FYI For My Readers

I just wanted to thank all of you for your continued support of my blog site. As most of you already know; we are in the process of moving from Okinawa, Japan to North Dakota, USA. The next few weeks will be a whirlwind for us as we pack up and move across the ocean to our new location. I am going to assume that my time on the computer will be short intervals whenever I can get a moment (wherever internet is available). That being said; I will probably not be posting any new posts until we get to ND. Even then, I am not sure how long it will be before we will get a house and internet set up.

Feel free to continue commenting on posts or e-mailing me personally. I will check in as often as possible!

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The Shack

Here is my “review” of the book, “The Shack.” I wrote this and e-mailed it to all of my friends in August 2008 after reading “The Shack” for my church’s book club. Since the book is still making its rounds in the Christian community and since it came up in conversation in the comments section of another blog; I thought that sharing this would be relevant.

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I recently read a popular book called “The Shack” by William P. (Paul) Young. I am giving you my opinion of this book now because I can find a ton more positive reviews about this book than negative. Especially within the Christian community; most of the reviews/comments I have read give mostly praise and “how this book changed my life” perspectives. Personally, for a book that many people consider as Christian Fiction; I find this book to be mostly unbiblical and very questionable. I was going to attempt to write a long overview of the book with my side notes, opinions, and scripture. I decided not to do this because most of the problems I have with the book are major theological issues. Instead, I will refer you to a couple of reviews that I found helpful in my quest to better understand “The Shack.” Both confirmed my issues with the book but also mentioned things that I did not notice during my first reading of it.

I highly recommend that you read these reviews.

  • The second review was written by James B. De Young (Update: At the time of my original blog post, this review was available for free in PDF form. It has been published since then and is now available for purchase. It is called Burning Down The Shack).

If you have not read “The Shack;” please know that I am NOT recommending this book. If you prefer to read it before hearing my “spoilers” and opinions or reading other reviews; I encourage you to read it with discernment. I recommend reading the above reviews afterward to give you better insight on what the Bible says compared to the book’s point of view. (And compare the book’s “theology” with the Holy Bible; not with what “feels good.”)

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Summary of “The Shack”:

This book is a fiction story about a man (named Mack) whose young daughter (Missy) was kidnapped and brutally murdered. Afterwards, he lives with “The Great Sadness.” A few years later, Mack receives a note in the mail saying: “Mackenzie, It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. –Papa”

It is revealed early on that “Papa” is Nan ’s (Mack’s wife) favorite name for God. Mack decides to go to the shack (place where Missy was murdered) to find out if God would be there.

At the shack; Mack meets the three persons of God (Papa-God the Father, Jesus, and Sarayu-the Holy Spirit). Throughout Mack’s stay at the shack; he has detailed and emotional conversations about love, forgiveness, who God really is, etc.  with each person of the Trinity.

Towards the end of the book; Mack forgives his daughter’s killer and becomes at peace with God (instead of being angry with him). “The Great Sadness” leaves and his life is changed.

*****

Before “The Shack”:

Before I read “The Shack” I did not know anything about it. It was chosen for my church’s Book Discussion Group. My life had been very busy with directing our church Vacation Bible School, directing the church Women’s Council, my home business, chasing my 19 month old daughter, and managing the rest of my while my husband was overseas with a military assignment–all while I was 5 months pregnant with my second daughter.

Although I had participated in a previous book discussion; the most recent one I missed because I could not find time to read the chosen book before the set date. After VBS was over I realized that the book meeting for “The Shack” was in two weeks. I was told that it was an easy read and that several people had read the book for the discussion. So…I requested a copy of the book hoping that I would have time to read it. I was able to read it within 3 days…

*****

After “The Shack”:

The first several chapters were emotional for me as the author reveals Mack’s tragic circumstances and how he handled them. I couldn’t help but think how  I would be able to cope if I lost my daughter in a similar way. I can only imagine the depression that I would fall under and the anger that I would have towards God and the person responsible for her loss; if something ever happened to her. My tears fell in sympathy to Mack’s turmoil.

My problems with the book start when Mack meets God. I turned down corners pages that I found disturbing statements, ideas, etc. on them. I wanted to find scripture later to back up the issues that I had. As the book went on; my discomfort with it went up.

When I finished “The Shack” the thing that disturbed me the most was the fact that it had been chosen for the church book club. I assumed when I received the book that the church was promoting it as a good book. I immediately e-mailed my husband asking him to pray for me as I research the scripture and other reviews. I wanted to be sure that I could back up my problems with the book; with scripture. I started praying for my church discussion group and the discussion we were going to have soon. I hoped and prayed that I was not the only one who had issues with “The Shack.”

*****

Good Points:

Like I sort of mentioned before, the author created a very tragic and emotional story line. I love books that are able to tug at my heart strings and cause me to cry, laugh, etc. If a book can do this; it is easy to get absorbed into it as if I am there too. I can imagine the characters, scenery, etc. in my head and it becomes like a movie as I am reading. This book was able to do this for me.

Mack experienced a tragedy that some people may be able to relate to. The circumstances may not be the same for everyone; but anyone who has something tragic happen in their life goes through a variety of emotions and coping mechanisms. Mack seems to struggle with issues about God that many people struggle with. All of us have low points in our lives where we give up, turn to addictions, crawl under the covers and never want to come out, cry, etc. Ultimately, God wants us to turn to him; but a lot of people tend to dwell in their misery before they do.

Mack’s road to forgiveness is long but he does eventually come to forgive the person who hurt his daughter. Because of this; his burden of depression was lifted and he is able to comfort his family and help them through their depression.

*****

Problem Areas:

Like I mentioned before; I am not going to go into detail about the problems. Instead, I recommend reading the above mentioned reviews. They both go into great detail about the problems and use scripture to explain what is different between the theology of the book and the Bible.

The issues that I had with the book include: God (the Father and the Holy Spirit) is portrayed as a woman, Bible is undermined, God doesn’t judge (because of love), sin is it’s own punishment, Jesus is the “best” way; not the “only” way to the Father, Universal Reconciliation is portrayed throughout the book, institutions such as government, seminary, marriage, etc. are portrayed as not of God, there is no authority within the Trinity, authority within humans is “man’s problem” not God’s, and the list goes on and on.

*****

My Book Club:

We had a great discussion about the book. I think that everyone came with the understanding that the Bible is the final authority. Some people (like me) were very passionate about pointing out the problems in the book. Others said that they read it as a fiction book and filtered out the bad theology; knowing that it was untrue based on what they know to be true. Someone else came with a completely different view point. She focused on the Missy murder storyline and was more upset about that than anything else. But when others brought up problem areas; she asked very good questions that created even more great discussion.

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As someone told me, and I told my discussion group…

”In the end it doesn’t matter what we believe, think or feel about something.

All that matters is what God tells us in the Holy Bible.”

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“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

The Pretty Princess Phenomenon

I have been bombarded lately with differing views of the Princess culture that is influencing young girls today. Movies, books, toys, clothes, etc. are all feeding the princess frenzy.

In Dr. James Dobson’s book, Bringing Up Girls, his daughter Danae described why the princess story line is so captivating:

“1) Beauty. Every girl wants to be considered physically attractive, and princesses take it to the highest level…”

“2) Song. Every Disney princess has a beautiful voice, and some of the story lines are based around that talent…”

“3) Beautiful clothes. Princesses wear lovely gowns in bright colors, and little girls love to mimic their heroine’s attire by donning similar costumes…”

“4) Handsome suitor. A princess is always pursued by an attractive male prospect, and he’s usually a prince–someone any girl in the kingdom would love to have. Through all the ups and downs in the story line, a princess always gets her man in the end…”

“5) Rags to riches... One thing is true for all: in the end they all live in a castle with the man of their dreams and with riches galore…”

“6) Happily ever after. This is true for every Disney princess, but unfortunately not for the rest of us. Nevertheless, the concept of marrying a handsome prince and living happily ever after (no conflicts or problems) is appealing to young dreamers who hope that one day they will have the same privilege…”

“7) Dreams coming true. A princess expresses her wishes and dreams early in the story and always sees them come to life in the end…”

“To be a princess is to be considered beautiful, to be pursued, and to see all your hopes and dreams come true. Now who wouldn’t want to be a princess?”

Dr. Dobson quotes another woman (Riann Zuetel) as giving another perspective:

“I think wanting to be a princess is more than just feeling beautiful. Girls and women long to be treated like they are something special and worthwhile. Our culture often treats women like brainless sex objects who are put on this planet to satisfy men’s desires, sometimes at the expense of their own sense of self-worth… When a girl sees herself as a princess, she feels valued for who she is. Being beautiful is just the icing on the cake, so to speak. She is equal, worthwhile, and special. Most important, she has the confidence to wait for Prince Charming to come and not settle for second best or a loser, no matter how long it takes.”

The other side of the story is explained in the July 2010 issue of Parents Magazine. An article called “The Princess Diaries,” written by Gayle Forman, suggests that the princess fairy-tale culture is responsible for young girls growing up too fast and becoming “racy.”

“Around age 6, a girl’s interest in Belle or Tiana will probably give way to a fascination with iCarly and High School Musical. She may also become more interested in edgier clothing, from short skirts to T-shirts with slogans such as “Flirt” and “Daddy’s Expensive Little Princess… There’s a name marketers use for the idea of pushing young girls to dress and act grown up: KAGOY, and acronym for Kids Are Getting Older Younger. It started more than a decade ago with the newly branded “tween” market and has shifted toward ever-younger girls–who are being encouraged by companies to wear makeup, high heels… and skimpy crop tops…”

“…there’s no doubt that marketers are amplifying both princess culture and the precocious look that many young girls gravitate toward. Although you may have pretended to be Cinderella when you were a kid, your daughter likely takes the royal role more seriously and might want the Tinkerbell sheets, the Little Mermaid wallpaper, a Disney Princess kitchen set, and a Barbie Sparkle Lights Doll to fuel it. And while you may have borrowed lipstick and mascara from your mom’s drawer just for fun, your 6-year-old might take it one step further by buying a $9 preteen makeup kit with her allowance.”

Dr. Dobson addresses this view by saying:

“I’ve seen no evidence to support the supposition that little girls who think of themselves as princesses are more likely to become brats or strippers when adolescence approaches. That strikes me as ridiculous.”

“Admittedly, however, life is not always a Cinderella journey… But we are here talking about children, after all. There will be plenty of time for them to learn about pain, sorrow, and other intricacies of adult life. Or as one mother put it, they have the rest of their lives to become jaded. Let’s let children be children while they are children.”

Earlier in the chapter, Dr. Dobson actually suggests that the princesses promote purity:

“Modeling virtue is one of the reasons I like the movement. In a subtle way, the Disney stories present a wholesome image of virginity until marriage and then lifelong love thereafter. They also promote femininity, kindness, courtesy, the work ethic, service to others, and “good vibes” about one’s personhood. Where else in the popular culture do you find these values represented in such an attractive way?”

Another big concern that parents have with the princess culture is that it leads children to think that every girl should be beautiful, thin, and “perfect.” Dr. Dobson also addresses this:

“Not every little girl can be “the fairest in the land” and look like Ariel or Sleeping Beauty. There is, therefore, an aspect to the princess fantasy that parents should recognize and respond to with wisdom and sensitivity. An overemphasis on physical attractiveness throughout childhood can create an expectation that some kids will never achieve…”

As someone who loves the Disney movies; I have never had a problem with the princesses. It wasn’t until recently that I made a decision to get rid of some of our Disney movies which included a few of the princess themes. My reasons had nothing to do with the princesses themselves but because I didn’t want to expose our girls (ages 1 & 3) to the scary images along with the evil things portrayed in those particular movies. We are perfectly fine with them liking the Princesses themselves–and they do love the princesses! We just decided that there are other ways to let them pretend, play with, see, etc. the princesses without them watching the movies.

Personally, I think that pop culture is more responsible for sexualization of younger kids than the princess movement is. Consider real superstars such as Brittney Spears, Miley Cirus, Angelina Jolie, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, etc. These real idols tend to dress provocatively. As girls get older; I believe that they look up to actresses and musicians more so than fictional fairy tales. I believe that clothing lines are mimicking real people and not the princesses.

Bottom line is that we are the parents. If we have a problem with what clothes are on the market; then we should find a place that sells what fits our standard (I always had to have a one piece swimsuit). If we have a problem with a 6 year-old buying makeup with their allowance; then we should tell them that they are not allowed to buy it (I wasn’t allowed to wear make up in public until I was in 7th grade). I agree with Dr. Dobson’s view on the parent’s responsibility and so I will allow him to have the last word:

“[We should] carefully scrutinize and select that which will be allowed into the lives of our children. Our job is to teach and interpret for them what they need to understand. They will learn far more directly from us than from storybook fantasies. The princess movement can be handled in this manner. Ultimately, mothers will have to decide whether or not to introduce their girls to this and other forms of make-believe. It is my belief that the good outweighs the bad in the princess movement…”

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Bringing Up Girls: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Women

By Dr. James Dobson / Tyndale House

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Sermon Jam: “Because He Is Good”

I have been following Theologigal for a few weeks. Her latest post has a great video which sums up why I need Jesus. I encourage you to view the video and her commentary here.

“So often when Christians hear or read a call to repentance they think, “Yes, that’s so true! People have sinned! People need to repent!” But the word, “people” includes you, and before you can think of anyone else in your life who you think needs repentance you first need to think about yourself, how you have sinned, how you need to repent, before you fall into the trap of being a finger-pointing Pharisee (Matt. 7:5).”

She’s Gonna Blow: Warning Signs (Ch. 3)

In chapter 3, Warning Signs, Julie Ann Barnhill discusses “How to Know When You’re Gonna Blow.”

“There are warning signs and signals for just about everything that can be potentially dangerous. Train whistles and crossing lights caution motorists to slow down and be observant. Tornado sirens drone loudly… However, unless you’re trained to recognize these warning signs, they are ineffective in helping you remain safe and protected. You have to know the warning signs that spell imminent danger–especially when you’re the one in danger of exploding in anger.”

Warning Sign #1: Swarms of Smaller Earthquakes

The author talks about everyday things and chores which may not cause an explosion themselves but together they build up until the explosion finally happens. She says that “…hours before Mount Saint Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, hundreds of small earthquakes were recorded in the state of Washington…”

Laundry Room Rumbles: Piles of laundry all needing to be washed, dried, folded, and put away.

Kitchen Quakes: Crusty dishes, crumbs on counter, spills on the floor, etc.

Technology Tremors: Loosing reports before they were saved on the computer, messing with vacuums or other appliances that won’t work, etc.

Workplace Woes: Dealing with supervisors, stressors, and pressures at work before going home.

These are some but definately not all of the possible “earthquakes” that could be present any given day. Barnhill suggests finding a way to put visual stressors (such as the piles of laundry) “out of sight until you can do something about them.” She also suggests reflecting on Jonah and his complaining when he should have been thanking God. “Instead of fretting over the problem, try thanking God for the gift of the computer or the washing machine, which has saved you so much trouble in the past. A little perspective and a little gratitude can really help you keep your cool!”

My main “earthquakes” include:

~ When my girls are getting into or doing something that they know they are not supposed to do (as in they have been told repeatedly and disciplined for it in the past)

~When my girls argue, fight, hurt each other, don’t share, etc

~When things do not go as planned

~Lack of sleep

Warning Sign #2: Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

“As a volcano nears eruption it will release toxic gases that can endanger human life and health.” Here she discusses body language and speech such as: angry retorts, sarcasm, and little barbs. She recognized the toxicity of her speech when her son started to repeat her facial expressions and speech.

I would like to add swearing to the list. I find it absolutely insulting and rude when I hear others swear around me or at me. Yet, it is a habit that in today’s culture is generally socially acceptable. Although there was a time where I would never swear; over the years certain words became habits. Not in everyday language but when I am angry or I hurt myself it is easy for me to say them. This is one habit that I definitely do not want my girls to pick up.

Warning Sign #3: Physical Swelling of the Slope

“As a volcano nears eruption, its sides will start puffing out from the pressure inside… It simply doesn’t look right–and experts know that funny appearance spells trouble.” The author goes on to describe a story where her anger became visibly apparent to everyone around. Her husband saw the warning sign and did what he could to calm the situation.

When I am starting to get angry; I feel like I am boiling inside. I am pretty sure that my face gets red and my eyes show intense fury. My mom has always said that my face generally says it all before I speak. You know the saying, “If looks could kill…” I generally feel like I have been attacked in some way (Shane says or does the wrong thing, Kendal refuses to obey, Audrey is screaming because she doesn’t want a nap, etc.).

One thing that I have been doing (mainly within the past month) to keep me from exploding is listening to praise music. For some reason the calm worship music helps to keep me more relaxed and peaceful. I can’t say that it 100% has stopped me from exploding but I can say that the explosions are few when I have the music playing in the background. This may work for me because I sing along with the music which keeps me in a worship mindset. I am relaxed so it takes longer to get me to the point of blown out anger.

At the end of this chapter, Barnhill suggests that after an explosion happens to stop and write down what happened right before the explosion. This may help you recognize triggers to your anger so that you can avoid those triggers in the future. I have slowly started to do this but it has not become a habit for me yet so I often forget.

What are your personal warning signs and what things have you learned to do to help diffuse your explosions before they happen?

(P.S. this question is NOT rhetorical! I really would love to hear what others do so that maybe I can learn some more tips to incorporate into my life.)

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She’s Gonna Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger

By Julie Ann Barnhill / Harvest House Publishers

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I would love to hear your thoughts and stories if you have ever dealt with anger in your life!

Please feel free to comment on my posts and/or e-mail me at:  hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

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You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.

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The Countdown Continues

We have less than a month left in Okinawa. Last night it was really starting to hit me that our time here is running short.

We still have so much to do. I am still trying to organize all of our belongings and determine what things go with what shipment. Our refrigerator, washer, and dryer leave on Wednesday so I am trying to use up our food and catch up on laundry. Our express shipment leaves on Thursday so I am trying to determine what clothes and items will be going on the plane with us. Our household goods shipment (all the big stuff and anything left over) leaves on Friday so I am trying to make sure that we don’t have too much weight. I had a whole area set aside in our house to put the items going in the express shipment. I took a nap all evening; when I woke up the girls had completely destroyed that area by opening bins and dumping them all over the house. Shane folded most of our mounds of laundry last night. When I got up this morning the girls completely destroyed most of what he accomplished by throwing everything on the floor. Needless to say my house looks like a tornado went through it.

We are still waiting for a flight itinerary. I really can’t make layover plans and arrangements until I have that! Fortunately, God has blessed us with friends who are allowing us to stay at their house if we have an overnight layover in Seattle.

Things are finally starting to falling into place. We sold one car today! Hopefully we will find someone who buys the other one. We also found out that Keenan (our dog) will be able to go on our plane with us. Which will save us a lot of money.

Like I have said several times before; I am really going to miss Okinawa. I am going to miss the friends we have made, our church home, the food, the shopping (I went to the 100 Yen store for the last time yesterday), etc. I know that God has a plan and purpose for us in North Dakota. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us!

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Freedom From the Spirit of Anger-Part 2

To recap; here are the main outline points from yesterday (See Freedom From the Spirit of Anger-Part 1 for more on each point):

1. The Bible mentions both personal and impersonal spirits.

2. We must “try” the spirits coming from our and other people’s spirits to make sure they are of God.

3. There is a great possibility that we may not realize it when our spirit is putting off the wrong spirit.

4. Victory in the area of the spirit others sense coming from you is more important than victory in the area of actions others see you doing.

5. There is no Biblical justification for either anger or a spirit of anger.

Continuing the sermon Freedom From the Spirit of Anger by Dr. S. M. Davis; we finally address a couple of the statements that Christians often use to justify their anger.

Two questions that are commonly asked by people who defend anger are:

1. “But didn’t Jesus get angry?”

  • The following words occur a total of 584 time in the Bible: Anger, Angry, Wrath, Wroth, Fury, Furious, & Indignation. 470 of those times (80%) appear to be God’s wrath (Numbers 11:10, Joshua 7:1, 2 Samuel 6, 1 Kings 14:15, 1 Kings 16:33, Isaiah 30:27, etc.)
  • The only time that the Bible says that Jesus used anger was in Mark 3:5: “He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”
  • Jesus seemed to get angry most at hypocrisy. Twice Jesus seemed to be angry when he cleansed the temple (John 2:12-25Matthew 21:12-17). Jesus seemed to get angry at the Pharisees in Matthew 23.
  • Isn’t Jesus our example? In most areas; yes he is our example. But there are a couple of things that Jesus did; that if we are wise, we probably won’t try:

1. Jesus, in a weakened state after 40 days of fasting was lead directly in the presence of Satan to be tempted. Jesus proved that He is God; we would probably prove that we are not God. Only two chapters later (Matthew 6:13) Jesus said that we should pray “lead us not into temptation” The best way to deal with temptation is to stay away from it.

2. Another thing that Jesus did that we should not do; is use anger. God’s anger is spiritual and produces justice. Man’s anger is carnal and produces injustice. God can righteously get angry; and then righteously take action that man cannot righteously take because man isn’t God.

  • The purpose of wrath is vengeance. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19 (KJV)
    • Vengeance is not given to us. Ezekiel 24:7-8
    • If a parent spanks a child while angry; he has not disciplined the child. He is carrying out vengeance upon the child. He violates Genesis 18:19, Luke 1:17 which require that a parent be just. This can easily cause a child to be disobedient or rebellious.
    • When a man is defending his family he needs courage and discernment not anger. Angry people act out of rage instead of reason.
    • Anyone who says anything in anger will probably say the wrong thing. But if they do say the the right thing; it will probably be said the wrong way. (Proverbs 14:17)

  • What are the results of an angry spirit in the pulpit?
    • Continual strife among pastor and deacons, pastor and people, and people and people.
    • Empty pews and people going to churches that don’t preach the Bible.
    • A plague of anger is spread throughout homes, businesses, and society
      • “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Proverbs 22:24-25
    • Vengeance is being handled by someone not Biblically qualified to handle it.
    • It causes us to lose the battle to spread God’s truth among the nations of the world.
      • The fruit of the spirit is most powerful when it is presented with the fruit of the spirit; not anger. (Love, Joy, Peace, Long suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance).

2. “How about the verse that says, “be ye angry and sin not?” Ephesians 4:26 (KJV)

  • Notice first the number of clear scriptures that say to get rid of anger completely. One of them being only 5 verses away.
  • Notice secondly that the Greek verb tense for “Be ye angry” is a present-passive imperative.
    1. Present = Now
    2. Passive = You are being acted upon
    3. Imperative = Command
    • Meaning= There are going to be times when you feel something or someone working on you to make you angry. Recognize that! Don’t let it happen. Don’t sin by getting angry.
  • You may not be able to stop the initial emotion you feel that leads you into the sin of anger. But you can with God’s help; refuse to be angry, to express anger itself, or allow anger to deepen and turn into wrath.
  • The problem with the world’s reasoning that its okay to get angry:
    • Anger is not something you can properly control. You can’t have “a little bit” of anger. You cannot have a little adultery, a little idolatry, a little murder, or a little anger.
    • The world’s reasoning about controlling anger causes us to miss God’s way to control anger.
      • ” It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

 

10 Steps to Conquer the Spirit of Anger

  1. Recognize the problem and its seriousness.
  2. Desire the victory enough to cry out to God.
  3. Repent of the sin.
  4. Confess the sin of fore-fathers and ask God to break any curses coming down the generations.
  5. Ask God to take back the ground Satan has taken because of anger.
  6. See the connection between anger and lust in Matthew 5:21-32.
  7. Watch for people and things that are gong to come your way to make you angry.
  8. Purpose to enter the presence of family members and business associates with praise.
  9. Ask God daily to fill you with the Holy Spirit and to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life.
  10. Make yourself fully accountable.

*****

This sermon (both Parts 1 & 2) caused me to completely change my views on anger. For most of my life; I believed that I had every right to be angry for the bad things that have happened in my life. I used the exact arguments that Dr. Davis addresses in this sermon to justify my anger. I said to myself (and others), “Jesus got angry so it must be okay.” I most often am told that it is okay to have “righteous anger,” or “anger is not a sin but what you do when you get angry can be sin,” “you have to release your anger in a healthy way,” etc. I lived and believed these statements and I never stopped being angry! I never got over my anger so it turned into bitterness (I will address a sermon on bitterness in the near future). And now I am the wife and mom who is angry and bitter.

Only by God’s grace did I recognize the ugliness my heart and only through His power am I slowly changing. I started to look at my anger as sin. So now I know that I am wrong and that I need God’s forgiveness every time I get angry. I am not judging anyone else to determine if anger is sin for everyone. Maybe it isn’t; I don’t know. That is between each person and God. I just know that God’s Word spoke to me on a whole new level when I heard the message of this sermon. It wasn’t until I started facing my anger as sin and stopped justifying that I began to really dealing with my problems with anger. Don’t get me wrong. I still have a long way to go. I still have to break all of my bad habits and start replacing them with new ones. This is still a daily struggle for me but God is the Potter and I am the clay. He is still molding me and making me into the woman that He sees in the completed picture.

*****

Freedom From The Spirit Of Anger by: Dr. S. M. Davis

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I would love to hear your thoughts and stories if you have ever dealt with anger in your life!

Please feel free to comment on my posts and/or e-mail me at:  hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

*****

You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.

Image found on Google Images.