Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Redemptive Anger” #CatchingFoxes

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

A couple of weeks ago, we kicked off a series with our Kfirst community that focuses on how God wants to connect and use our emotions.  (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

Our bodies have a physiological reactions to anger and it causes us to “feel” overwhelmed as if we cannot control our anger. But in the face of the physical reactions, we can control our responses. And it can be cone through a redemptive approach to anger.

Yesterday, we did a “flyover” of biblical anger. We did our best to help bring understanding that first, God has anger, and second, we do too. And if we can approach it the way God does, it has potential to change the world around us. From looking at the Old Testament, we can see that God’s anger always had a redemptive purpose for His people. His end-game was to bring about a positive, constructive outcome that would leave His people in a better place. Even in the New Testament, Jesus’ anger was to position the people in the blessing of God and not chase them away from it.

This is how we can approach anger. We don’t run from it; we harness it to have a redemptive outcome to it by being intentionally reasonable.

So we digested Philippians 4:5-9 and helped give a strategic approach to anger.

  1. Redemptive Thinking (v. 6-8)
    • Every thought is a train. And before I board it, I want to know if it’s heading in a direction that I want to be. If we expect a positive direction to your anger, you cannot be constantly fill your mind with the negative. Take command of your thinking.
  2. Redemptive Venting (v. 6)
    • Take all of the stuff driving your anger and turn it into a prayer; funnel it into praise. Let God give you the strength you need and the peace you crave. Let Him give you the meaning you’re after and He’ll help you to deal with the person you’re angry with.
  3. Redemptive Investigation (v. 9)
    • Get a better picture of the story than you currently possess. I love what author Lysa TerKeurst says, “There’s the story, then there’s the story we tell ourselves.” Instead of allowing your anger to “fill in the blanks” of your story, get the right information to make the proper decisions.
  4. Redemptive Response (v. 5, 9)
    • Anger was designed to be a visitor, not a resident.
    • My option #1 – Confront the matter.
      • You can be reasonable in love; give the truth in grace.
      • Your approach will stem from your view of God
    • My option #2 – Overlook the matter
      • Biblical Forbearance: Turning it over to God and refusing to be held captive to the wrong

Look at these four points and ask yourself, “What do I need to work on for me to have a redemptive response through my anger. Ask the Lord for help in not just revealing where you are being challenges but to help you grow through it.

Love you all.  This Sunday, we’ll wrap up “Chasing Foxes.”

BTW: Here’s a song for your week!

Navigating the Seasons of the Soul – Summer: The Season of Abundance

On Sunday, we continued our series “Catching Foxes” with our Kfirst community. Our focus has been on what the Word of God says about our emotions. This past Sunday, we looked at the seasons that our emotions can go through.  And we’re taking days this week to specifically focus on each one of the seasons. (Click here for Sunday’s notes.)

Check out previous “season” posts:

Summer: THE SEASON OF Abundance

Is there any day better than the last day of school? I remember counting down till that final day where I turned in my books, cleaned out my locker, and practically ran home ready to start the summer.

Michiganders love summer like no other people on the planet. I’m talking Sherman’s ice cream, South Haven, backpacking, naps in a hammock. We’ve been cooped up all winter (and part of spring) and we are ready to explode into activities. There seems to be a bit less pressure and more opportunities to enjoy and explore.

“Summer” is  the season of abundance and it’s no surprise that the primary emotion of summer is joy.

But I’ve noticed something about this season: It’s the only one we can miss. I’ve heard people say, “Summer got away from me” or “I can’t believe summer is almost over.” Then it’s Labor Day and we are realizing that we missed out on maximizing the season we had been given. It seems we treat no other season like we do this one. So there is a caution about “Summer.” For if we do not embrace it, we can miss out, not the initial experience but the work that God has meant to do in it.

There are two ingredients to the summer season of our emotions:

Celebration
Celebration is an intentional focus on the goodness of God. If you read your bible (specifically the Old Testament) you’ll see a thread of celebration. Rather than thinking that God just stands there in a sober, melancholy demeanor and tolerates our celebration, recognize that He initiates or commands the party. Take some time to study the festivals of the Old Testament. You’ll discover that the celebrations were designed and initiated by God.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22

There is a time to mourn, but there is also a time to dance. There’s a time to weep but there’s a time to laugh. Celebration is God’s plan for filling us with the healing presence of joy while helping us to not take ourselves too seriously. Engage in activities you love with people you love. Engage in those things that help fill your soul with joy.  I believe that those of us who know Jesus should be known as the most alive, free, fun, and joyful people on the planet

Gratitude
We have the propensity to be prideful. And can get in seasons of abundance and assume some (if not all) of the credit instead of running to the One who is the source of every good gift and give him thanks. A general sense of thankfulness helps elevate our lives above pride and to see our lives as recipients of God’s magnificent grace. 

Not only should we be filled with a general gratitude, but we should be filled with specific gratitude. I go back to a simple hymn I grew up on that says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one.” Where a general sense of gratitude can set the atmosphere of your life, specific is strategic as it targets areas of pride and fear so that God is recognized in EVERY area as our provider. Look for specific things to recognize and give thanks for.

  • I want to give thanks I woke up this morning (If I’m still breathing, God’s not done with me).
  • Thank you I can get out of bed and start a new day.
  • Thank you for the people’s faces I get to see today (name them).
  • Thank you for the little things I find pleasure in (name them.
  • Thank you for opportunities I’m given every day (name them).
  • Thank you for leadership (name them)

It’s hard to be a jerk if you are thankful.

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.Psalm 65:11

If you are in the season of abundance (Summer), make sure you explore and enjoy what God has brought you into. Don’t miss anything. God wants to use this season to deposit into you and, through you, into others.

 

If you are in this season, remember our final lessons from Sunday.

  1. You were meant to process your season, not be possessed by it. 
  2. Don’t get so consumed with the next season you missed the work of your present season.
  3. Unnecessary pain results from remaining in a season long after it changed.
  4. Your season is not your story; it is a chapter in His beautiful story for your life.

Love you all. See you Sunday as we continue our series “Catching Foxes.”