STEP 2: ACKNOWLEDGE the breadth and impact of my sin.
NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).
“I am beginning to see the extent and impact of my anger. It is bigger than I wanted to admit [describe] and still may be bigger than I realize. Apart from God’s grace, I am an angry person. I acknowledge that there is no safety and no freedom in minimizing my anger [describe]. Before I can truly understand the greatness of Jesus I must acknowledge what His death and resurrection has conquered on my behalf and in my life.”
Memorize: Luke 6:43-45 (ESV), “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “For no” – This is not a principle for which Jesus leaves room for exceptions.
- “Each tree” – There is no comparative scoring between trees. Each tree is known by “its own fruit.”
- “Not gathered” – Fruit does not lie. It is futile to argue with what our lives produce.
- “Heart” – Our words reveal our true priorities, values, agendas, and allegiances.
- “Abundance” – Our heart does not produce things in small amounts. Heart change will be large scale.
“The longer anger consumes you, the harder it is to let go of the pride that comes with it. You feel justified (p. 126).” Justin & Lindsey Holcomb in Rid of My Disgrace
“Sin attaches to intention, memory, thought speech, intelligent action – to all the special features of personhood – and transforms them into weapons (p. 76).” Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. in Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be
“Our bigger problem is denial or blindness, inability or refusal to see or take personal responsibility for our habitual or repetitive sins. The biblical term is hardness of heart (p. 88).” Leslie Vernick in The Emotionally Destructive Relationship
“Our anger is our whole-personed active response of negative moral judgment against perceived evil (p. 15).” Robert Jones in Uprooting Anger
“No doubt, these colorful descriptions do capture how anger feels. But a metaphor is not meant to overpower the thing it intends to illustrate… The ‘burning’ metaphor graphically captures the sensation of anger and its effects, but it’s not intended to cancel out the fact that anger is something people do (p. 12).” David Powlison in “Anger Part 2: Three Lies About Anger and the Transforming Truth” in JBC (Winter 1996).