Anger Do’s & Don’ts

Anger Do’s:

Be Honest: “I am very angry with you right now.”

Be Kind: No name calling, belittling, devaluing allowed.

Be Direct: Useful anger is face to face, not a cowardly blow from behind.

Be Responsible: We own our anger. No one can “make” us angry.

Be Fair: Cruel jokes (in public and private) are off limits.

Be Contained: We don’t get back at others.

Be Controlled: We invite the Holy Spirit to take control of our anger

Be Interactive: Anger is expressed in relationship where it can be talked through.

Be Outward: No under-cover anger is healthy. Anger turned inward hurts us and others.

Be Real: It is dishonest to use our anger to manipulate others.

Anger Don’ts:

Passive Aggressive: Under-cover anger. Anger is presented in subtle ways—forgetfulness, chronic lateness, “accidents.” On the outside you seem pleasant and compliant. On the inside you are resentful. Those who express their anger in this way don’t feel safe or permitted to have anger or express it openly.

Sarcasm: Speech designed to cut and wound. The word “sarcasm” is derived from a Greek word that means “to tear the flesh.” It is another way to express anger indirectly.

Verbal Abuse: Intentionally wounding another with our words. Name calling, belittling, devaluing, and humiliating are examples of verbal abuse.

Blaming: Blaming anger makes other people the problem and deflects personal responsibility. Blaming anger says, “You make me so angry!”

Guerilla Humor: Attacking someone verbally then smiling and saying something like, “Can’t you take a joke?” or “I’m just kidding.” Another indirect way of expressing anger.

Retaliatory Anger: Expressing your anger by getting even with someone who has wounded you–i.e. having an affair to show your spouse what it feels like or spending loads of money shopping because your spouse “owes” you.

Blind Rage: Intense anger usually acted out physically—hitting, smashing, destroying, etc.

Isolation: Withdrawing from relationship with the one who hurt you and/or from others altogether.

Anger as an Excuse: Secretly you want to leave or behave in a particular way, so you find a way to provoke a fight in other to justify your choice.

Betrayal to Forgiveness

This is the poem I wrote to the women in my past that betrayed our friendship by sleeping with my husband. This is very raw and it still pains my soul, but there is healing in taking the last step to letting it go. I forgave my ex years ago, but my friends were the hardest to release. Holding on to the pain has held me captive and it has also kept me from letting other women get close. I pray that if you read this and have scars like me, give it all to God and let Him set you free!
He played a game, your heart his pawn.
Betrayed your trust, he led you on.
You always thought somehow you were special,
But that’s never the case when you dance with the devil.
He feeds you lies, consoles your cries,
But day by day a part of you dies.
Little did you know, you weren’t alone.
I too had placed my heart on his throne.
He became my God and I his slave,
which led my soul to an early grave.
For years the one I blamed was you.
How could you betray what I entrusted to you?
I shared my hurts, my fears, my dreams,
And you used that knowledge to fulfill your schemes.
You took what was mine and lied to my face,
but my problem was putting my husband in God’s place.
It has taken me years to break free from these chains,
But with God by my side, I have healed from the pain.
So thank you for opening my eyes to finally see,
And I forgive you because my God forgave me.

What Are You Hungry For?

IMG_3649

Money? Success? Love? Material possessions? Relationships? Sex?  The list could go on and on. Hunger affects each of us every day. We fill our lives with the things that we think will quench the hunger pains. Food nourishes our physical bodies, relationships feed our need for companionship, but what if we are trying to satisfy our hungers with the wrong fuel? The results can take us further than we intended to go and cost us more than we were ever willing to pay. We end up lonely, angry, bitter, depressed, in a sea of debt, a workaholic, an alcoholic, a sex addict, a shopaholic, but never really find what we were originally searching for. We were created with a hunger that can only be satisfied by plugging in to the one who created us. He is food for our soul. You wouldn’t put water in your car when it requires gas or you would never leave the driveway. You wouldn’t give a baby windex when they are hungry or you would kill him.  So why do we try to fill the void in our soul with the things of the world that were never meant to truly satisfy?
God loves you with an unconditional love that never fails. He is there to catch you when you are falling, hold you when you are broken hearted, and carry you when you think you can’t move one more inch. There is no safer place to be than in His arms. Turn to Him. Ask Him to reveal to you the areas you are filling with things other than Him.

God is Good

IMG_3881

Throughout my life, I have had numerous conversations with people who have been through painful circumstances and ask how God can be good, yet allow bad things to happen. I always dreaded these discussions because I had no words to explain anything that made logical sense. My knowledge of God being good was based on faith alone and when someone is searching for an answer to that question, faith is not the answer they want to hear. They are searching for solid evidence. Something tangible they can grab hold of and cling to in the wake of a heartbreaking tragedy. I have even experienced that type of tragedy in my life and my faith was what held me together and gave me strength to live on.

As disciples of Christ, we should be able to explain this phenomenon to those searching for reasons to believe that God is good. Yesterday I came across this conversation and it changed everything.

Professor: You are a Christian, aren’t you, son?
Student: Yes, sir.
Professor: So, you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Professor: Is God good?
Student: Sure.
Professor: Is God all powerful?
Student: Yes.
Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill, but God didn’t. How is this God good then? Hmmm?
(Student was silent.)
Professor: You can’t answer, can you? Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?
Student: Yes.
Professor: Is Satan good?
Student: No.
Professor: Where does Satan come from?
Student: From…God…
Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Student: Yes.
Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Student: Yes.
Professor: So who created evil?
(Student did not answer.)
Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?
Student: Yes, sir.
Professor: So, who created them?
(Student had no answer.)
Professor: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.
Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.
Professor: Have you ever felt you God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.
Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?
Student: Yes.
Professor: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Professor: Yes.
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Professor: Yes.
Student: No, sir. There isn’t.
(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further than that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?
Student: You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?
Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Professor: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.
Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class was in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?
(The class broke out into laughter.)
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir…Exactly! The link between man and God is faith. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

Faith is all we need, thus the reason it is so hard to explain why we believe what we believe to non-believers. But my point of sharing this conversation was to share something deeper that I learned. The next time someone asks me how a good God can allow bad things to happen, this is how I will respond.

God created the world and everything in it was good. He created Adam & Eve and they were given free will; the ability to choose. Once the choice was made to have the knowledge that only God had up until that point, sin entered the world and everything changed.

The conversation between the student and the professor uses the example of death being the absence of life, dark being the absence of light, cold being the absence of heat, so therefore, evil would be the absence of good. God is not evil. Because of free will, God lets us choose and that choice opens the door for evil to wreak havoc on the world around us. That is the double edged sword of free will. God is always good, always loving, and always merciful. Because of sin, bad things happen to good people and when that occurs, God always uses it for His glory to shine through.

Think about it this way. A man has cancer. He is a Godly man, praying every day for God to heal him from this disease. God decides to answer this mans prayers and brings him home to be with him in Heaven where there is no more pain and no more sickness. Because of sin, we see things from a worldly prospective and think that God didn’t answer this man’s prayers when from a Heavenly prospective he did.

We will never understand God fully until the day he calls us home where we belong. Heaven is our home and earth is temporary. We were never meant to live separated from God, but the fall of man opened that door and until God returns we will have pain, suffering, and heartache on this side of Heaven. Our faith is the only thing that will keep that hope alive and God in our hearts. It is our choice to believe and to attempt to see from His prospective instead of one that is void of Him.