Anger (2 of 3): Selfish Madness | Devotions with Dad

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Anger (2 of 3): Selfish Madness

For dad only:

When You Feel Angry

What makes you mad? Do you fear you are a control freak? One blow-up will not make-up for the weeks and months I have wasted by not training my children properly. Kids should not behave out of fear of angering dad.

Loss of control

Most men get angry when life feels out of control. We want to make things happen our way. When we realize our kids will never be perfect, we will have fewer stomach ulcers. When we admit our own blame in the short-comings of our children, we won’t take so much out on them.

Your emotional pendulum

You get mad at your kids because you love them. We tend to express anger toward the ones we love the most. On one side of the pendulum, we feel love for our families. On the other, we sense equal frustration over their faults.

We express the negative side of our feelings easier than the positive. By expressing more of the emotions from the upswing of love, we will harness the energy on the opposite side. Express as much emotions of love, gentleness, and compassion to your family, as you have rage.

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If you want to find out how useful anger can be, read Chapman’s The Other Side of Love: Handling Anger in a Godly Way.

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Read this to the kids:

Fury Burns Two Victims

Last time, Carter got screamed at by his mom and they left to take his younger brother to the hospital.

After Dad got off the phone with Carter’s dad, Rusty asked, “Are they going to come back over and eat with us like they had planned?”

“I don’t know, Son.” Dad looked at Mom and sighed. “What do you think we should do?” he asked her.

“Well, we can hold supper a bit—let’s go to the park.”

“Yes!” Misty said.

“Sure,” Dad said, “that will give them some time to see the doctor and give us something to do while we wait for them.”

“Can I bring my new ball and bat?” Rusty asked.

“Yes,” Dad said, “maybe we can get a game going there.”

“All right!”

Mom raised her eyebrows and asked, “Hasn’t that bat done enough trouble for one day?”

Rusty shrugged. “It’s not the bat’s fault.”

Soon, they had all piled into the minivan and arrived at the park. It was kind of a lazy day with a slight breeze and a few wispy clouds. Some kids were flying kites, others were playing tag. Moms and dad sat on benches or picnic blankets enjoying the day and keeping watchful eyes on the possible storm on the horizon.

Rusty and Dad practiced throwing and catching the baseball while Misty ran after their misses. Finally she asked, “Can I use your bat, Rusty?”

Rusty shrugged. “Sure, I guess.”

Dad started pitching to them on the empty ball field. Misty hit a grounder. Rusty knocked a fowl ball past third. Misty popped the ball way high and Dad caught it. Rusty did a line drive right into the bleachers—at least he thought he had until he saw it bounce down behind him.

Three boys came onto the field. “Hey, can we play?”

“Sure,” Rusty said, knocking dirt from his shoes.

“Cool,” they said. One of them went over to the fence and called to his friends, “Hey, Pete! Logan! Jason! C’mon!”

Soon they had enough kids to form teams. Dad helped them get organized and then went off the sidelines to watch beside Mom.

Rusty was first to bat—after all it was his bat. The short kid in the green shirt was pitching and struck Rusty out. The other kids laughed. This made Rusty mad. How come he struck me out? It’s my ball and my bat. They aren’t playing fair.

Misty was playing first base and soon she put one of Rusty’s teammates out before he got to the plate. Rusty scowled and fumed to himself, That wasn’t fair. She shouldn’t have done that. He could have—

It was Rusty’s turn at bat again. He walked up and knocked the dirt off his shoes. He practiced swung to show the pitcher where he wanted the ball. The short boy in the green shirt nodded and tossed the ball. Rusty watched it go by this time.

“Strike!” the pitcher called.

“That wasn’t a strike!” Rusty yelled back. “It wasn’t even close to where I wanted it.”

“Whatever,” the pitcher said.

Rusty looked around for Dad so he could referee. He saw him across the park taking a walk with Mom. He glanced back at home plate and huffed. “Okay,” he said, looking at the pitcher and swinging slowly, “this is where I want it.”

The pitcher threw him the ball. He hesitated, then swung. The ball sailed straight down the line toward first. Misty jumped to get it but only touched it. It landed outside the foul line.

Rusty started to run when the pitcher cried, “Fowl!”

“That wasn’t a foul ball!” he said, half way to first. “She knocked it out. It was a fair ball.”

“That’s not what I saw,” the pitcher said.

“Well it is what I saw—and it is my ball,” Rusty said.

“Whatever,” the pitcher said with a snicker.

Rusty started walking to first. Just then Misty picked up the ball and stepped on first base. “You’re out!” she yelled.

“Three outs!” The teams started swapping places.

Rusty felt like he would explode. “I’m not out! That wasn’t fair. I was just—She–I had—it was—”

“Chill out, man,” the pitcher said. “It’s just a game.”

Misty laughed.

Rusty grew hotter. “It’s not just a game, it’s my game. Give me that,” he said, snatching the ball from Misty. He walked over and picked up the bat from where he had dropped it. “And this is mine, too. And I am going home.”

“Waa-waa, momma’s boy,” someone shouted.

As he stomped off, Rusty heard one of the kids shout, “Hey, Logan, do you think you could run home and get your bat and ball?”

Misty chased behind him, calling his name, but Rusty did not want to talk to her.

Mom and Dad, however, had a long talk with him—and made him go apologize to the other kids.

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Now discuss it!

Have you ever felt like Rusty? What made you so mad and what did you do about it?

 

What should Rusty have done?

 

Who was Rusty thinking about when he got so mad?

Himself.

 

How does selfishness cause anger?

 

Why do we get angry at the people we love the most?

 

How do you think Rusty made the other kids feel?

 

Do you think those kids want to go to church with Rusty?

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Read God’s Word together:

I’m in Charge Here!

As they returned home, after David had killed the Philistine, the women poured out of all the villages of Israel singing and dancing, welcoming King Saul with tambourines, festive songs, and lutes. In playful frolic the women sang,

Saul kills by the thousand,

David by the ten thousand!

This made Saul angry—very angry. He took it as a personal insult. He said, “They credit David with ‘ten thousands’ and me with only ‘thousands.’ Before you know it they’ll be giving him the kingdom!” From that moment on, Saul kept his eye on David.

The next day an ugly mood was sent by God to afflict Saul, who became quite beside himself, raving. David played his harp, as he usually did at such times. Saul had a spear in his hand. Suddenly Saul threw the spear, thinking, “I’ll nail David to the wall.” David ducked, and the spear missed. This happened twice.

Now Saul feared David. It was clear that God was with David and had left Saul. So, Saul got David out of his sight by making him an officer in the army. David was in combat frequently. Everything David did turned out well. Yes, God was with him. As Saul saw David becoming more successful, he himself grew more fearful. He could see the handwriting on the wall. But everyone else in Israel and Judah loved David. They loved watching him in action….

But then a black mood from God settled over Saul and took control of him. He was sitting at home, his spear in his hand, while David was playing music. Suddenly, Saul tried to skewer David with his spear, but David ducked. The spear stuck in the wall and David got away. It was night.

Saul sent men to David’s house to stake it out and then, first thing in the morning, to kill him. But Michal, David’s wife, told him what was going on. “Quickly now—make your escape tonight. If not, you’ll be dead by morning!” She let him out of a window, and he made his escape. Then Michal took a dummy god and put it in the bed, placed a wig of goat’s hair on its head, and threw a quilt over it. When Saul’s men arrived to get David, she said, “He’s sick in bed.”

Saul sent his men back, ordering them, “Bring him, bed and all, so I can kill him.” When the men entered the room, all they found in the bed was the dummy god with its goat-hair wig!

Saul stormed at Michal: “How could you play tricks on me like this? You sided with my enemy, and now he’s gotten away!”…

But the day after the New Moon, day two of the holiday, David’s seat was still empty. Saul asked Jonathan his son, “So where’s that son of Jesse? He hasn’t eaten with us either yesterday or today.”

Jonathan said, “David asked my special permission to go to Bethlehem. He said, ‘Give me leave to attend a family reunion back home. My brothers have ordered me to be there. If it seems all right to you, let me go and see my brothers.’ That’s why he’s not here at the king’s table.”

Saul exploded in anger at Jonathan: “You son of a slut! Don’t you think I know that you’re in cahoots with the son of Jesse, disgracing both you and your mother? For as long as the son of Jesse is walking around free on this earth, your future in this kingdom is at risk. Now go get him. Bring him here. From this moment, he’s as good as dead!”

Jonathan stood up to his father. “Why dead? What’s he done?”

Saul threw his spear at him to kill him. That convinced Jonathan that his father was fixated on killing David.

Jonathan stormed from the table, furiously angry, and ate nothing the rest of the day, upset for David and smarting under the humiliation from his father.

(I Samuel 18:6-16; 19:9-17; 20:27-34 The Message)

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Let’s talk about it!

Why was Saul mad?

Because David was getting more attention than him.

 

Who was Saul thinking about?

 

How was Jonathan, his son, different than Saul?

 

How did David react to this violent man of fury?

He got away.

 

Role play: You have been chosen for a special part in a church program. You are all excited about it and cannot wait until the event happens. Suddenly you find out that one of your friends now has the role and you are out, altogether. How do you feel? How would you react?

 

Your grandparents (or aunt and uncle) have promised to take you on a special trip. The day before they leave, you find out they decided to take your brother (sister,c cousin) instead. How do you feel? What do you do?

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Memorize it!

Proverbs 14:29

He that is slow to wrath

is of great understanding:

but he that is hasty of spirit

exalteth folly.

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