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Getting a Handle on Anger in Difficult Times

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
October 7, 2020 6:00 am

Getting a Handle on Anger in Difficult Times

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 7, 2020 6:00 am

For those times we struggle with anger, Deborah Pegues offers guidance for understanding it, calming it, and gaining solace through God's love. Don't miss the hope and encouragement she offers in this discussion based on her book "30 Days to Taming Your Anger: How to Find Peace When Irritated, Frustrated, or Infuriated."

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I bet that's Deborah Begay she's with us today on Focus on the Family your hostess books Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John from let's face it, John.

We live in an angry world that we do. People are riled up over politics, different situations, misunderstandings, religion, the list goes on and on, especially in the midst of a global pandemic we have that as well. Unresolved racial tensions are rising and in a highly contested presidential election right in front of us so Scripture repeatedly urges us to reign in that anger and it's one of the more difficult disciplines for the Christian community. One verse that comes to mind is James 119 from the New Testament, let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger and here focus that we certainly want you to live freely in Christ.

That's the goal, and that's what it's all about. Even if anger isn't a problem for you and I hope it isn't. I'm sure at some point when that guy cut you off on the freeway might rise a little bit and what you gonna do that today we want to help you understand where anger comes from how to control it. How to channel it had to figure out what is good anger.

What is bad anger and we have a wonderful guest today one of your favorites, yet died every time Deborah is on with a great groundswell of response – she is certainly accomplished.

She's a certified behavioral consultant, a Bible teacher, international speaker, she's written a number of books in one room be really zeroing in on today has to do with the topic of Ingrid's 30 days to taming your anger and we do have copies of that here at Focus on the Family Deborah it is great to have you back your focus will coming to us from LA so I get it always been one of those areas that have had a lot of things going on, but let's let's start with the more personal aspect of it. Why does anger have such an impact on us and why do we let it get a hold of us so quickly in the United States. We are a country up Dragon individualism so everything upsets.

Is it doesn't go our way to start out by dividing anger is just an emotional protest. So we are always protesting something that's kind of in our DNA as Americans right in fact you described 3° of anger.

So help us get a handle on those three. What are they and how they impact us well in these not absolute but this is what gave it to me. Irritation, frustration, and variation somehow to bad right that's a way to say let's talk about irritation. Let's describe that maybe an example would help the listeners better get it. Yeah, those things that people do just can't get understand that speaking to the cell phone in public or your husband comes into the room and you want to get baby Shelley starts asking questions about it. Switch the channel just one minute that is. I agree with all of the that's the low burners setting, what's the median burner well frustration if somebody is blocking a goal that you're trying to reach.

Let's say you on the pretty when you're trying to get over there.

Try to get over to you happy right away whatever so that when you conduct the frustration. I'm just just can't stop me from doing something that I'm trying to do and he can be a small thing as well. And so, and again is not as serious as variation when I am totally furious now and I think what we see in our coaching seeing in our culture is one of those is this is where people are very at the top of the anger in terms of what is happening. I just across the country that the response of the covered buyers just all kinds of things that were just finding to infuriate about okay those really good descriptors so I want to dig into each one. The irritation side. How can we keep from being irritated. Sounds impossible, I mean you get irritated because something right in front of you happens and to have the discipline to be able to say okay I'm not to be irritated. It's almost angelic right just beyond human capacity, but you're saying it's not know I am saying and beyond human capacity. You said it right. It requires seven heavenly intervention that operate in grace and long suffering and patience, and I the spirit always like to say that the say it slowly. The ability to cope with these things have to come out of a spirit that empowers you to do it. I can't do it by myself.

I can tell you that I don't like the people I choose loudly.

I don't know when it is something that makes it like that. She's listening listening to people eat macaroni and cheese, drives me crazy.

I can't do it. I got a I. It's like it's like nails on a chalkboard forming the smacking where's the grace of God in Jim listening to somebody macaroni and cheese eat or anything, it makes a sound like Dino sometimes and he has going chips or something. You know those are buried out Jesus please help me right now exactly yeah you know because you are not getting this not irritate me. Just you and I just got back back. Why is this irritating me.

I think I'm trying to just ask God what I do.

Sometimes I suffer through it without saying anything because you know what teaches my place that I can't always happens my way and you know the context you mentioned a moment ago, the fruit of the spirit. For those of us as Christians, we know that's love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, mercy by members of the patients I remember somebody saying to me one time and I don't have much patience and the thought struck me and I did say this out loud.

I probably shouldn't have, but I said why don't think it's like a menu that you order from you. Don't say, well, take a dose of patience and for helpings of love I mean if you're in Christ.

These attributes should be present in your life and if they're not, you may want to reconsider if you're truly rooted in Jesus. Well, the extent to which you can exemplify the fruit of the spirit to get that word and today it is produced by the spirit so to the extent you have to really so that you develop not just I got this but is not about it is so raw.

Main point is if you don't have a lot of patience that means work on it don't use it as an excuse to be impatient yes absolutely Deborah you were called by God to write and to speak and you started writing this book on anger.

What were some of the instantaneous obstacles that you confronted when you started to speak about this topic.

We will how was the Lord dealing with you. Well let me do it. The frustration I had in writing. I work at home. I have a nice home office and people think because you work at home that you just available to date all day to do something so as I would be writing just Connie answering the phone so I have to have a predetermined coping mechanism for dealing with some frustrations is what I know and I have to believe this, and I always say all behavior comes out of a belief believe that sometimes that that's a divine interruption or whatever it is that's blocking my progress. I have to step back and say maybe something I did bind something going on here and so I don't always want this to do list that is so frigid I'm so set on the goal until I can be flexible so the key to dealing with the frustration is to stop and acknowledge what could be going on how many stories that we hear when they had the 9/11 events of people who would delay that day at whatever. I'm sure the some of them probably frustrated that they would delay but saved their lives. So we just gotta stop with that in perspective as well yeah that's exactly right is let me ask you this before he moved to the next level. The highest temperature of anger inferior nation. What is the difference between irritation and frustration do you handle frustration differently. One of the added things you need to do to de-escalate your frustration when you have a mindset about frustration because keep in mind all these things generate from us and nobody irritating SSI, which is to respond. Nope, no, but it's frustrating us deliberately times not deliberate, so ointment sometimes is not somebody could be traffic at the lake so we have a mindset that no matter what happens today I'm going to God my piece.

I'm going to guide my heart and that's what you have to do.

Especially when you live in Los Angeles.the freeway. Jim so you know the always energetic and optimistic.

This is Focus on the Family we got Deborah Begay with us today want to drive your attention to her book 30 days to taming your anger get that directly from us the link and details are in the episode notes and we do know that anger while having some fun here can be very difficult emotion to deal with.

So let me remind you we have a team of caring Christian counselors on staff here at Focus on the Family give us a call will arrange a time for someone to call you back and talk through your circumstances with you. It's free and her number is 800 K in the word family. Deborah, let's move to the hottest temperature of anger. That's the inferior nation that people can feel and that's a visceral response. Your body feels it's so angering to you that it's a full body response.

Your mind, your body, I mean it's like fight or flight. That's the impression I get is that description accurate. And then you give us an example of how you noticed that higher level of anger and you will also increase. This is what we have to really really really mad at yourself and do some self talk like that he saw in your mind and emotions are high. The rationale is low and so you want to stay real rational but was most rational is going to be the most powerful and that in that environment on that situation so you gotta really start to talk to yourself and you gotta telling us that this is working together for my good.

I was getting on the freeway and I was already late, trying to get downtown LA and a car came up beside me and just almost ran me off the road. I was so afraid. I was so afraid and I realize sometimes that the root of being infuriated was that of what could've happened and so I thought I wish I had a BB gun or some right and I would kill somebody that could really inflict pain because when we are angry we want to retaliate, which means to return the punishment and so ready manage ourselves when it comes to that. And again that comes back to having a strong sense of grace and sampling to extend grace because you just like it nor that it is for you. You want to stop the flow of adrenaline.

You want you want to stay in control. You don't want that seesaw too high on the motion side but so true, and I actually was laughing as I was reading the book and looking at the prep I was mentioning to my wife, Jean, one of your stories which is so funny because I can relate to you and your husband had a 21 day fast and you go to a restaurant.

The buffet style restaurant and something went wrong and that was one of your examples were you kinda lost it, but I was laughing as I was with you guys be in the same clothes after not even for 21 days go to restaurants what happened and why did that set you off because it was those restaurants was like a smorgasbord buffet.

I put my purse down at the table and you know you can do that and this kind of enclosure came back and someone was at our table eating already tell you this because sometimes when the communist incident like that it was and they didn't look like us to let me say that I thought that lightweight waiter just superseded us and give us about our table like so they can find another that was what happened at all, but they fell so back I have my plate. My hands made and see the person on the floor. No and the legs that I'm sorry not you know so I can let them know I was upset but I was just. Since I know what the other seats in this restaurant you overreacting. That's a great example of how you got a good control and it's also an example of how you rush to judgment on things right that you could you fill in these blanks that the other person is not actually thinking or expressing and that can lead you down a bad path. It can, and that's why we just decided I get and read body the benefit of the yeah great strategy that no matter what happens. I'm assuming the worst. Okay, now let me parlay that into the cultural moment because I think that's a good on-ramp for that discussion when you look at it. The inability of people to give the benefit of the doubt is rampant right now. I mean, certainly in the political sphere that doesn't happen because both sides are trying to incriminate the other side so they can get more votes or whatever, but that is I think cascading down to the culture we have cable news and everything else that reinforces that opinion that you have of the other person, not the benefit of the doubt. How do we particularly how do we as Christians decouple from the toxic energy you know and have a healthier attitude in a cultural Malay like we see right now you ask how do we as Christians because I find that we are some of the biggest offenders telling every body. Do not put anything negative.

I am not political. Don't put anything negative on my face but listen to be an example in this area. We are not an example, I know Christians who want even call the current president's name and they comment 25 think that's the number and I think really we pray for those in authority. We got to go back to the book to go back to the Bible all authority is God. We need to begin to say okay God has chosen someone to be in authority has a will and a purpose, no matter what culture now Jim when you can't eat somebody they hate you right or worse just can't disagree and so I'm saying to those of us who really, really want to walk according to the word of God, can we start the set the example. Can we not been negative. Can we not be so slanted toward politics. At this point I'm almost convinced is best not to say anything, just pray I really am just as practical to be people that you been ministering to.

You are impactful in their life and the minute they hear you on this side of the political spectrum, then they don't like you anymore Timmy my messages bigger than politics right and Deborah mean another and obviously touchy subject but if we don't talk about.

I think people will question the lack of sincerity in our discussion, but racial tension is huge right now and you see black lives matters movement and politicians and how their responding in T5 is part of that equation. How do we in the Christian community and I grew up in LA, were you you live and you know it's very multiethnic. That was my experience, my school, I lived in Compton for third and fourth grade so I you know I had a really wide experience living with people were no I wasn't the dominant race in Compton that was I was the minority child but speak to that issue directly. You're an African-American woman you know what are we missing particularly Guinness Christians. What do we need to think about when it comes to ethnicity. I'm so glad you asked. And I've been writing about this and talking about it. I have put out a list of 10 things, like seek to do and 10 things Blacks need to do to break this racial divide. We began to understand each other. I have found consistently that people who have a negative attitude towards the opposite race.

They don't have friends of that race is the deal with all have to stop using this broad breasted to paint a racist, all bad, or whatever because there is a lot going on and it be just back up and say black lives do matter in one of the most infuriating things is for people to say all lies matter when we people say that this is a headset when we hear people say all lies matter.

We know that they don't care about back lies say they don't Just think they don't understand is like a house.

Your house is on fire and you and your neighbor comes I was house matters to you fire one that's been devastated right now and so and let me just say also that I don't embrace the tenets of the black lives matter organization, but the concept about black management. That's critical to get to know each other stories connect with each other. Let me understand you let you understand me and then with the repent, for the things that we did that we should have done, but I want to say this. You don't have to repeat if you haven't done anything wrong. And one of the reasons is hard to have this conversation with weights is because it's very uncomfortable but I tell everybody listen you know I'm always Enough money spent on something.

I was in a group and I set you on the slate when displacing you do it so you shouldn't feel guilty about the seams of your ancestors so give yourself a break because the guilt we keep it from reaching out and so we can reach out to each other. We really are not have a whole list of those things and I and I understand you will be posting that Blacks have to do something as well put away the broad question we can get stuck in the anger and we're going to have to take the initiative.

Most of the time to make you comfortable with us. I get saying that but I have experience in that area. I worked at a company and I was an affirmative action hire people to go to lunch and nobody would invite me well be a model of a shy self not after about a week of that when I saw a group gathered from my floor. My personal arm and I said I became a whole bunch of people.

When I left that company. I had my parties that's a great example in, but it still I realize the tension exists in perspective know people are not monolithic, even you know by definition, race, or faith, etc. we have a variety of denominations in the Christian faith. People say why is that right is there's different perspectives about what the Scriptures saying etc. but I think that's a good reminder for us to get to know people that don't look like us. That's a great thing to do, and particularly to get to know people within the body of Christ you know we shouldn't have the most segregated day of the of the week being Sunday, and I'm proud to go to church. That's multiethnic and you know it really gives us great diversity. Let's go to another aspect of anger. Deborah, we often hear that anger is a secondary emotion that there's something else occurring it. It's kind of underlying the anger motion one of those you identify sphere.

You mentioned that a moment ago. Let's tease that out a bit further why is fear or bitterness, perhaps, or unforgiveness.

Roots of anger well because again there is something before you feel anger, so let's get let's give an example that I gave it a bit earlier at the guy who almost made me wreck the car was at the base of that because he hurt myself or I could've died so that made me angry. I was really responding to the fact that I almost lost my life things I walked into a store about a year ago and I was on a Sunday afternoon. I was the only one in the store.

There were two clerks who didn't look like me and they never said hello and asked me can they help me then someone else came in right after that and they asked that now when I was just angry at first, I didn't jump to anger. I felt disregarded, disrespected, dismissed. So you have to identify what you are feeling and then ask yourself is, I tell myself is this fatal you get beyond it. Because by my own health.

I need not to be stewing on that I don't need to send that underground. I don't need to deal with that and so I may call the home office and report the incident because sometimes you need to do something. Sometimes you need to protest. That's why I believe in people protesting peacefully because if you don't protest in a way that advances your bow down the court and you just wasted time positive changes necessary. And that's so true. You also describe how feeling powerless can be that root of anger and that your touching on that maybe in the context of the culture right now.

Give us the perspective of powerlessness and how that drives people to fear, and then to anger. Well, when you state police brutality and then nothing is done then you felt like what Wes wears the whole out I lost my help, and that's one of the things I'm challenging black people to do. Don't lose your help because you lose your hope we'll see hope is energizing.

I got always think that somewhere down the line. Things are going to get better so I recently started to chronicle the history of the United States. I went from 1609 2020 and I think allow some progress has been made to slow hundred 11 years ago we brought to this country but some progress has been made, so you got your hope. You just gotta keep hoping and believing and doing your part and believing that even your individual track will be different. If you manage it differently.

Deborah I don't want to be insensitive, but I did hear something I want to repeat it and get your response to because again, so often it's this assumption that leads us down the wrong path, but sometimes if you look at something from a different perspective that can be enlightening and I would like your honest response to this, you know, when you look at the battle of slavery in the United States and you go back to the founding fathers, and I know statues are being torn down and there's anger toward that period of time someone said to me what people are failing to recognizes slavery as an institution slavery as a means of production, etc. was a 3000-year-old global tradition that human beings were using because that was the means to production and we can all agree that it was horrific.

In an terrible, but what the person said, though, is that these founding fathers. If you look at it.

They created the document were all men are created equal, and although they couldn't enact that at the moment.

That would've divided the country, etc. and maybe they should've found greater courage to attack it right then it did set up the runway to end slavery although it took 90 years and you think about that a 3000-year-old tradition.

My roots are Irish we were slaves to the British and some ways I think the American experience was far more horrific for the African-American community.

Obviously, but that idea that the they saw the future even though they couldn't enact it in that moment, and created a pathway for Abraham Lincoln to actually do that. How do you react to that perspective intentionally create a pathway. I think personally that took advantage of free labor when people are brought against their will, and keep in mind slaves were considered people they work they where I went 6/10% of the 610 seven yeah exactly. So I don't think envision that in fact, when I been studying that in doing that, that even when they did the Declaration of Independence and we were still slaves and so we do say that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator, but I'm about but didn't include the slaves, but that was a very divisive issue. Even then, I just think they took advantage of the situation and it is what it is you know you can't get stuck in that I don't give them a pass though because they couldn't stop it should've taken that long and in that context. Even with that clarification. Abraham Lincoln gets credit for. Obviously, acknowledging that there was an error there right in making that correction gets the credit. Because of the pressure that was put on to do that you have sent you and I listen I love I love everybody but I have to keep my eyes wide open as to what brought the pressure. Even the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was Lyndon Johnson was pressured by my new thinking in other states to get this out there so you know we have to keep the pressure on wheat we can't let Hank allow hearts that slavery was wrong and it was it was just wrong. I agree you know again that's why I so appreciate being able to have open discussion with Deborah.

This is been so good at so many levels. Personally, culturally, for the church etc. and what a great book taming your anger 30 days to taming your anger and like we said before, you are very popular here with the Focus on the Family listeners. People respond in people have been blessed. Hearing your comments and I hope today talking boldly about the things we talked about the again will be blessed by your perspective. Your sister in Christ, I love you and I'm so grateful for your input today. Thank you so much for being with us. Thank you. And you guys suggest that since taking test without attending to really express happening today about these things.

God bless you and online. We have a number of resources for you. We got those two lists the Deborah has provided for us 10 things you can do to bridge that racial divide along with her book 30 days to taming your anger and if you can please make a generous monthly pledge to Focus on the Family because her support allows us to budget and plans to meet the needs of families across the globe and make a pledge of any about to say thank you by sending a copy of Deborah's book 30 days to taming your anger understand times might be tough can't commit to a monthly pledge.

One time, and will send it to you as well donate online or when you call us the details are in the Jim Daly and the entire team asked for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive.

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