cross! Ask the Lord to help you focus on the problem. Ask the Lord to CARE FOR THE INDIVIDUAL (you are angry with) THROUGH YOU.

Remember, growing out of destructive anger into constructive anger is a process that takes time. And the only place I know to do that is under the protective covering and counsel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Jack Hayford once referred to the Holy Spirit as The Great Psychiatrist. But He can only be that to you if you let Him!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Table Turning Wrath
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Anger Properly Managed 20

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 20 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: A Lifetime Warranty

For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime.  Psalm 30:5

Life Implication:
Wouldn’t we all like friendships and wonderful relationships that last a lifetime. Anger properly managed KEEPS THE RELATIONSHIP in good repair. It works hard not to break the relationship. It takes personal responsibility and avoids blaming the other person.

There is a little proverb that says, A successful marriage isn’t finding the right person – it’s being the right person. What wisdom! I would take that thought a step further: A successful friendship isn’t finding the right friend – it’s being the right friend. In marriage, or in friendship outside of marriage, being the right person is what is important. If you are angry with someone, playing the blame-game will only destroy the relationship. You set yourself up as prosecutor, judge and jury, and your spouse or your friend naturally becomes the defendant.

Patrick Morley, in his book, The Man in the Mirror, points out that Betrayal by a friend when done with malice is fair cause for anger. . . . Even so, our focus should be on avoiding anger. . . We should keep our anger under control and be patient.

Life Application:
Think of the inverse of blaming and faultfinding-in actuality it is making excuses for oneself. It is the denial of blame in oneself. Making excuses for oneself destroys joy in any relationship. Remember that the very area of attitude, conduct or belief which a person is quick to criticize in another is often one’s own attitude, conduct or belief which he/she refuses to acknowledge.

Over and over the scripture admonishes us to SEARCH OUT OUR OWN FAULTS honestly, be open to the changing work of God in us, and leave the shortcomings of our friend or spouse in the hands of God.

For friendships and relationships to be warranteed for a lifetime, take time to memorize this wonderful admonition from Ephesians 4:29:

LET NO CORRUPT COMMUNICATION PROCEED OUT OF YOUR MOUTH, BUT THAT WHICH IS GOOD FOR EDIFYING, THAT IT MAY MINISTER GRACE UNTO THE HEARERS.

What a great motto for our daily lives! When followed, it can become a Warranty on all your relationships.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Grounds for Divorce
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Anger Properly Managed 19

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 19 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Me, Myself and I

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing will be there. James 3:16

Life Implication:
Let’s take a moment to review what we have thus far covered in the proper management of anger. We’ve looked at the fact that it has a purpose, corrects destructive behavior, is without hatred, and expresses care. You might say you never realized that anger has so many good points! Remember, our emotion of anger is God-given. So let’s continue to dig in!

Another positive part of anger is that it IS NOT SELFISH. It considers the needs and concerns of others before its own. Sounds like what Jesus says about the subject of love in I Corinthians 13. It involves seeking out and finding the cause. Anger should never be used to gain our own way or to hurt others.

Anger which focuses on our own selfish needs and concerns is anger which is full of sin. The height of self-centeredness is rooted in pride. Pride is one of the major concerns that God speaks of in scripture. Selfish anger desires to win, no matter what the cost. It must always be right.

Life Application:
Have you ever been around someone who speaks only about him or herself? What a drag! Proverbs 16:18 tells us that it is pride that comes before a fall. Often it is easy to spot a self-centered motivation in another person. But how often we can miss that pride-filled motive in our own reactions and responses. We are just sure we are right and we have every right in the world to be angry!!! Right?

Analyze just what it is that makes you angry. Ask yourself these questions: Am I being self-centered in any way? If I am feeling frustrated and discontent, is it because a selfish desire is not being fulfilled? Recognizing pride in oneself is a huge step toward getting rid of a self-centered attitude. I can’t think of a better way to release a prideful mindset than to tell the Lord about it, repent of that spirit (again, do a 180) and then ask Him to fill you with His Spirit, giving you the mind of Christ.  Now that’s health!!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
A Lifetime Warranty
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Anger Properly Managed 18

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 18 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: A Valuable Commodity

But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and you did not forsake them. Nehemiah 9:17

Life Implication:
It has been said that authority with love builds value.  Anger with love builds value. Properly managed anger toward another individual EXPRESSES CARE. Instead of destroying an individual, it takes a dignified approach, probing for truth while building up that person. God was angry with His people (Israelites) because He cared so greatly for them. When God disciplines us, we know we are loved and cared for. We know we are truly His child.

Doubtless you have held up your hand and had someone push their hand against yours. What happens? The harder they push, the harder you push back. It’s a natural and basic reaction. So it is with responding to someone harshly. If you are harsh toward someone, the natural tendency is for the other person to respond in kind.

However, in the same way, kindness begets kindness. It has been said that being kind is more important than being right.  The scripture says, A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1. Verse two goes on to say that the tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly . . .

Don’t we all want to be loved and affirmed when reprimanded?

Life Application:
Next time you feel the heat of anger welling up inside you, STOP and REMEMBER how you like to be treated. Whisper a prayer for God to help you to respond with kindness and with wisdom. Try saying to the individual who is making you angry: You know I care about you deeply (or love you, if appropriate), and you need to know that I am not rejecting you. But what you did made me feel very upset, etc., etc. .  You will most likely find that the person you are angry with will soften and you will be able to have a positive and healthy discussion about that which is concerning you.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
 Me, Myself and I
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Anger Properly Managed 17

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 17 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Lyrics of Rage

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, FITS OF RAGE, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

Life Implication:
Properly managed anger IS WITHOUT HATRED. Look at what hatred can do-in our culture today we see a fatherless generation feeding upon White Hip Hop lyrics of rage propagated by such role models as Eminen who’s CD among our youth was Number One some years ago. Much of our younger generation is seething with wrath and anger toward what they perceive as a hopeless society.

There is a way to manage anger without hatred but it takes a willingness to follow a process led by the Holy Spirit of the living God. As you acknowledge Him in your life and pursue His will for you, allow the Lord Jesus to take you through this very important process.

Life Application:
Do you often find yourself seething with rage? In a quiet place in the presence of the Lord, follow these important steps:
1) GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PAIN. Were you abused as a child? Was your parent no where around when you needed him or her? No matter what the pain, reflect back on that pain and hurt.
2) ALLOW THE GRIEF PROCESS to occur. It’s OK to “look back” on that hurt or pain, and then it’s healthy to grieve over what may have occurred to cause you such pain.
3) FORGIVE those who hurt you. This takes looking to the Lord, because forgiveness is not natural and is very hard. But, God can forgive that person through you. Let Him do it.
4) Before the Lord, REPENT of the rage you feel. That means to take that rage before the Lord and tell Him you are going to make a 180 and turn your back on that rage.
5) And finally, ALLOW GOD TO BECOME YOUR DEFENDER. Put Him into the position in your life where He takes up your defense rather than you taking it up yourself.

If you are in a position to have input into the lives of young people today who you perceive are filled with hatred, endeavor to assist them in this 5-step process to manage their anger without hatred.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
A Valuable Commodity
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Anger Properly Managed 16

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 16 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: You Will Receive A Correction!

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it (manna) till morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them. Exodus 16:20

Life Implication:
Healthy anger CORRECTS DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR. Do you have a child who is out of control? Some of the young parents I know, when they find their children behaving in a destructive or disobedient manner when out in public, do not threaten a spanking-they clearly state to the child that they will receive a correction! That can range from a spanking to a privilege withheld. The PURPOSE IS TO CORRECT the behavior. Though the parent may be angry with the child’s behavior, the PROPER MANAGEMENT OF THAT ANGER LEADS TO PROPER CORRECTION of destructive behavior in that child.

Perhaps you find yourself behaving in a destructive manner toward yourself. Do you overindulge in alcohol? Are you addicted to pornography? Do you feed upon unseemly movies, music or literature? Maybe it’s time to get angry with yourself, make a 180 before the Lord and let Him begin to “give you a correction” in these destructive areas of your life.

Life Application:
Correction of a person who we are responsible for, or correction of our own destructive behavior needs to take a three-step approach. Looking at Jesus as our example in Mark 11:11, He entered the temple and looked around at all things but since it was late, He left.

In Mark 11:15-16, just a few verses later, it says that the next day Jesus returned to the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple.  Jesus sized up the situation the day before. He saw that what was going on in the temple was destructive to “the way, the truth and the life.” The moneychangers were extracting the life out of a place of worship. Jesus then withdrew and had time to cool down in order to respond properly. And finally, the Lord took proper action that was directive and strong toward the destructive behavior.

In correcting destructive behavior, whether your own, or that of another individual (where you have a say in their lives) first, SIZE UP THE SITUATION. Then WAIT BEFORE THE LORD as to the proper action. And finally, TAKE THE APPROPRIATE ACTION, not out of self-oriented uncontrollable rage, but out of a concern for that which causes the destruction.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Lyrics of Rage
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Anger Properly Managed 15

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 15 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: A Healthy Catalyst

The anger of the Lord will not turn back until He fully accomplishes the purposes of His heart. Jeremiah 23:20

Life Implication:
By now, you’ve looked with me at anger from several perspectives-what anger is and where it comes from and what happens when we internalize or vent our anger. Today, we will begin to probe together what is within the structure of PROPERLY MANAGED ANGER. That structure is made up of the following components: 1) It has a purpose; 2) It corrects destructive behavior; 3) It is without hatred; 4) It expresses care; 5) It is not selfish; 6) It keeps the relationship; 7) It expresses concern; and 8) It focuses on injustice toward God.

Today, let’s discuss the fact that properly managed anger HAS A PURPOSE. Healthy anger can be used to bring positive results in our lives. Perhaps it’s time for a change in your job. Maybe it’s time for a change in your attitude. Healthy anger organizes life around the Father instead of around the pain and hurt you may have experienced.

Life Application:
In order to bring about healthy change, it is important to process anger rationally. No matter what the cause, we need to accept our personal responsibility for our own anger. Here it is important to be open to the help of the Holy Spirit in managing our anger and to bring about HEALTHY CHANGE THAT’S TRULY FOR A PURPOSE. Our part is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He guides and enables our lives.

Paul writes, . . .present your bodies . . .to God . . .Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind . . .  What a great encouragement for us to allow this transformation process to happen within us. It takes a decision on our part to become available to the Holy Spirit to make us a process of progress.  With the Holy Spirit along side us, we can restrain our anger allowing Him to make available to us His resources for our success. Make a decision this very day, that in whatever circumstance you find yourself-if you find your anger beginning to rise-acknowledge it and bring it directly to the Lord asking for His guidance and His solution. Ask Him what progress He is trying to accomplish in your life or your situation.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
You Will Receive A Correction!
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Anger Properly Managed 14

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 14 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Sticks and Stones

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.  James 3:6

Life Implication:
It has been said that the tongue must be heavy indeed, because so few people can hold it. Scripture calls the TONGUE a small member, but it CAN DO HUGE DAMAGE. We must remember that words are the window to the heart. If our heart is full of anger, our words will show it. One of the biggest lies in our culture is that old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me.”

SARCASM is often a socially acceptable form of humor. It’s humor is often found in its irony. However, often a sarcastic attitude is a window to a heart full of anger. Recently the wife of someone in a ministry position began to notice her husband becoming more and more sarcastic. Finally, she asked him, Who are you angry with?  Her question was direct and right on target. In discussion, this individual came to realize that he was actually angry with God. Remember, as I have mentioned before, God is not intimidated by your anger.

Then we have people who are critics-at-large. Being a critic in an acceptable way is having the ability to discern and separate the good from the bad, the wise from the unwise, the best from the worst. But a person who has a CRITICAL SPIRIT or attitude, is one who indulges in faultfinding and censure. This is where that mini-member, the tongue, can literally cause hell on earth.

Life Application:
Resolve today, with the Lord’s help, to never exercise the deadly art of criticism. Be willing, INSTEAD OF ATTACKING the other person, to say, I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I was wrong.  Ask God to help you gently communicate any frustration you have with loving kindness by a response that will not be offensive, saying instead, I’m upset . . ., That bothers me because . . . Remember that CRITICISM WILL NEVER CAUSE ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR TO MODIFY.

You’ve heard of the recommendation to “count to 10” before saying anything when you are upset. Sounds so simple. But it can be very effective. Counting to 10 gives you a moment to cool down, and it helps you begin to put the situation into perspective and bridle your tongue.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
A Healthy Catalyst
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Anger Properly Managed 13

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 13 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Straws and Camels

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Romans 14:19

Life Implication:
Whether anger is internalized or gives vent, sometime, somewhere, somehow, along comes the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Perhaps your mother always forced you to eat bologna sandwiches. One day your wife serves you a bologna sandwich and you come unglued. Or, your spouse makes a number of purchases in a short period of time; you say nothing. Shortly thereafter, he or she makes an insignificant $10.00 purchase and you blow your cork.

In these situations we need to take a look at what is brewing below the surface. What is the foundational anger that causes the angry eruption following the entrance of a mere piece of straw?

Life Application:
There is only one place to go when trouble begins to bubble up within. That’s to the foot of the cross-the cross of Jesus Christ, that is.

The wife of a couple who I know quite well, says that there are times when she just knows in her heart that she and her husband are brewing for an argument, and she’s just about always right. She now says that she realizes when she perceives a fight coming, she has probably let stuff build up inside; or she becomes aware that she has pushed her husband here and there, and stuff is building up inside of him. My friend has resolved that when she begins to be aware that they may be headed for an argument, she will go straight to the Lord and ask Him to change the course of this destructive direction. . . so that the straw becomes limp and ineffective and they do not wind up giving the devil a foothold. I encourage you to do the same.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Sticks and Stones
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Anger Properly Managed 12

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 12 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Volcanic Ash

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment . . . But anyone who says “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5:22

Life Implication:
When you think of an active volcano, what comes to your mind? Fire, smoke, heat, running lava would most likely be your response. Now, what do you think of when you think of an inactive volcano? Have you ever walked about on the edges of an inactive volcano? There are ashes, yes. But even more amazing is the presence of rock which has been formed by the heat. That rock, called obsidian, is dark, hard, and glassy, like granite. This is exactly what happens to the spirit of a person who is the recipient of profuse anger, anger that lashes out, You stupid idiot, anger that is vented and never resolved.

Often in my seminars, as well as in my book, I speak about a hardened or closed spirit.  When a person has been angrily vented upon by a spouse or a parent, or any one else, that individual sadly develops this hardened or closed spirit, just like obsidian. That person’s spirit becomes dark, hard and glassy, a result which is extremely destructive and can often take years before healing is realized and that person’s spirit begins to soften.

Life Application:
As you approach a situation that normally might bring on an angry outburst, consider the following reminders. In fact, you might want to print this page, cut out this list, and tape it on your mirror, or in a place where you can see it daily:

HELPFUL GUIDELINES FOR PROPER ANGER MANAGEMENT
* Attack the problem, not the person
* If possible, prepare the setting to handle disagreement
* Back up opinions with facts and examples
* Avoid unkind statements about the other individual’s character
* Stay on the subject
* Avoid saying, you never . . ., or you always . . .
* Avoid saying, it is ALL my fault, because it takes two to disagree
* Resolution requires cooperation – avoid the silent treatment
* Don’t throw your feelings like stones
* Don’t save emotional trading stamps
* Offer solutions about differences
* Be humble
* Be fair

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Straws and Camels
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Anger Properly Managed 11

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 11 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Flares or Flashlights

An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins. Proverbs 29:22

Life Implication:
We have spent several days talking about what happens to us if we internalize anger. The opposite of internalization is VENTING OUR ANGER. For the next four days, we are going to delve into the effects of improper venting of our anger, letting it erupt without proper management. You may be beginning to think there must be something somewhere in between internalizing and venting angry emotions. You are definitely on the right track and we will look forward to spending the final days on this subject on the proper management of angry emotions.

You’ve probably experienced venting your own anger or being vented upon! Not a cheerful position to be in either way. Vented anger is most often hurtful to others. It can be very destructive. Improperly venting anger usually involves yelling and possibly beating. There is a huge increase of what we have come to call the Shaken Baby Syndrome, where the impatient parent or caretaker gives full vent upon that little one, literally shaking the life out of that unfortunate baby. When we vent our anger we find we say things we don’t mean and hear things not said.

Do you have a short fuse? Are you reactive, quick and impatient? Our temper can be quick to flare, instead of taking our spiritual flashlight to the issue that is of concern.

Life Application:
Often a difference of opinion can escalate to a heated debate or argument, which brings division. From there, the escalation can move to the level of intense physical anger, which brings total rejection. And the final result is a “state of war” or hostility that brings ultimate separation.

When that difference of opinion begins, DROP THE FLARE, and PICK UP THE FLASHLIGHT. Shine that light on yourself. Could it be that you might be wrong in this instance? Maybe or maybe not! The point is, in either case, do not let that difference of opinion escalate, bringing division and separation between you the other individual. Never allow yourself the privilege of saying, Well, it’s just my nature to become angry . . . it’s my background . . . or it’s inherited.  Let the light of Jesus shine on the moment and bring the concerns into proper focus.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Volcanic Ash
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Anger Properly Managed 10

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 10 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: The Brain Game

For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7

Life Implication:
Our discussion for the last four days has been focusing on the incredible damage which can be caused by Internalized anger. We have talked about the physical results, the emotional impact, and the spiritual impact. Let us finally look at how internalized anger can affect our MENTAL PROCESSES.

Anger inside the heart directs who a person is, how they function, how they think. Our verse today makes this very clear in a very concise way. It’s saying, whatever is going on in your heart directs who you are literally!

There are many ways our mental processes can affect how we behave as individuals. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself: Are you a procrastinator-always late? Are you barraged by bad dreams? Do you continue to relive a hurt or an abuse by someone else? Does your mind rehearse it and rehearse it till the thoughts of a hearse look pretty good to you?

Life Application:
As your mind plays that Brain Game of rumination and revenge, take the following steps:
1) Monitor and manage the thoughts which give rise to your feelings.
2) Respond carefully to any anger rising inside you, without transferring blame or retaliating.
3) Properly manage those angry feelings through forgiveness and healing.

Remember that your successes in proper anger management (and resolution of its causes) undoubtedly will be interspersed with some failures. But each experience of falling short of success can be valuable in further instructing us about ourselves and improving our skills in proper anger management. So don’t be discouraged. Being transformed from an angry individual, to one who is able to control those angry feelings is a process. Let that process happen!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Flares or Flashlights
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Anger Properly Managed 9

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 9 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Tears in the Desert

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

Life Implication:
Many years ago, I came to a juncture in my life where I knew my SPIRITUAL GROWTH was being hindered. I lived with SUSTAINED ANGER and held onto bitterness and unforgiveness toward my father, who was never there for me. One day, in despair, I found myself driving out toward the desert in California where I was living at the time. As I drove, I knew the Lord was speaking to me that I needed to face the emotional hurt I had experienced, and that I needed to let it go and forgive my Dad (who, in fact, was no longer living.) Overwhelmed with God’s love and mercy, I poured out my heart to Him. With much weeping, I released the pain and hurt in my honest and direct (Italian) fashion. In that painful moment, God came and healed my heart! He restored my relationship with Him.

Do you have difficulty with your prayer life? Is your spiritual growth hindered? Do you find it difficult to love God while hating someone who has hurt you? Sustained anger often comes from bitterness held onto or simply unforgiveness. It bubbles below the surface as internalized or repressed anger. It denies emotional hurt. Gordon Mc Donald, in his book, Restoring Your Spiritual Passion, says: Spiritual passion can not co-exist with resentments-harboring resentment hinders spiritual growth and effectiveness.

Life Application:
Ask yourself the following questions: Have you been wronged by a parent or a loved on? Has your boss or a co-worker mistreated you? Were you recently passed up for a promotion? Have you been bruised lately by verbal assault? If you answer Yes to any one of these questions, or if you are able to think of any other situation that has caused you to harbor any resentment at all, God has given you a command in our above scripture. To be really direct, basically God is saying, Don’t come near me till you forgive. Now it’s up to you whether or not you CHOOSE to follow that command and TAKE DECISIVE ACTION. As you forgive freely, you will wipe clean the slate of your soul, and you will be set free!

The forgiveness you give may not always be in direct communication with the offender. Sometimes the offending individual is unaware that they have offended you, or perhaps they are no longer living. Often the forgiving action will need to be just between you and the Lord. And finally, sometimes, it’s helpful to write out a letter to that individual and then, once written, and submitted to the Lord, rip it up or burn it as an act of finality.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
The Brain Game
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Anger Properly Managed 8

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 8 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: A Remote Fix

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance. Psalm 42:5

Life Implication:
As a man, are you a potato on a couch with that remote glued to your hand? As a woman, do you constantly blame your hormones for those down days? Suppressed anger can have a huge EMOTIONAL IMPACT on our minds causing boredom, depression (depression defined is pressed-down anger), cynicism, sarcasm, and feeling drained.

The Psalmist pours out to God in Psalm 42 exactly how he is feeling emotionally. Here is a man who is thoroughly depressed: his soul thirsts, his tears have been his food, he’s wondering where God is, he remembers the past, he feels like God has let the difficulties of life engulf him, he feels like God has forgotten him. But instead of picking up that remote, or blaming hormonal imbalance . . . the Psalmist looks to the Lord for the help of His countenance, and therefore, his own emotions and pain.

Do you let internalized anger fester, negatively impacting you to the depths of your emotions, or do you run to God?

Life Application:
Remember, it’s OK to have anger. Often beneath a person’s anger is a whole reservoir of hurt, pain, loss of love, loss of face, stress, and frustration. This can build up. The greatest gift you can give yourself is to EXPLORE, WORK WITH, AND CLEAN OUT THIS ANGER BEFORE THE LORD, just as King David did in the Psalms. Believe me, God will not be intimidated by your anger.

Take a few moments to read Psalm 42, then start an anger diary. Each evening, note what ticked you off that day. List the times you got angry-and look for patterns. If you find you tend to blow up when you discuss money with your spouse, for example, talk it over and then take time to pray together with your spouse about that concern. Look to the Lord to show you how to deal with those angry tendencies, whatever trend they may take.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Tears in the Desert
Posted on

Anger Properly Managed 7

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 7 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Grumpy Old Men-and Women

Studies-including one published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine-have LINKED SUPPRESSED ANGER TO SERIOUS MEDICAL PROBLEMS such as high blood pressure, heart disease, gastrointestinal complaints, and even certain cancers.

Life Implication:
Today, let’s take a look at the PHYSICAL RESULTS of harboring resentment and unforgiveness-internalized anger. Are you always feeling tired and sleeping more than normal; grinding your teeth while sleeping; constantly having a sore or stiff neck; do you have nervous foot or body movements; ulcers, etc.? Any of these physical manifestations would make anyone feel grumpy.

According to new research reported in the American Heart Association journal, Grumpy old men who have the highest anger scores on a personality test have about a three-times-higher risk of heart disease than older men with the lowest anger levels.

There have also been studies that suggest a possible linking between some forms of internal cancer and a deep bitterness within the individual. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Some years ago, a well known actor became ill with a terminal form of cancer. In the belief that laughter and joy would be the best possible medicine, he requested that a number of comedy type videos be brought to his room. He watched those videos day in and day out. He laughed till his sides ached. And wouldn’t you know, the cancer just went away!! Laughter and joy, of course, is a direct antithesis to bitterness and anger.

Life Application:
During this next week, try making anger work for you by practicing a very simple plan: Whenever you are interacting with someone else, practice speaking from the “I” perspective. As I feel sick or I feel angry whenever (thus and so) happens. Avoid all the attacking “You’s”, like you make me mad, or you always do this or that. When you speak from the “I” point of view, you are speaking from the feelings you have. No one can argue against feelings. Often anger can be very justified, but it does not have to aim or hurt. Use it as a form of revealing your heart and opening up a discussion. See if any physical results of internalized anger begin to lessen. Make this kind of interaction a new habit.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
A Remote Fix
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Anger Properly Managed 6

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 6 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: What Stokes Your Stove?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31

Life Implication:
When anger occurs we have three options. We Internalize it; we vent it, or we control it.

Let’s take a look at the incredible damage INTERNALIZED ANGER can do to us. So often we may have angry feelings and assume that these feelings are wrong. WRONG!! The feelings we feel are not wrong-it’s how we deal with those feelings that can take a wrong route. Internalization, stuffing the anger deep down inside can be likened to holding your thumb over an open bottle of soda, and shaking it for all it’s worth. What happens? Before long your thumb can’t hold the soda in any longer and the bubbling liquid explodes out of the bottle.

Or, you may feel inhibited about your angry feelings and in stuffing those feelings down, it becomes like a simmering stew deep inside. You can then become a casualty mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Either way, whether you are about ready to explode, or you are walking around broken in body, mind and spirit, take a moment to ask yourself: Am I KINDLING (literally) my desire for the Lord, or am I STOKING UP FOR AN OUT-OF-CONTROL BONFIRE?

Life Application:
In your Daytimer, Palm Pilot, on your mirror or refrigerator, or in your Bible (in other words, where you can be constantly reminded) write this terrific reminder by Andy Rooney: When you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere. Whenever you look at that phrase, ask the Lord to release bitterness from your heart and fill that place with His presence. Ask the Lord to KINDLE AND REKINDLE YOUR DESIRE FOR HIM.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Grumpy Old Men-and Women
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Anger Properly Managed 5

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 5 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: High Octane or Regular?

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry . . . but the Lord said, Is it right for you to be angry?  Jonah 4: 1,4

Life Implication:
Believe it or not, anger is a normal God-given human emotion. It can become a healthy catalyst for positive change in our lives. As a Notre Dame Coach once said: Life is a school and problems are the curriculum. How we respond to problems in our lives sets the outcome of our lives and our relationships.

Let’s ask ourselves, like Jonah, do we fill our tanks with the HIGH OCTANE FUEL OF ANGER, becoming angry with God and with our circumstances? Or do we run on Regular and ask the following questions: Where is this problem leading me? What is this problem revealing about me? What is this problem teaching me? How is this problem protecting me? How can I grow through this problem?

GOD USES CIRCUMSTANCES in our lives for a purpose. Even if you read the Bible two hours a day that leaves twenty-two hours for God to use circumstances. Are we going to choose to be angry about our circumstances, or are we going to choose to learn from our circumstances?

Life Application:
Today, let’s take a SNAPSHOT, so to speak, and then let’s dissect it to the nth degree! Take a moment to identify a difficult circumstance or problem in your life. Now, jot down on a piece of paper what that problem or situation is. Next, refer to the questions listed above and write the answer to each of those questions-Where is it leading, what is it revealing about yourself, what is it teaching you, is it protecting you in some way, and finally, how can you grow amidst the problem? Once you have written the answers to these questions, I would encourage you to take those thoughts before the Lord and allow Him to use the difficulty for your best interests. He will, you know!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
What Stokes Your Stove?
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Anger Properly Managed 4

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 4 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Chains That Bind

So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” He lay on his bed and refused to eat. I Kings 21:4

Life Implication:
We are blessed to live in a society of freedom. Currently, America is at war in order to protect our freedom. Often with a culture of freedom, instead of responsibility, people will tend to take license. As followers of Christ, we must balance our freedom with responsibility.

This is a culture that is free to take one another to court at a whim. Many Americans have adopted a mentality of SELF-PITY AND VICTIMIZATION. How prominent this attitude is, causing people to feel as though they are victims of betrayal, abuse, the government, an endless myriad of reasons. This mentality leads to an individual becoming angry, sullen, accusatory, arrogant and whiny, just like King Ahab in our scripture above. There’s a bumper sticker around that sums it up pretty well, “It’s not whether you win or lose but where you place the blame.”

I like what Max Lucado says: You can choose to chain yourself to your hurt, or you can choose to put away your hurts before they become hates. Now that’s the kind of freedom I think we all would want.

Life Application:
In his book, E-Quake, Pastor Jack Hayford asks the question: Are you ever tempted to bitterness or rancor, to discouragement or despair, driven by those who oppose or oppress you?  Who wants such chains wrapped around your being? As we discussed yesterday, again we can make a choice. Binding chains or walking in freedom-what is your choice? Instead of letting “your hurts become hates”, begin to worship the Lord. Pastor Jack goes on to say that worship can turn a victim mind-set to a victor’s expectancy. Whenever you become tempted to place blame on someone else, STOP, THINK and WORSHIP God. Tell Him that He is wonderful, that He is great, that you love Him. Soon your victim mentality will begin to dissolve away and your attitude will become that of a victor. It’s been said, To forgive is to set the prisoner free, and then discover the prisoner was you. Now that’s a winning result!

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
High Octane or Regular?
Posted on

Anger Properly Managed 3

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 3 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: Trembling On the Precipice

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Psalm 29:11

Life Implication:
We live in a culture that is smarter and more enlightened than ever before . . . or at least, so it seems. We revel in being sensitive to the rights and thinking of others. And yet, there is more anger than ever before.

This is the AGE OF PASSIVE-AGGRESSION-behavior which attempts to control others in order to control one’s own environment, in hopes of increasing a feeling of security.

Also, we see Road Rage, a fairly new, and all too common, phenomenon. The following statistics have been published: approximately forty thousand deaths every year are attributed to road rage, and that along with six million crashes, three million serious injuries and two hundred billion dollars in annual costs. As of this writing, the news has been full of accidents and deaths just over this past weekend from teenagers car racing on city streets. They are calling this type of racing, loosely organized road rage, and are attributing much of it to the copy-cat effect from a movie just released called Fast and Furious. These kids drive fast because they are furious-full of uncontrolled rage.

Why do we have so much passive aggression and so much rage? I would suggest that it is because we are AN INSECURE PEOPLE. Our insecurity emanates directly from the fact that we are looking more and more to ourselves and the world, instead of to our Creator, our heavenly Father.

Life Application:
We come again to the ISSUE OF CONTROL and just what makes us feel insecure in life. As you progress throughout today or tomorrow, make a decision to take a close look at how you react with each frustration that comes your way. When you get hit with a problem or predicament, do you find yourself deciding to fix the situation in your own strength? Do you look to someone else to fix the situation, like your boss or your spouse? Or, do you look instead to your heavenly Father? Of course, you know what the right answer is! As you evaluate those moments in time, MAKE A CHOICE to take those difficult situations immediately to your heavenly Father. Get into a habit on a daily basis of making that choice. Remind yourself that with each problem you face, you do have a choice in what you do with it.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Chains That Bind
Posted on

Anger Properly Managed 2

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 2 of 31   
   
Today’s Verse/Thought: A Harlequin Truth

Acts 8:23 I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin. 

Life Implication:
In our society today, being fearful puts people into the category of a “wimp”. Often, in order to MASK one’s fear, the emotion of anger becomes the modus operandi-a socially acceptable attitude. Ask yourself the following questions-Are you abusive or helpful? Do you focus on the faults of others or recognize your own? Do you have high expectations of others or are you open-hearted in your attitude toward others? Do you hold onto hurts, or do you forgive and forget? Are you bitter and condemning or are you tactful in dealing with others?

Life Application:
If you are fearful, control is a big issue. If you begin to feel like you have lost control of your life in any given area, instead of displaying fear, you may tend to put on a MASK OF ANGER to cover that fear.

Think back over the last 7-10 days in your life. You got up in the morning, took a shower (hopefully), ate breakfast or grabbed a cup of coffee, maybe even had time with the Lord . . . and then your day came tumbling down upon you. You headed out the door to work and confronted an hour delay in traffic; perhaps your boss dumped a heavy project on you due the next day; maybe your co-worker took credit for some great idea you had. Or, you work at home, perhaps as a wife and Mom, and your kids surfaced from their rooms with homework not done; or your washing machine broke down when your laundry was piled to the ceiling; or your carpool friend asked you to take her place and you had a million other things planned for the day.

Sound familiar? STOP and ASK YOURSELF how any frustrations you recall hit you. Did you blow up, did you stuff-it? Did you walk around all day with a pit in your stomach? Ponder whether in any circumstances you may have faced, you felt like you had no control over the situation? Ask yourself what fear your anger possibly masked. As you ponder these thoughts, ASK GOD TO SHOW YOU where your fears come from. Ask Him to heal you in those fearful areas of your life.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint
Trembling on the Precipice
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Anger Properly Managed 1

AngerTarget Point, Vol. 1 of 31  
  
Scripture: In your anger do not sin. Ephesians 4:26  

Anger properly managed is key to freedom from fear. Anger is often a mask for fear-it’s socially acceptable-fear is not. Anger is also our natural built-in mechanism to deal with fear.

This series on Anger has been developed to help put into perspective just how an individual can be angry but not sin (Ephesians 4:26) – in other words, properly manage and control a natural emotion that in and of itself usually does not fall into the category of sin. It’s like the scripture about the love of money being the root of evil. Money is not evil-but the love of it can be. Similarly, anger properly controlled is not sin-while anger out of control becomes sin.

Is your anger expressed along with thoughts of concern for others, or does it give vent with no care for others at all? Take this little Anger Test! Ask yourself: Am I internalizing? Am I venting? Or, am I controlling my anger? As we progress through this series, it is our desire to help you identify whether your anger is misplaced or in-place. We will also give you tools to use to help you manage or control your anger.

In our discussion, our ultimate desire is that you will draw closer to the Lord God and in so doing you will allow Him to fine tune your character in the basic natural area of emotion He created in you in the first place.

Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
A Harlequin Truth