Man #1: Sometimes when I’m angry and I’m cut off in traffic, I’ll pound on the roof of my car, and I’ve actually created little dents in the top of my car.
Woman #1: I grit my teeth. I do, I grit my teeth.
Man #2: I slammed the door so hard and broke the window.
Woman #2: Well, I’m a high school teacher so sometimes if I’m real uptight with my kids at the end of the day, on the way home I go out in my car and scream.
Man #3: On the golf course I’ll smack a golf ball on the grass — whack!
Woman #3: Sometimes I’ve been known to throw the remote control (laughs) at my husband! (laughs)
John Fuller: Well, how do you handle that inevitable anger that comes your way? Do you bury it, or do you blow up? On today’s Focus on the Family, we’ll be examining some healthier ways to manage anger, whether you’re dealing with mild irritations or full-fledged rage. We’ll share some Bible-based wisdom on how to keep your emotional displeasure in check. Thanks for joining us today. I’m John Fuller and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.
Jim Daly: Uh, John, I don’t know about you, but have you noticed there’s a lot of angry people in the world today? And it’s all over the place.
John: It seems to have increased in the past few years.
Jim: Well, we see it in politics, uh, battles over religious freedom, uh, there are racial tensions and hostility toward men and women. It’s like wherever we can find a difference, somebody’s going to exploit that and try to push you to being angry at the other group, and I think some people refer to that as tribalism. But anger erupts in so many unexpected places, like in sports. Jean went to one of the boys’ baseball games when they were ninth or tenth grade and she said the dads were just terrible, I mean, getting on their kids for not hitting the ball and, I mean, it just kind of comes out, uh, all over the place.
John: Yeah. When you, when you said sports, I thought, “No, I expect to see some anger in sports.” I wasn’t thinking kids’ sports. You’re right. There is-
Jim: Yeah, (laughs) and even the Little League lately.
John: It’s just kind of permeated. Even kids have to deal with this-
Jim: Oh, it’s amazing.
John: … and it seems to be part of, oh, I guess what theologians would call the human condition, our fallen state, our sinful nature.
Jim: It does feel, though, like, uh, a can of angriness has been popped open spiritually and kind of the vapor’s spreading all across the country. I tend to look at it like that. I’m sure anger’s been around forever, but it just seems more intense today.
Jim: And, you know, James 1:19 reminds to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. That’s the instruction given to the church. Ephesians 4:6 says be angry and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger. So anger in itself is not the main problem, it’s how we manage it, and that’s what we’re going to explore today.
John: Right. And Deborah Pegues is with us. She is a popular guest. Every time she’s here, we have a lot of response (laughing). She’s a certified behavioral consultant, a Bible teacher, an international speaker. Uh, she’s written more than 18 books, and the one we’ll hear more about today is, um, called 30 Days to Taming Your Anger: How to Find Peace When Irritated, Frustrated, or Infuriated.
Jim: Who doesn’t need that book (laughing)?
John: Well, stop by our website to get a copy. It’s focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: Deborah, welcome back to Focus.
Deborah Pegues: Thank you so much and I’m not mad as H (laughing).
Jim: Right. Well, that’s good. I’m glad to hear that (laughs).
Deborah: You know, there was a movie that said that, and I’m not going to take it anymore.
Deborah: So I’m just delighted to be here.
Jim: No kidding. I mean, that’s the, the right attitude for us believers, right? I mean, that, that’s the key thing for us to live this life at peace-
Deborah: At peace.
Jim: … with as many as possible.
Deborah: Absolutely. And I am glad you said that, and I love the scriptures that you gave ahead of time. They’ll be foundational to our discussion. And I’m almost to the point where I think that believers are the only ones that’s going to have hope in managing this anger thing.
Jim: Oh, I think so-
Jim: … I mean, because we have a way to do it. Um, let’s start with your family of origin. You came from a family that expressed anger, I believe, and you kind of learned how to dish it out pretty good.
Jim: What was going on?
Deborah: … that’s … I like that you said, so kindly, that they expressed anger (laughing).
Jim: Well, that’s what we do, isn’t it?
Deborah: We, we, we … I, I think that was more than … it was just spewed anger all of the time.
Deborah: My dad was always angry. We, we had a household of nine and I’m … I tried to figure out reasons why he may have been so angry when I consider that anger is an emotion of protest when you think about it at its core, I’m protesting something, and perhaps he was just protesting his reality. But my father left a legacy of anger. All of my brothers would … uh, uh, even to this day, uh, they have challenges with anger, and I thought I had, had really escaped it. I thought, “I’m the calm one,” but I found out I was expressing mine in a different way.
Jim: And what was that (laughing)?
Deborah: Just being syrupy with that syrupy sarcasm-
Deborah: … nice putdown in the name of Jesus (laughs).
Jim: Is that a form of anger?
Deborah: Sar- sarcasm?
Deborah: Yes, it is (laughs).
Jim: Uh-oh. I haven’t, uh, put that one before the Lord. I probably (laughs) need to get that one to him. That’s amazing.
Deborah: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. But I, I realized how detrimental it was to, just to, just to me and, and it’s, it’s, you know what? It’s not fun to be around an angry person.
Jim: Yeah. That’s true.
Jim: You’ve identified three degrees of anger and those were manifested one time when you were driving in traffic. I love the driving in traffic (laughing) analogy. This is my favorite anger.
John: You identify with this.
Jim: I identify. I have turned over a leaf in this area. I’m so proud of myself (laughing).
Deborah: Well, in- indeed. I know what you’re saying, you’re proud of what God has done in you.
Jim: Yes, exactly.
Deborah: I understand that, yeah (laughs).
Jim: Thank you for that humility slap, but it’s true.
Deborah: Well, it’s true.
Jim: The … but what happened in your context with traffic, what was the example?
Deborah: Well, you know, L.A.’s known for its traffic and I wa- wanted to run downtown one day and so I was … I only had a few minutes to get back, so I got on the freeway, and I looked up and this truck was just on my tail, um, just tailgating big time, and I was just so irritated with that. I’m thinking, “You see the traffic in front of me, you know I can’t go around. Why are you doing that?” So I just felt really irritated. I started to pump the brakes and just, you know, really slow down ’cause that’s my way of retaliating, really slow down, I’ll teach you (laughing) to express, uh, uh, impatience with me.
Jim: Not a good idea.
Deborah: Not a good idea. But just, uh, so when I decided to do that, then I just said, “Okay, let me just do something else,” so I got over and, and, before I knew it, something else was going on and then, as I went to get over, and somebody cut me off on the shoulder and it almost … it just scared me so much. I was infuriated. I thought, “I wish I had a gun,” but not the kind you shoot people with, just the traffic gun that you, you just-
Jim: Oh, there you go, like a speeder.
Deborah: … that kind. Now it hasn’t been invented yet (laughing).
Deborah: I didn’t want to harm anybody, I just wanted to teach them don’t do that to me, because that’s what angers about. It’s protesting. I’m protesting how you’re violating my freeway rights, (laughs) my, my right to just drive freely like this. And so in, in, I’d say, in a minute, I had, I had experienced irritation, frustration, and infuriation.
Jim: Those are the three types of anger?
Deborah: Those are the three levels, and they have different causes and durations, and we all express them differently.
Jim: Say them again so I can catch them.
Deborah: … that’s that mild displeasure.
Deborah: Frustration, someone is impeding your progress. You, you have a goal, you have a plan, you’re trying to get somewhere, and somebody’s precluding you from doing that. And then infuriation, now I’m just downright mad (laughs).
Deborah: I’m, I’m furious. I’m furious at it and I’m protesting that. Yeah. And, and it was interesting. Since anger is a secondary emotion, and I really want to drive that point home, uh, anger is- isn’t what you feel at first. You feel something else. There’s a primary emotion that drives your anger. So I’m feeling violated. I’m feeling, I’m feeling ignored. I’m feeling disrespected.
Deborah: Yeah, humiliated, all of those things, and it helps to identify what am I feeling, what that’s primary emotion, and how can I deal with it effectively at this point?
Jim: So looking at irritation, for example, uh, where does that come from and how do we keep it from growing into something far worse?
Deborah: I think you have to … there was a song once that said, “I just did me some talking to myself (laughing).” Well, sometimes you have to really talk to yourself and ask yourself, “Now why am I feeling this, is this reasonable, and how can I respond in a God-honoring way?” That’s why I feel today’s discussion is really targeted to Christians and, and all of those who want to get on that Christian bandwagon, it’s not a bandwagon, let’s get on this train, because we can’t do this in our own strength. You see where society is going. We, we can’t just count to 10 and make a New Year’s resolution that, from now on, I’m going to be this way. We have never needed the fruit of the spirit more than we do right now.
Jim: Let me ask you in that regard … I totally agree with you, a- absolutely. The, the difficulty is that should be a distinguishing mark of the Christian that we don’t behave in the way the world behaves. Why, why are we falling short so often in that space? Why can’t we do it?
Deborah: I think we’ve gotten too worldly. We, we, we’ve allowed social media … and I read an article and there was this TV special that talked about how social media is really driving this spirit of anger because you get all of this engagement where you can tell people off and you can hide behind a tweet or a text or what, whatever it is, and not have face-to-face confrontation like that, but it’s out of control. And I’m bothered to find that so many Christians are perpetuating that, that kind of anger. We can’t afford to do that, Jim. We’re giving God a bad reputation. We’re giving Christianity a bad reputation. And, when we stop and say, “How can we do this?”, I can say, “Listen, I have the fruit of the spirit, I have temperance. I can temper my responses. I have patience and, and long-suffering. I don’t have to respond and say, ‘Stop irritating me. Stop creating displeasure for me.’ I can sit there, at some point, and bear it, but I can also express it and say, ‘I don’t like it.’” It’s okay to say, “I don’t like it.” The Bible says, “Be angry, but say it not.” I can be angry. I can, I can protest whatever is going on, but there’s got to be a God-honoring way and I need to stop and ask God, in that moment, “What is your way? Do I say something? Do I say nothing?” Some offenses, or whatever, you’re supposed to overlook. The Bible says that, and I think it’s in Proverbs 19, that a man’s wisdom gives him patience and it is to his glory to overlook an offense, but not today. Today, in this cancel culture, we are, we don’t overlook anything. In fact, we cancel you and anybody associated with you. We don’t like them either (laughs).
Jim: No, that’s so true and, and, again, the point there being that we as Christians should be demonstrating a different way.
Deborah: We have to, and I think it’s just time to go back to basic Christian principles. Where is the love? Where is the patience? Well, again, that doesn’t emanate from us, that comes from the spirit that is in us, so we’re going to have to, more than ever, connect to the spirit.
Jim: Yeah. Okay, moving to frustration. All these things overlap, obviously. Expectations can also fall into the frustration category. But you have a story about a series, I think, of frustrating circumstances in your life where you left a job that you loved and then developed, uh, a neurological condition. Wh- what was going on and how did that make you maybe a little upset with the Lord even?
Deborah: I was really indeed frustrated with God because, after all this time at a job I really did indeed love, I stepped out and, within months, I, I had, uh, I developed a condition called trigeminal neuralgia and it made me … it rendered me speechless at times and I had just started a career speaking and writing. I’m like, “God, this isn’t funny (laughing).”
Jim: Now, I mean, have you really thought about that? Why did that happen, do you think, if you can answer it?
Deborah: Well, I don’t know. I, I, I don’t know, but I said, “You know what? If God called me to do this, then I’m going to put Him on the spot. I’m not going to cancel a single speaking engagement. I’m going to show up and, if I can’t speak, God’s going to look really bad (laughs).”
Deborah: No, I did.
Jim: How’d that work out?
Deborah: It worked out fine. At my first international, national interview, I didn’t have any medication. They hadn’t really diagnosed what the condition was, blah blah blah blah, and I said, we had three interviews. I said, “I don’t care. I’m just showing up.” And it was television. I was not rendered speechless at all during the interview and, when it was over, I was (laughs).
Jim: That’s amazing.
Deborah: Yeah. Yeah.
Jim: That really is amazing.
Deborah: But I learned about God, that, you know, you just show up, you … sometimes you need to put God on the spot. But I’ve also had frustrating, um, situations with friends who have called me on date night and, you know, date night is important in our marriage for 43 years-
Jim: Well, you don’t have to answer the phone.
Deborah: That’s what my husband said, “Why do you answer the phone (laughing)?” You know, and I would pick up the phone and yell at them, like, (laughing) “It’s date night,” and my husband would say, “You’re like a parent who just yells at a kid to, ‘Don’t do that. Don’t do that, Johnny. Just don’t do that.’” He said, “If there are no consequences … there are no consequences to calling you on date night,” he said, “if you stop answering the phone,” so I did (laughs).
Jim: That’s good. No, that’s really good.
Deborah: I stopped getting the phone.
Jim: You share another story about having a visceral reaction to fury, uh, where you and your husband were at a restaurant, and someone took the booth that you had reserved. And, hopefully, you created a sign and began to protest in front of their booth, (laughing) I don’t know, but what happened?
Deborah: It was a buffet and (laughing) you, you put your … and we were at the end of a fast, so, naturally, we were eager to eat (laughs).
Jim: You got to throw your purse down, your sweater down, your phone. You got to claim that spot.
Deborah: Right. Well, we, we put a tray there and I thought that was enough, but the tray, there was nothing on the tray. So we came back, and a couple had taken it after we had gone through the line, we had our stuff, and I’m going to put my food down and I’m like, “What?” And I have to tell you this, and I know I can be honest with this, and the couple didn’t look like us, i.e., they were a white couple, and I’m thinking, “Here’s just one more instance of just being discriminated against.” They had no idea, but what-
Jim: They thought it was an open table (laughs).
Deborah: They thought it was an open table because someone had come along and moved the tray. One of the servers-
Deborah: … had moved the tray and so we’re like … and I know they felt really bad and were … they’re so, “Is this your table?” “Yes,” and I, I could see on their faces like, “We’re so sorry,” and I’m thinking, “Deborah, get a grip. There are other tables (laughs).” Yeah, but, see, I’m telling you, you have to be honest with yourself in the inward parts, as the psalmist says, God desire you to be truthful and then to respond in a God-honoring way, so we just found another table.
Jim: You know, and that’s, that’s beautiful. That’s the right way to respond-
Deborah: It was.
Jim: … speak to those that have responded poorly. Maybe they’ve retaliated or wanted to retaliate, or it gets under their skin, and they respond with anger in that moment and they’re chewing them out, that couple that sat down at their table unknowingly.
Deborah: I sure hope that doesn’t fit a Christian who did that because let me tell you what retaliation all is about, it’s returning the punishment, and we have to learn not to return the punishment. That’s what it is. So when you, when you … you could’ve just said, “Oh, we had staked this table out,” and if they said, “Okay, we want to release it,” fine, but, you know, do you really want to die on that hill? It’s like, “I thought you were a Christian. I thought they were Christians.” Somebody else could’ve been observing that.
Deborah: And so I am just trying to make sure I monitor myself. I think in this age of severe anger on every hand for every reason, we need to monitor ourselves. How am I responding? Is that in alignment with the word of God?
Jim: Right. Well, and thinking about somebody observing that, we-
Jim: … got to always remember God’s observing it (laughs).
Deborah: Absolutely. Absolutely. We forget about that (laughs).
Jim: The audience of one, right?
John: Yeah. Wow.
Deborah: Yeah, yeah.
John: This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Our guest today is Deborah Pegues and we’re talking about so many great concepts from her book, 30 Days to Taming Your Anger: How to Find Peace When Irritated, Frustrated, or Infuriated. Stop by Focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or give us a call, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.
Jim: Deborah, in your book, uh, you explain there are underlying emotions that trigger our anger. You’ve kind of alluded to that. Uh, we need to understand what those emotions are. For example, you say fear is one of the most common triggers for anger, so explain that one, and then are there two or three others?
Deborah: Well, when we feel fear, we feel, uh, we, we’re going to lose something, we’re either going to lose our life or lose our place or whatever, and so sometimes, when you fear that, then th- that’s that primary emotion that’s working and it moves you to anger. Now I’m protesting the fact that that might happen. And so we have to identify that. Why am I fearful? Once I had, uh, an employee who was working for me and, uh, he kept getting this, the information wrong at the last minute. We had to go into a board meeting, I’m to explain the financials, and I thought, “I am so upset with him.” But I thought, “Why am I so upset with him?” Because I feared that his errors would make me look bad.
Deborah: It wasn’t about having the … I’m just being honest (laughs).
Jim: Yeah. No, I mean, but-
Deborah: It wasn’t about getting it right. It was like-
Deborah: … “You’re going to make me look bad and ruin my reputation (laughs).”
Jim: Well but let me expand that. I mean, you’re talking about the team. I can relate to that. I have a board that I report to and, you know, if the team has let me down that way, I think it makes us all look bad, right, not just me.
Deborah: Right. But primarily, your concern is you ’cause it’s on, it’s on, (laughing) it’s on your watch.
Jim: I don’t like that (laughing).
Deborah: Well, if you’re, you know-
Jim: No, it’s true (laughs).
Deborah: … again, being truthful in the inward parts here. It, it really is, and I have to say, “Okay, maybe that’s my ego working and I, I’m trying to maintain a reputation. Like why?”
Jim: Well, it’s true. It, it’s a measure of your leadership, right?
Deborah: Yeah, it wa-, uh, well, we know that it’s going to be perceived as that-
Jim: Right, right.
Deborah: … even though you know can’t control what people do, you can just set forth the standards, but, again, it was, it was the fear.
John: Deborah, another aspect that you cover in the book is disrespect. This resonated with me. I’m, I’m kind of past a lot of the challenge that I used to have, but when we, when we had a house full of kids, if they didn’t take my input, uh, properly (laughing) or if they didn’t respond the way I wanted them to, I would feel disrespected, and I would really get in their face. I, I’d raise my voice to make sure that they understood, no, this is what I’m expecting. It was … I, I’m thinking back to it, what was I afraid of? Losing control, I guess. Uh, but disrespect can be a real trigger for a lot of us.
Deborah: It’s a real trigger and especially for men. I … Darnell and I … well, I was in there counseling a couple this weekend at a marriage retreat and he was in ministry and his wife says, “Everybody comes before me,” and he says, “Her children come before me.” It was a blended family. So they felt that each had been disrespected by each other. And I said, “Well, why don’t you both define what you mean by respect and look for ways we can begin to eliminate that behavior that you’re labeling as disrespect?” Because she didn’t see it as disrespectful. He saw it as serving God. He had equated serving God with his relationship with God, so, to him, it was natural, if the church called, to put her on the, on the sidelines.
Deborah: So respect is important, but it’s important that you express what that respect looks like for you and what you’d like to see done instead.
John: Yeah. And the Lord did a good work on my heart-
John: … through those kids. He, he stripped me of that, uh, need to be respected so much by them (laughing).
Jim: Are you sure about that?
John: I think we’re in a much better spot these days (laughing).
Jim: Okay. Now-
Deborah: But you didn’t send it underground, and that’s what I’m glad to hear.
Deborah: You didn’t send it underground and say, “I’m just going to seethe about that.”
Jim: Deborah, I want to go back to the, the brief mention you had on the woke culture situation. You know, one of the things is it, it seems like, at a moment since 1964 with the civil rights movement, uh, some Black leaders have even said, I’m thinking of Shelby Steele and other, uh, intellectuals who have said, you know, there’s been a lot of progress and we’ve got to recognize that, but it seems like we’re regressing now. We’re, we’re driving everybody back to the color of their skin, not the content of their character, like Martin Luther King Jr. once hoped for. How do we get beyond that again? It seems like, politically, it’s useful for people to divide on outside attributes when we know, as Christians, that’s not what matters most. Character matters most.
Deborah: I think we’re letting the loud minority of people define what’s happening in our society. I don’t think the majority of Americans are feeling that way. We, we, we saw that with the fact that we, we could elect a Black president, but that didn’t resolve everything-
Deborah: … but it did take a majority of the vote to do that. Yeah.
Jim: You know, one … let me add that ’cause this is a phenomenal statistic, I think it was 1958, I was born in the ’60s-
Jim: … but 1958, only 36% of the U.S. said that they would be willing to elect a Black president.
Deborah: Yeah, yeah.
Jim: And then in I think it was 2000 or 1998, I can’t remember exactly, but right in that zone, it was 96%-
Jim: … were willing to elect a Black. That’s what I describe as progress.
Deborah: It’s progress, but, but, when we see the, the anomalies, the exceptions, when we see the George Floyd type killings-
Jim: Oh, right.
Deborah: … the, we, those really are, I shouldn’t say anomalies, but they don’t happen every day.
Deborah: They don’t happen every day, but we have to stop and pay attention and the church has to get in the forefront. We can’t be more political than Biblical and so, some of these issues, we’re going to have to be on the right side of what’s right with God and not what’s right politically, and I think that’s what I’ve seen. I’ve seen churches split, I’ve seen people leave churches, because the politics that’s coming from the pulpit is too polarizing. I don’t want to be a Republican or a Democrat. I am deliberately, because I am an intentional peacemaker, I’m a registered independent because I don’t … I give people the right to believe what they want to believe, but what is, what is God saying? What platform is in alignment with what God is saying? And, uh, you can’t confuse the platform with the person ’cause sometimes a person who represents a platform may not even have those character traits of the platform, (laughs) may not demonstrate that. But, by the same token, what is God saying? And, and let’s stop spewing that from the pulpit that, that this party is equivalent to being a Christian and this one is equivalent to not being a Christian.
Deborah: It’s the people, and we’re going to have to get on the right side of the word of God with this.
Jim: Let me ask you about the idea of indignation. Um, the power of indignation can be a good form of anger. Uh, what does indignation look like and how do we apply it?
Deborah: That, that’s a God-given emotion that just says, “How dare you do that?” That’s, that’s righteous anger.
Deborah: Something is, is violating the righteousness of God, as Jesus did in the temple when he, he addressed this in an indignant way when he came into the temple, saw the vendors just really commercializing things, and he turned over the tables. That was righteous indignation, “How dare you desecrate the house of God?” And we have to get that way about certain things as well and so you have to understand indignation comes from God-
Deborah: … and we have to be very forceful in pu-, in putting in forth.
Jim: I like that.
Jim: You know, one thing in the Christian community that I’ve noticed, uh, we can lean into the passive-aggressive category, and I think the reason is we set expectations for ourselves which are perfect, you know, that are Godly. So, for example, in the workplace, you might say, “Oh, I, yeah, I agree with that. That’s a good direction to go.” Then, in the hallway, you’re going, “I can’t believe management’s making that decision.” Pastors can relate to this, “I can’t believe the senior pastor decided to do this,” but, when you see him, “Oh, that’s great, Senior Pastor. I’m so glad you’re doing that.” That is a form of passive-aggressive behavior rather than honest, rather than honest behavior.
Deborah: And that is so dangerous, so dangerous, so dangerous (laughs).
Jim: So how do we correct that? How do we be more honest with ourselves and the people around us so we, people know where we stand on something?
Deborah: Well, uh, there’s a scripture that, that talks about that in Galatians, if somebody’s overtaken in a fault, you are spiritual restore them. Express it. If, if somebody offends you, go and tell him his fault. See, there are all kinds of commands to go and tell him his fault. Uh, Luke talks about it. In Luke 17, it talks about, if somebody, uh, uh, trespasses against you, uh, rebuke them, tell them to stop, and so it’s actually against the commands of God to be passive like that, it really is, because we are commanded to confront things that are out of order.
Deborah: And when we don’t do that, some people think that’s emotional intelligence, some people think that’s even being spiritual to say nothing. That’s not Godly. We have to confront, we’re commanded to do it, and I think that it’s, it’s disingenuous as a Christian to do that-
Deborah: … and it’s a poor example to set.
Jim: You know, one of the things, and we’ve mentioned this a few times without describing it because some may not know it, but in Galatians 5, there’s two types of fruit, the fruit of the spirit, which is God, that’s Galatians 5:22, which talks about love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, mercy, long-suffering. It’s good to familiarize and memorize that list actually.
Jim: And then in Galatians 5:19 is the fruit of the enemy of our soul.
Jim: And, you know, it starts off there with a lot of things that I’m sure people aren’t doing, like sexual orgies, and there’s, in the first part-
Jim: … of the list, it’s a lot of sexual activity, but then it kind of turns to division, lying, deceit, uh, things that I think more of us in the Christian community are guilty of-
Jim: … and we’ve got to make sure that our roots are not in the other guy’s vineyard.
Deborah: Yes, and it calls them the works of the flesh, those negative things, the, the works of the flesh. Uh, we don’t hear that word a lot, use the, the flesh, but that’s what emanates from our natural thinking. Uh, that’s what emanates from being influenced by the world, uh, around us, and so we have embraced too much of the world’s ways. But when we talk about the fruit of the spirit, that fruit has to be developed. Fruit, in general, has to be developed. So when you talk about the love and, and the long-suffering, that’s something that emanates from the spirit of God. Those other things that they list that are negative, those are works of the flesh, they emanate from the natural man, and you got to ask yourself, “What’s controlling me? Am I, am I lining up with the fruit of the spirit? Am I allowing the spirit to produce that character trait in me or am I reflecting the works of the flesh?”
Jim: Yeah. No, it’s really important-
Jim: … to memorize, I think.
Deborah: Oh, yeah.
Jim: Those would be two key areas of scripture to really make sure-
Jim: … you understand. Someone once said to me they believed hell will be the absolute absence of God’s character, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, it’ll be gone, and everything that’s left is in Galatians 5:19-
Deborah: Absolutely, because-
Jim: … torturous pain.
Deborah: … yes, because there are so many things, we will not do that are negative if we love God. I like when my husband says sometimes, he says, “I don’t want to pursue adultery or anything like that because I don’t want to hurt God. Yeah, I don’t want to hurt you, but primarily-”
Deborah: “… I don’t want to hurt God,” and we get this mindset, “I don’t want to hurt God. I don’t want to give God that bad reputation like that, it’s going to make others not think well of God.”
Deborah: And you’ll hear people say all the time, “These Christians … don’t tell me anything about Christianity. Look what you’re embracing. You’ve become more political than Biblical. I don’t want anything to do with Christianity now.” We got to watch that.
Jim: Yeah, and not only that, but I would encourage that person … ’cause I heard that a lot in the business community-
Jim: … when I was in the business world, people would want to have lunch with me and complain about a Christian who stiffed them for $1,000 or something.
Deborah: Oh, yeah.
Jim: I, I remember saying to them, as a young man, I’d say, “You got to be crazy if you’re going to let that prevent you from eternal life.”
Jim: That just means that’s a person who did not apply the faith correctly.
Deborah: Or who’s looking for an excuse not to (laughs).
Jim: So, yeah, yeah, or looking, you’re looking for an excuse not-
Jim: … to embrace God.
Deborah: There you go.
Jim: I would … it’s one of the dumbest things a human being could do is use that as an excuse not to find Christ (laughs).
Deborah: And yet we don’t want to give them that opportunity.
Deborah: Let’s take that off the table. Let’s not give them the opportunity to even use that as it relates to us.
Jim: Right, it doesn’t excuse that person’s behavior-
Jim: … but if you’re that person that’s thinking, you know, “I’ve seen too many bad Christians-”
Jim: … don’t let that be the barrier-
Deborah: Oh, I hear that.
Jim: … between you and God.
Jim: I mean, that will be to your folly, right?
Deborah: It will, yes.
Jim: So, well, Deborah, this has been so good. I hope people have really, uh, enjoyed this conversation and, hopefully, learned a little bit more about how to control anger, and, uh, your book is terrific, 30 Days to Taming Your Anger. And, as always, uh, we want to make this available to you, uh, for a gift of any amount. If you can make a monthly commitment, 15, $20 is great. Uh, Jean and I do that to Focus on the Family. I know you and Dena do as well.
John: We do the same. Yeah.
Jim: Uh, that would be a great way to support us, and we’ll send you a copy of Deborah’s book as our way of saying thank you. If a one-time gift is what you can do, that would be great too. We want to get the book into your hands and, again, that’ll be our, uh, way of saying thank you. So get ahold of us today, (laughs) and begin to tame that anger within you.
John: Yeah. Donate as you can. Uh, our number is 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459, or you can donate online at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: Deborah, it’s been so good having you. Thank you for coming.
Deborah: Thank you so much, and I pray that people will really manage their anger. It’s a God-given emotion, we just have to manage it.
John: Amen indeed and thank you for joining us today. Now, if you plan to be traveling this summer, I do hope you’ll stop by and visit us here in Colorado Springs. There is so much to see and to learn about the ministry here at our headquarters and I know your children will enjoy our Adventures in Odyssey play area. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we, once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.