BGEA: What events in your life led you to study and speak on this topic?
Chip Ingram: Well, it’s interesting, really. I love to teach through books of the Bible. I will often study a whole book, breaking down chapters into topics. Once, I was teaching through the book of James. I did a series on the first 16 or 17 verses on overcoming a broken world. I came to the passage about anger – being slow to speak, slow to anger and quick to listen.
Having a background in psychology, I realized anger is really big. Most Christians think it is wrong. So, I created a three-part series on helping people understand several things about anger:
1. Anger is not all bad
2. Anger often wears many masks. Some people react to is by screaming, some react with a passive-aggressive attitude and some simply ignore it.
3. Relationships are destroyed by anger when people don’t know they are angry.
We played this series on the radio for the first time and got a big reaction to it. We realized we had hit a nerve, that people really struggle with angry feelings. Everybody has these feelings, and often don’t know what to do with them.
So, this topic was birthed out of that experience.
BGEA: Will you address any other emotions at this seminar?
Chip Ingram: Definitely. You’ll learn Anger is a secondary emotion. For example, let’s say you’re driving, and you see a red maintenance light that indicates there is a problem under the hood. Most people don’t take a hammer to the dashboard to get rid of the light! They find out what is wrong with their car.
Anger can be likened to the red light – it often tells us there is a problem, an unmet need, or that who God made us to be is attacked. Then comes the guilt and the shame – other emotions that stem from having angry feelings, which is why this seminar is called “Overcoming Emotions That Destroy.”
BGEA: What do you hope the seminar attendees will take with them after your seminar?
Chip Ingram: I hope they leave with a very clear picture that anger is God-given neutral emotion that can be used for very positive things. For example, injustice – Jesus was angry at the activity of the money changers in the temple. Over history, a lot of good things happened because people got angry about wrongdoing and wanted to do something about it.
I also want them to recognize their own personal way they handle anger and learn to positively respond to it. This seminar should also teach them how do to deal with other people that express anger in different ways.
My hope is that each person takes with them practical biblical instruction on how to deal with anger. We will spend some time on learning how to break out of destructive patterns and learn how to turn anger from foe to friend. I want them to learn what God wants to do in their life. Learn how to recognizing the red light on the dashboard of their soul. I want to take people deeper with the Lord and see significant life changes to occur.
BGEA: Describe what is on your heart, as the teacher for this weekend.
Chip Ingram: When Christians see the word, “anger,” I am constantly amazed that when they are approached with it in any kind of public setting, they withdraw and assume it is wrong or bad, or that they don’t struggle with it. When they understand what Scripture teaches about it and the feelings that come with it, it is liberating and powerful.
Those that think they never deal with anger are in denial. From long stoplights to crying babies to small frustrations, we all deal with it. We all deal with it differently.
Also, I want to see more believers get angry about the condition of the world and make a difference, and to understand how God wants to help us. That’s my heart’s desire for this weekend.
Chip Ingram is the president and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international discipleship media ministry that provides teaching through radio, TV, and interactive online discipleship pathways. Chip is also a best-selling author and a former pastor.
Visit The Cove’s Web site to register for this event. While you are there, learn about Chip’s September seminar, “Passing On the Things That Matter Most,” and other upcoming seminars for this year.