How To Be Good And Mad

How Can You Change Your Perspective To Be Good And Mad?

Chip Ingram
Jul 29, 2019    56m
Did you know that God has actually commands us to be angry? Righteous, necessary anger when expressed appropriately is a powerful tool given to us by God. In the final message of this series, we will learn how to use anger to be constructive rather than destructive. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Chip Ingram (00:00):
Well, before we get started tonight, I want to do a little bit of a housekeeping. And by that, I mean many of you have these books. Probably others have forgotten your books but with great intentions. But this is our last session tonight. And if you were following along, we would be doing sessions 7 and 8. And so I didn't want to get in the middle of it. And some of you going why are my notes different than what he's talking about? I'm going to do session 9 and 10 and I'm going to skip 7 and 8. So but I want you to know I'll dip in a little bit. I'll give you a taste of 7 and 8. And then if you got one of these, if you open it up, I think it's coming up on the screen, every single one of these books has a number.

Chip Ingram (00:44):
Let's put this up on the screen if you would. And that number is unique in your book. And then what you do is you just log on. It'll tell you what to do. And then the next when you log on, go to the next slide please. Then what you do is you just plug in your information and then you'll have all the teaching and all the videos that go with the questions here. So I wanted to make sure that you could get that. And I didn't want to be in the middle of it. I've done this before where, you know what? I have no idea what this guy's talking about because where I'm at and where he's at. The others, other people said, you know, this is hitting home. I'd like to review it but I can't watch it. Is there any way to listen to it?

Chip Ingram (01:25):
And so the next slide, if you go ahead and put that up, you may have it already but the Chip Ingram app. It's really the Living on the Edge app but they just put my name on it. If you just click on that, it's free on either Android or iPhone. And then as soon as you click on it, if you just scroll back. There's probably 20 series. But if you scroll back three or four or five, this series is on it so you can listen to it whenever you want. So the whole goal is not that we just learned a little bit about anger and get a little bit healthier. The goal really is we really change. And what I know is with this issue, you have to go into training. Getting insights is helpful but real change is not going to happen unless you say you know, something? That third message is the one I need to listen to or you know, groups are going to start. This might be one that some of you want to do. So got it? Okay. Let me pray. Let's go.

Chip Ingram (02:22):
Lord, I want to thank you for this church. Thank you for these people. God, I thank you for this staff. Lord. I thank you so much for Tim and for Lee and the answer to prayer. Lord, I thank you for the elders. God, I thank you for the generosity of this church. I thank you for the global impact and the local impact. And Lord, we would confess that we're people because of lots of reasons that we abuse this powerful emotion of anger. And we need your help. We're just coming dependently. Will you please teach us? Would you teach us how to be both good and mad? In Jesus' name. Amen.

Chip Ingram (03:08):
So as we get started, here's what I want you to know. We're going to learn how to be good and mad. It's easy to be good sometimes and it's easy to be mad sometimes. But very rarely do those two things come together. And so what I want to do is say in order to be good and mad, two things. One is we have to eliminate some unnecessary anger. There's just certain anger that you and I are bringing upon ourselves. Second, we need to provoke and promote some very necessary anger. I'm actually going to teach you tonight that the Bible says you need to be angry. There's certain things that ought to absolutely tick you off, that should spur you on to do some of the best things for other people and for God and all the world. But let's start with eliminating some unnecessary anger. Two ways to do that. One is to minimize stress. You'll get a little information. That comes out of a chapter 17 of the book. And this is about changing the environment. And I've given you six or seven ways to do that. But I just want to give you what has been most helpful for me. Are you ready?

Chip Ingram (04:19):
Eliminate hurry from your life. Just change that environment. If you would eliminate hurry, hurrying getting ready, hurrying going places, hurry when you drive, hurry in getting jobs done, you literally would probably eliminate maybe 70% of the stress and therefore the anger. I made a list here of some things that happen when we hurry and some things that happen when we don't. So just listen and ask yourself, honestly, am I a person who hurries a lot? When I hurry, I don't notice the flowers blooming alongside the road. When I hurry, there seems to be a lot more irritating drivers on the road. When I'm in a hurry, I don't strike up a conversation with those around me. When I'm in a hurry, I avoid people and places and things that take time and energy. When I'm in a hurry, I pretend not to see the person behind me with the cart that only has a few things when I have a full cart of groceries.

Chip Ingram (05:25):
When I'm in a hurry, my heart pounds, my muscles are tense and my mind races. When I'm in a hurry, I rush the kids through the day. When I'm in a hurry, I don't speak to people and look them in the eye and ask how are you really doing. When I'm in a hurry, my devotions are a task to get done rather than a time to treasure. When I'm in a hurry, I'm abrupt with people. When I'm in a hurry, I feel like life is a race to be won. When I'm in a hurry, I get mad or angry much more easily. True or false?

Chip Ingram (06:01):
Are you ready? When I'm not in a hurry, I enjoy my food more. When I'm not in a hurry, I smile more and I'm calmer inside. When I'm not in a hurry, life seems more enjoyable and less stressful. When I'm not in a hurry, I ask people how they're really doing and I actually want to hear. When I'm not in a hurry, my times in prayer are more meaningful. There's a deeper connection. When I'm not in a hurry, I'm nicer. I'm actually more thoughtful and I'm kinder to other people. When I'm not in a hurry, I'm more patient, more loving, more understanding and more tolerant. When I'm not in a hurry, I find that I'm more creative, more spontaneous. When I'm not in a hurry, little things don't bother me as much. And when I'm not in a hurry, I don't get angry as often. Eliminating hurry along with about five or six other very practical suggestions, Here's what it does.

Chip Ingram (07:06):
It changes your environment. So you can get a lot less anger by first just changing your environment because a lot of your environment, you just unconsciously live in such a way like I do. And the number one for me is don't hurry. I was so convicted by this. I mean I was the last guy on the plane. I was the guy on the freeway figuring out which line and weaving in between people. I was like the lines at the bank or the grocery store. You know, you never guess Right. And you're tense, right? I'm the guy that everything I'm going to do as fast as I can And I would be just a little bit late because I was always trying to finish up One more thing. Just live with, I'm the guy that just barely gets at the airport And I've realized the person who was bringing anger and stress to my life was me. And I remember listening to a message and Dallas Willard saying ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. And you can't just choose to do it. You have to go into training.

Chip Ingram (08:11):
And so I went into training in for two years, I drove in the right lane And just decided, so what? I'll get there What? 90 seconds, maybe three minutes later. Relaxed, listening to something good. My car became a second seminary. Listening to great books and just realizing you know what? I refuse to be a part of the traffic world. I decided I would get the airport an hour and a half before the plane which for me is really early. And My anger And my stress. Second, it's not just eliminating stress or changing the environment. The other is changing your perspective. In chapter 18, I give about six different ways. But the absolute best and most helpful for me is to maximize God. Minimize stress, maximize God. And by that, I mean get right with God, believe in Him, confess your sins, spend deep time with Him. Because what happens is one, you change your environment. The other, you change your perspective. My day is very different when I spend time in God's Word. I'm unhurried. I get connected. I really ask Him what He wants me to do today. I focus on maybe one or two passages that I want to live with throughout the day. And it changes everything. Example. I'm learning a lot from this series. Sounds funny but I am because I'm really seeking to practice it with you. So I'm reading through my normal reading and I've gone through Matthew a couple of times.

Chip Ingram (09:54):
And on my third time, I hit chapter 7 verses 1 and 2. Do not judge lest ye be judged. And I studied that a little bit more deeply. And I and some of us that like to move fast and get a lot done, internally, it doesn't come out of my mouth so much anymore. But internally I can judge why is he going so slow? What's wrong with her? Why is he dressed like that? What's the problem over here? And so I decided that those two verses I would memorize and I'd asked God to help my thinking. And the second one is I can be very negative because I see what's wrong with life and I want everyone to change yesterday, beginning with me. And so I wrote on a little card many years ago and I've kind of pulled all my old cards out as a result of this series. And this card that I read every morning and I think it through is I desire my life to be characterized by being habitually thankful as the unconscious response to every circumstance and every relationship in light of the goodness and the sovereignty of God. Read that over. I've prayed that over.

Chip Ingram (11:03):
So I want that no matter what happens in any situation, I want little by little that my unconscious, not even, the unconscious response to every circumstance and every relationship would be gratitude in light of there is a good, kind, all powerful God who's in absolute control who either has allowed the situation or relationship to be where it's at at this very moment for my good. So I'll tell you a quick story and then we're going to dig into the rest of our teaching. So the thing I've done after my back surgery, I've been swimming, swimming, swimming. And so I went at a different time and all the lanes are full and I'm kind of like oh man, all the lanes are full. And boy, I'm not going to ask those two people to share. It doesn't look like the plan. And there's one guy doing this, literally taking up the whole lane, floating like this. And then he goes about like this. And then he does this, leaning against the end.

Chip Ingram (12:04):
And I am irritated and I'm starting to judge. There's lanes over here. There's two ladies walking. Float over there in my mind internally. And then I start to get it in the lane and then he's taking up the whole lane, floating face down again. And so as I'm what's he doing, why is he doing that? Literally do not judge lest you be judged. Hey, Chip, what if he just came out of a major surgery and getting in the water is the first step he could ever take? What if it's absolutely exhausting for him as slow as he's moving and after he does that, he's resting at the end. The closer I got, he was a really old guy that he looked like he'd been through some really hard times. I waved. He said yeah, you can use the other lane. I started. And then God said I want you to be habitually thankful.

Chip Ingram (13:02):
And here's, are you ready? My attitude completely changed. Circumstances didn't change. I was renewing my mind and I changed how I was evaluating the situation, perspective, because of God's Word. And I changed my attitude because I'm going into training to become a thankful person. Very, very thankful people don't get angry about tiny little stuff not going their way. Does that make sense? So step one, to be good and mad is what we want to do is we want to eliminate unnecessary anger. Second, we want to promote some very necessary anger and you'll know so far I've talked about there's three ways we express our anger, right? We spew, we stuff and we leak. I'm going to give you a fourth one.

Chip Ingram (13:56):
And the fourth one is because we're actually, are you ready? We're actually commanded to be angry, command, yet do not. Sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Why? Lest you give the devil or Satan a foothold in your life. It's a command from Ephesians 4:26. Anger is a channel to maximize your potential in Christ. You ready for that? God gave you the gift of anger to transform your life, not just so you could become more like Christ. Are you ready? But to bring His Kingdom of justice and righteousness and mercy on the earth in the same way as it is in Heaven. In other words, anger is given so it can be a weapon. It can be a resource. It can be a power. Part of us need to eliminate unnecessary anger about little junk and we need to increase and get angry about some stuff because it was given to us as a gift from God to get us so ticked off that we act on things that are wrong, that are unrighteous, that should never be.

Chip Ingram (15:09):
And so what we learn is this series is not about, are you ready? This series is not about oh, I went to Venture for a month and I think I'm getting healthier emotionally. I'm glad. This series is not about oh, relationships are getting better because I'm not so ticked off and I've actually went through that little study guide and we're having discussions and that's wonderful. No, that's wonderful but this series is not about I'm becoming more like Jesus. It's about my spiritual development. No, no. All those things are byproducts. This series is about an emotion that the God of Heaven gave that when you pray, our Father who art in Heaven, your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is a weapon, a resource and a tool to move you off of complacency that you would get as ticked off as Jesus does at injustice, at people that are marginalized, at sin and evil.

Chip Ingram (16:15):
So you would be an agent of the living God to be difference makers because His Kingdom has come. He came and now it's forcefully moving and He wants to use you and me. But so many of us have thought anger's bad. Now we're commanded to express our anger, right? Express your anger. Ephesians 4:26. But not merely express it. We're commanded to express our anger, here's the key word, appropriately. Not in revenge, not in intimidation, not to hurt others, not in violence. But here's the, are you ready for a fourth way? In indignation. Don't spew it, don't stuff it, don't leak it. Express it appropriately, winsomely and powerfully through righteous indignation. Let me give you a picture of this from the life of our Lord. Three snapshots, it's in your notes. First, He's visibly angry in Mark 3. It's a great passage. We find Him in a situation where crowds have gotten very, very strong.

Chip Ingram (17:37):
The religious leaders are now ticked off at Him. He's done some things on the Sabbath like love people, heal people, care for people. And in Mark 3, if you want to follow along, the first six verses. Mark 3, we pick up the story. Another time He went into a synagogue and a man with a shriveled or withered hand was there. And some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus. So they watched Him closely to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, stand up in front of everyone.

Chip Ingram (18:18):
Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? To do good, to do evil, to save a life or to kill? All the leaders remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and deeply distressed in their stubborn hearts. And He said to the man stretch out your hand and he stretched it out and he was completely restored. And listen carefully, then the Pharisees went out to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. Can you imagine how they got so religious where instead of someone's life getting whole and healed and changed and good, they were ticked off on what day it should happen? And just before you get too critical, think about how religious some of us are and how critical we are of other people when they don't do things the way we think. That's so unconscious. But here's what I want you to see.

Chip Ingram (19:17):
Jesus is visibly angry. He's ticked off. Why? He's angry at sin. He's angry at evil. He's angry at prejudice. He's angry that people are so stuck on themselves and their rules that they've totally missed compassion and justice and kindness. In Matthew 23, His ministry is near the end and He goes full blown and He confronts the religious leaders. And finally, I mean He's near the very end. He knows He's going to be crucified. He's already told the 12 I'm going to die. I'll rise on the third day. And all those leaders came. And basically who warned you, you vipers, you whitewash tombs, you sons of hell, you blind guides. I don't know about you but that sounds pretty strong. Unfortunately, you know how some of us read that? And it's in my devotionals today. I was reading Psalm 23. Oh, you vipers, you blind guides.

Chip Ingram (20:24):
It appears Jesus is a little frustrated. He wasn't frustrated. He was as angry and as ticked off. These people were keeping people from the Kingdom. These people had given others a warped view of God. He was laying it on. He's verbally angry. He's not sinning. By the way, He has the authority. The third is not just visible anger, not just physical anger. By Mark 11, notice it's His house so it's His authority and there's tables set up. And He says, my house has to be a house of prayer. And they had figured out how to charge people interest. And you know, you buy a dove for this. It's like the, you know, you can buy stickers and, how much Jesus junk is out there? How much stuff have you just turned on the TV and watched for 30 hours if your mind can take it without vomiting of Christian TV is really about money?

Chip Ingram (21:28):
And Jesus walked into His house and He wasn't just mad and He just didn't say something. And He just turned over the tables and He kicked them out and He got something and He. Here's what, why? Because righteous indignation or anger motivates you to attack injustice, to become a cause in the hands of the living God, to confront evil. You know, I think in Christian circles today, I'm convinced that I know there's a lot of good that comes out of talk radio. But I think we've substituted talking about what's wrong to one another for doing something right about what's wrong. Oh, this is bad. This is bad. And those people did that. And have you read this? And oh, I read this article and posted it on Facebook. And I posted this on Instagram. This is really terrible. And have you heard what that group did?

Chip Ingram (22:19):
Boy, things are getting worse and worse. They're really getting terrible. Well then, do something about it. Just flat out, shut up and do something about it. You don't have to start an organization. You don't have to be doing something global. But what bugs you in your relational network? What bugs you at work? What bugs you in the community? What bugs you that you say this is wrong and shouldn't be that way? And yes, I'm going to pray about it. But God, what do you want me to do to bring about some kind of change? And it will likely be according to your gifts. There was a lady who went through a huge tragedy. She got mad. Her name's Candace Lightner. She was devastated when her daughter was hit by a drunken driver and killed. Her daughter was 13 years old.

Chip Ingram (23:22):
She grieved. And of course, she was mad. She was broken. She did her research and she found out that there's more people every year killed in alcohol related accidents than all the troops that we lost in Vietnam. And she got so mad. She started an organization. It was just a tiny little small thing at first. MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Today there's chapters all over America. And thousands upon thousands upon thousands of lives have been changed because of her righteous indignation. Candace Lightner didn't seek revenge against the drunk driver who killed her daughter. She didn't lash out and destroy property or people nor did she remain in her grief, stuffing her anger down deep inside. She didn't self-destruct. Instead she expressed her anger. She got it out appropriately in ways that were constructive rather than destructive. That's what we're commanded to do.

Chip Ingram (24:43):
As we wrap this up, God is bringing us together. He actually wants to do something. He wants to do something in you. Yes, and deal with your anger. He wants to do something in you and the people that are close to you in relationships. And then He wants to do something through you and probably in some of you, even in groups where someone has a heart for this and someone has administrative gifts and someone has some leadership gift and someone has some resources and you get together around things that you know are wrong.

Chip Ingram (25:16):
Francis Schaffer said four decades ago that his greatest concern for the church was that instead of the Kingdom of God, over time we would embrace a new gospel that basically was personal peace and prosperity. What I really want from Jesus is personal peace and prosperity. And somehow the gospel over time has gotten just sort of twisted in a way that somehow I want to love Jesus, I'm going to read the Bible, I want to go on a missions trip, I want to be generous with my money. And then underneath it all is so my life works out, so I have personal peace, so I have more fulfillment, so my marriage, if I'm married or my singleness and all my relationships and somehow some way, you know, all my kids will get into the greatest schools, will be upwardly mobile and God is going to bless my life because I'm. And do you understand what happened? God did not put you on this planet so you could use spiritual guidance and resources so you could get Him to do your will. God put you on this earth and loved you and saved you and cared for you. And of course, as you do His will, the byproduct is yeah, your relationships do get better. Yes, He tends to bless and prosper those who follow Him. But all those means were never the end.

Chip Ingram (26:39):
I'm so concerned about people that somehow made their personal maturity the goal of the Christian life or their personal peace or how Jesus can help those you love to be successful. Some of you need to get really angry about some things that are wrong in the world. And by the way, you want your kids to keep walking with God? Watch what happens when they see a mom or a dad get mad and make a difference. And you say to them no, you can come with me. We're going to go make a difference. We're going to do it now. We're not going to talk about it. We're going to do it. You know what they'll do? They'll catch your faith. They'll catch your courage. They will admire your life. That's different than feeling like they're a failure because they only got a 4.25 and didn't get in the elite of the elitist schools. Because no matter what your words say, so much of the behavior is you are really worth something to me and I'm proud of you when you are successful in school or sports or music and you make me look good.

Chip Ingram (27:45):
Have you missed me? I'm teasing. No, you know, I love you guys. Okay? I love you all very much. But it's subtle. You're in the most educated and the richest city in the world with the most advanced technology in the world with the greatest influence in the world. God is a kind and generous and patient father. And of course, does He want your blessing and happiness like any father does for a child? Yes. But He's got an agenda. And we've robbed His agenda and we've given Him ours and say this is what I want you to do. And you know why a lot of people are mad at God, really mad at God? Because you've said this is what I want you to do and this is what I expect and this is what you're getting. I got news for you. God doesn't take orders from anyone. Like long before you were a thought, He was the Creator who was and is and will be. And so I want to tell you that there's this indignation, this righteous anger. Now I've got to warn you because God commands us not only to be angry and not sin. But notice that phrase, don't let the sun go down on your anger. He commands us to resolve our anger before bedtime because unresolved anger, even good Christians, even righteous anger, if you don't resolve it and deal with it, it can distract, deceive and destroy.

Chip Ingram (29:32):
Because the enemy will even take good anger, let alone all the bad anger. It's a trap. And so what want to do now is shift gears. And I want to take you from verse 26 of chapter 4 and I want to walk you through a process of how to resolve your anger. The application will be dual. Some anger, there's a lot of people that have righteous anger and get stuck in it and they do terrible things and are violent toward other people or say harsh and terrible things to other people. They say in the name of God. For others, you're dealing with things and we're kind of growing together and some stuff is coming up and there's a wound and you're not going to move on until you heal the wound and treat the wound and put it behind you. And it's so amazing to me, God, in His Word is going to walk you and me right through exactly how to do that.

Chip Ingram (30:39):
So if you would, will you whisper a little prayer to the Lord before we continue? Pray this. Lord, it's going to be very sensitive. And I'd ask that you'd help me to be open. Some of us have practiced being defensive and in denial for years. Lord, help me to open my heart and open my mind so you could bring healing to the very depths of my soul. And I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. You got to resolve your anger because it breaks your fellowship with God. Resentment, bitterness begins to get planted in your heart. It's a vicious cycle.

Chip Ingram (31:33):
Anger, resolution, healing the wound. If you have your Bible open, it's Ephesians 4. I like to pick it up at verse 31. Ephesians 4:31. There's a negative command, then a positive command and then there's a future command. And what He's actually going to do is he's going to say I want you to cleanse the wound, I want you to treat the wound and then I want you to bandage the wound. And we'll learn exactly how to do that. Here's the positive command. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice. Later, He's going to say positively, be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as God in Christ has forgiven you. So He's going to tell us we got to get rid of some things. Okay? Then He's gonna say positively, we got to put on some things.

Chip Ingram (32:36):
And then He gives us in chapter 5 verses 1 and 2, in the future, here's how you put your past behind you. Be imitators of God therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. So step number one to healing the wound is cleanse the wound. Jot that in your notes if you will. Cleanse the wound. Get rid of. That's not like mess with it, cry about it, be in self-pity. Get rid of how much? All bitterness. Got any bitterness towards a parent, toward an ex, toward a boss, toward a situation? Any rage? Those feelings that when this person comes to mind or when you see them, you know, you just want to knock them out?

Chip Ingram (33:32):
Any anger? That kind of deep seated thing that keeps going on that causes those fantasies? Brawling, slander along with every form of malice? And that's just one of those, malice is you just want bad things to happen to them because they really deserve it. When you hear about them, when you see them, when it comes in, there's an awkwardness. And some of you can't understand why when you visit relatives, you're depressed for the next two weeks. And you were very nice and you tried to do this and you tried to do that. Because there's deep seated bitterness about some hurts that you got to address. How do you do that? Confession and repentance of unresolved anger. Confession. Just you know what? I had one of my really best times of prayer this week. And part of it is, you know, I'm going to teach this to you all. And it's like okay, Lord, you know, I guess round 49 with me. And so would you bring to mind anything in my heart and my life that I need to confess around unresolved anger? And then I sat quietly.

Chip Ingram (34:43):
You know, it's amazing. Some prayers, some people say God never answers my prayer. Try praying that one. And He brought things to my mind. And then repentance is to have a change of mind that leads to a change of action. In other words, it's one thing, I've heard people, oh, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry I said that. I'm sorry I blew up. I'm sorry I did this. I'm sorry I did that. We have, one of my sons, it's a joke in our family now because, you know, I taught my kids to say they were sorry to one another and make up and all the things you want to do as a parent. And this one son was having someone say that all the time, all the time, all the time and the joke in our family now, Eric says hey, don't tell me you're sorry.

Chip Ingram (35:29):
Just don't do it anymore. Just stop it. Show me you're sorry. Which was interesting when Jesus was asked by Zacchaeus, well, what should I do? He said well, pay back everyone that you robbed. What did he say to? He said well, to the Roman soldier, show your repentance. So in other words, if you want to heal the wound and you know, you're going to treat this thing, first of all, you confess. This really is it. And then you have a change of mind about it. You own it. And you say to someone you know what? I don't want to be like that. I mean I really, really don't want to be like that. I had a great note that I got from a lady that I thought was a pretty interesting. It's very brief but it might be a good model for some of you in a relationship as she wrote this in terms of her response to going through this series. Dear son, I first want to tell you that I love you very much.

Chip Ingram (36:32):
I know I get angry with you and I yell a lot. But I want you to know that this is not the desire of my heart. The truth of the matter is that I've been praying for the knowledge and the power to solve this problem. Lo and behold, our God is always faithful. You know, those messages that I listen to sort of on the internet now and then? Well, it was a series on anger and rage. This pastor did his best to teach us how to overcome it. But our best instructor is the Lord Jesus. Here's what I want you to know. I know I've sinned against you by my hurtful words. I want you to know I love you, I'm very proud of you and I'm committed to not keep treating you and yelling at you the way I've done in the past. Pretty courageous mom. Don't you think? That's how you do it.

Chip Ingram (37:22):
Second, not only cleanse the wound, you treat the wound. Verse 32, be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other. And then notice this, just as God in Christ has forgiven you. So, okay. I want to treat this wound. I confess it. Now I want to clean it out. How do you do that? This one goes beyond confession and repentance. You extend forgiveness and you seek reconciliation. Now, as far as it depends on you. And by the way, there's some situations where you can't do this face to face. You can actually extend the forgiveness but you understand from past history or violence or from other things. Romans 12:18 says respect. The word literally as consider. It means to take into account, to kind of walk in someone else's shoes, consider what's right in the sight of all people. And insofar as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Chip Ingram (38:42):
See, one of the things when people really hurt us, we get just sort of this, everything is polarized. Everything is black or white. Everything they do is black because we're receiving it through this filter. It's a difficult thing to do but to think okay, let me, gosh, this, I don't even want it. Their shoes feel dirty. But step into their shoes and try and imagine what possibly could have happened that would cause them to treat me the way they did. Not that you're giving them a pass but so that you can at least begin to understand. I mean I spent years, you know, my dad spewed and then he was absent. And then he had no relationship with my kids whatsoever. And I had a lot of wounds and a lot of hurt and you know, I'm a passive aggressive.

Chip Ingram (39:33):
And so I just would, you know, like not respond or I knew what pushed his buttons. And then I would feel guilty about it and then I'd apologize. And it just was never. And I remember somewhere along the lines realizing okay, what would it look like if I really forgave him. But to forgive him, could I just get a little understanding? And I thought, I don't know much about my dad. But I went back through, what do I know about him? I know that he was the youngest. I know that he's this really great athlete so he got a lot of outward praise. I know that his dad, when he was 13, got cut out in the field. He was a farmer. Refused to go to the doctor. Gangrene set in and he died when my dad was 13. I remember at least one story he told where he owned two farms and on a flatbed truck, some guy auctioned off all the equipment, all the farms. And he and his mom, he was the youngest by quite a few years. Next sister was 10 years older. They had nothing and lived in a back bedroom of a sister's house. Got a scholarship to some school, a high school, prep school, played football actually.

Chip Ingram (40:46):
And then the war hit. And at 16 and a half, he got his mom to sign for him. He had a 50 caliber machine gun on his shoulder in Guam and Iwo Jima and went and killed thousands of people and saw unmentionable things. And was wounded and felt guilty because all the other guys he went in with died and he didn't. Other than that, pretty normal childhood. Now, you know something? I still needed a good dad. But he was a good provider. He tried to love me. He really helped me in some areas. And all of a sudden, you know what happened? It was like hey, you know what? Maybe my perspective and my expectations are a little skewed. Maybe I'm asking a guy with a broken arm that's in a cast to hug me and love me and do something he never got. And if you don't have something, he can't give it away. Maybe you could give him a little grace. And maybe this was, you know, I was like 38 years old at the time. Maybe since you know Jesus a little bit better than he does, you probably have a little bit more grace.

Chip Ingram (41:59):
Maybe you could start treating him a bit more the way you want to be treated rather than fester this wound of neglect and pain. He calls but he didn't talk to my wife and he doesn't come to see my kids and doesn't know anything about me and blah, blah, blah, you know, whine, whine, whine, self-pity, self-pity, self-pity, anger, resentment, bitterness. And I just had to confess that sin and that's wrong. And then I had to repent. And then I had to forgive. And then I sought reconciliation. Let me tell you what forgiveness is. Definition, it's basically I release you from any further obligation or debt. I choose not to hurt back the person who has hurt me. In fact, the Greek word for forgiveness is to release or to let loose. The functional meaning is I choose not to bring up this issue to you, the offender, again to others or in my own meditations. And get that again. When I forgive someone, I'm going to choose now to not talk about my dad anymore in a negative way. I'm going to choose when the tapes go, I'm going to refuse to let that play in my mind. And I'm going to refuse to think negative thoughts.

Chip Ingram (43:19):
When I do, I'm going to shift gears. I'm not going to pay you back anymore. Forgiveness is a choice of the will often despite feelings. Some of you should write that in your notes or put it in your phone immediately. Forgiveness is a choice of the will often despite feelings. When you choose to forgive, the date should be recorded in a permanent place. Because here's what I will tell you. Memories and feelings later are going to come up and you'll think I really haven't forgiven them because that same spewing, that same bitterness, that same hurt. I'm going to give you a tool here in just a minute about how to actually go through the process of forgiving someone so that it can last, so it will really work. And it's right out of Scripture. Forgive, seek reconciliation as far as it depends on you. You do the absolutely most illogical thing. You do what Christ did for you. But they don't deserve it. Of course, they don't deserve it. It was 99% their fault. Well, okay.

Chip Ingram (44:36):
I can't face it. Hurts too much just to think about it. Here's the premise of forgiveness. It's Luke 19. It's a parable. Guy comes in begging because he owes this guy like $20 billion. It's an astronomical number in Scripture that no matter how you play it out, no one could ever pay it back in a lifetime. And Jesus said it that way for purpose. And he begs and pleads and the guy says I forgive it, the whole debt. The guy walks out and finds a guy that literally owes him 20 bucks in our day and he demands it and he demands it and he sends him off to prison. And when people watch that, they went back and told the guy that forgave the billions of dollars. He said tell that guy to come back. I got it. I got it. And Jesus gave that parable because here's what He's saying. I know how deeply a person can be hurt. I think we've all suffered. I don't think anyone's suffered at the level that Jesus did physically, emotionally, relationally.

Chip Ingram (45:44):
And what He did when he died upon the cross, He forgave you a debt that no amount of money or time ever, you can never repay it. And His word and His command, not suggestion, is freely you've received, now freely you give. It's called mercy. My hardest times when I've so battled with, it hurts so bad, I didn't want to forgive, I didn't want to forgive, I didn't want to forgive is I would say do I want to get what I deserve from God? Oh my gosh, no. I want mercy. Then if you're going to get that according to Jesus, you have to be willing to extend it. When you pray, remember Jesus, forgive your brother from the heart. For if you do not forgive your brother from the heart, your God in Heaven, Your father will not forgive you. And so you have this wound and you treat it, cleanse it and then you have to bandage it. In other words, you've got to move forward. Be imitators of God. It's the word mimic. Just mimic the way God forgives. And then notice, I wish I could put in parentheses as dearly loved children. In other words, you have to get how God views you or this never happens.

Chip Ingram (47:11):
How does He view you? As a dearly loved son. You are loved. You are cared for. Mimic God as someone who is already dearly and deeply loved. And then live a life of love just as Christ also gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering to God. How do you do it? You put the past behind you and the Bible's really very clear about how to put the past behind you. It is the most painful, illogical, I don't want to do it. Romans 12, right? We've been there many times. Bless those who curse you. Bless and curse not.

Chip Ingram (47:55):
Blessed means you want their welfare. You want the best of everything. You long for their salvation and all the blessings that would go through it. You want the Shalom of God. You're saying oh God, I want you to bring out your very, very best for this person that hurt me, that used me, that abused me, that abandoned me, that's lied to me, that betrayed me. I want your blessing to be poured out because they curse. The word curse is strong. It's not just someone cussing. It's they wanted you to go to hell. It's what the word means. They wanted to mess up your whole life. He says bless those who curse you. Bless and curse not.

Chip Ingram (48:33):
Never take your own revenge. It's not your job to pay them back. I am the Lord. That is my name. If your enemy is hungry, do what? Feed him. If your enemy is thirsty, do what? Give him a drink. In so doing, your heap burning coals on his head. It's a picture of they will feel shame when you love and forgive people. They know they don't deserve it. It brings up a shame. A sense of I know I don't deserve this. And in the ancient near East when someone was repenting, he would take some coals, put in a little pan, take a towel, put it around his head and he would walk through the village with this I'm burning out the bad thoughts. I'm repenting. You'll heap burning coals on his head. Notice the command, verse 21 of chapter 12. Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.

Chip Ingram (49:24):
You see the thing about when you forgive and you get free, you can put your past behind you. But you have to go into training and you have to learn how to overcome what I just call the recycling of forgiveness. There's a picture in your notes and there's a picture, I think we have it on the screen as well that will be really important. Okay. Forgiveness. There's three tenses. You know, like in a verb? There's three tenses. Forgive, forgiving, forgiven. To forgive is an act of the will. I forgave my father. I had some big issues in my life. I forgave some people that betrayed me. It's an act of the will. But then here's what happens. You get a phone call, something comes up on your phone, they didn't pick up the kids another time, they haven't made their payments, they're still messing with you.

Chip Ingram (50:15):
Oh, well, I guess I didn't forgive him because your feelings are as mad, right? Now in some of these things, there's some action. This isn't just all spiritual. You can't keep doing business with that person or you got to set some boundaries. But once you forgive, it's an act of the will. You write down the date. Then the forgiving process is the blessing and one of the most powerful things you'll ever do that you start praying for. And by the way, you'll start out with my kind of prayers. Dear God, show this person how bad and how wrong and how dirty and how rotten they are. Cause them to repent. Help them, help them. Give them a dream about how badly they hurt me. And Lord, would you cause their business to go in the tank so they would look up to you? And then you got, believe me, those kinds of prayers, the Holy Spirit will whisper these aren't blessings. And then you'll choose. Lord, would you help him to understand how much you love him? God, would you help him be a good dad?

Chip Ingram (51:29):
Would you help her overcome the depression that I know she struggles with? God, would you bring someone into their life to help them with that addiction? Lord, would you bless the work of their hands? Would you prosper them? Would you cause their kids to do well in school? Would you bring people and circumstances and encouragement into their life? And by the way, be a hypocrite. You don't have to feel that. You know what I mean. I mean that sort of tongue in cheek. But we have this weird idea that well, I can never pray that sincerely because I don't really want it. You're choosing. You're choosing to do what God. You got a command. Bless this person. Well, start praying prayers that bless them. And then I had an absolute deal. Whenever I took the Lord's Supper, I would hold it in my hands and I would never put it near my mouth until I would reaffirm Lord, I want to remind you and remind me, I have fully and completely forgiven this person. I did it on this date.

Chip Ingram (52:38):
And before I partake of this, I'm asking you again, will you bless their life? Then I take the Lord's Supper. Because I always wanted something where it doesn't fade away. And then you'll hear about them. And God will really, I believe he will answer your prayers. He's a good God. And here's the thing. It's the kindness of God that leads people to salvation according to the Bible, Romans 2. So if God should bless and do something in their life, that probably will help them a lot more than anything. So as you pray, but then you'll hear something good about them and when you hear something good about them, your internal response will probably be something like drat, you answered my prayer.

Chip Ingram (53:18):
It's a Jonah moment. Oh my gosh. I knew if I preach, they'd repent, Jonah wanted to see him go down. And so someone would tell someone about, I still remember the first time I was learning this and I'd hear something good about this person. And someone, mutual friend, hey, did you hear about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? Well, it's the very thing I've been praying. Oh, yeah. Inside, it was oh, no. And then two years later, I still remember. I can tell you where I was standing and someone came up like after service. Oh, did you hear about so-and-so and so-and-so and this and this and this happened? And before I could think, my immediate response was rejoicing. And what I realized was God did a miracle in me. Forgive, choice; forgiving, process, prayer, blessing, struggle.

Chip Ingram (54:08):
I hear something good about them and the bitterness has gone out of my heart and I rejoice. Because when a sinner like you and me repented and God was blessing, all of Heaven had a party and that He wants us to join in and be those kinds of people. Anger has got some power, doesn't it? Will you stand with me? Lord, I would ask now in the name of Jesus, the living Savior of all the world, the King who brought your Kingdom and launched it, that you would bring to mind to those in this room and whoever might ever hear this or watch this to their minds some wrong, some evil, some injustice that they need to be a part of fixing and challenging and doing it wisely and winsomely and lovingly and with a lot of anger but anger that's completely under control.

Chip Ingram (55:12):
And then Father, I would pray for those that just need healing. God, would you help them to confess and repent, to forgive and to actually seek reconciliation as far as it depends on them, that there would be great stories of people that it went really bad but only God could restore it? And then Lord, would you help us put our past behind us? Would you be empowering us to be mimics, to love the way you love, to sacrifice the way Jesus did that we could be a fragrant aroma to you? We confess we do not have the courage, the faith or often the willingness. But you said ask and we would receive. If we seek, we will find. And if we knock on the door of Heaven, you will answer these prayers. In Christ's name.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032