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Managing Anger in an Unforgiving World
“My life is at the
mercy of any scoundrel who chooses to put me in a passion!” John Hunter
(1700s), British physician known for his bad temper
by John Hunter
was prophetic. At a meeting of the board of St. Georges
Hospital, he became involved in a heated argument, walked out and dropped dead of a
We all know what
anger is and we’ve all felt it: whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage. Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems - problems at work, in your personal relationships and even your health.
Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry at a specific person (such
as a co-worker or supervisor), or event (a traffic jam, a canceled flight), or your anger could be caused by worrying or brooding about your personal problems. Memories of traumatic or enraging
events can also trigger angry feelings.
The Anger Trap In essence, anger is the feeling we get when we desire the world to be different and we don’t get our way.
Rodger Kamenetz, Professor
at Louisiana State
University, says anger becomes a “trap” when we lose control over its effects on us. This makes us prone to emotional outbursts and depression. And the anger that inspires some to violence in the workplace is no different than the anger that inspires acts of terror or brutality.
that anger is a feedback loop, “anger produces further anger.” The idea that you should “let your anger out” is a dangerous myth. Even if anger is warranted, losing control of it can become destructive. Likewise, anger can cycle into violence.
Anger fed violence gets directed because, “anger needs an object,” says Kamenetz, “it's impossible to sustain our anger without an object.” This is why anger, violence and obsessive behavior are so often linked. Those who are caught in the anger trap, can’t see, in their rage, that violence is actually “turning themselves into what they hate.”
Are You Too Angry?
There are psychological
tests that measure the intensity of angry feelings, how prone to anger you are and how well you handle it. But chances are good that if you do have a problem with anger, you already know it.
having anger problems when you develop a low tolerance for frustration, meaning simply that you can’t take things in stride. And you get particularly infuriated if the
situation seems somehow unjust. If you find yourself acting in ways that seem out of control and frightening, you might need help finding better ways to deal with this emotion.
natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary to our survival.
On the other hand,
we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us. Laws, social norms and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive - not aggressive - manner is the healthiest way to express anger.
To do this, you
have to learn how to make clear what your needs are and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn’t mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others. Dr. Lynne
McClure, expert on anger management, subtitled one of her books “managing anger in an unforgiving world.”
Because we are,
legitimately, victims sometimes, people often want to hold on to their anger. She says it can feel good, at least for a while, “because you feel so righteous and justified to be angry.”
But holding anger is dangerous in the long run. If your anger is with a person, talking things out can usually help. McClure explains that
if the source of your anger is a “real issue,” something that can be depersonalized, then there’s a chance that a resolution
can be found.
A good place to
start is for both parties to identify and agree on the concerns they have in common. Angry people tend to jump to - and act on - conclusions. Don’t say the first thing that comes into your head,
but slow down and think carefully about what you want to say. At the same time, listen carefully to what the other person is saying and take your time before answering.
The danger is
when your anger turns inward - on yourself. Anger turned inward may cause hypertension, high blood pressure, or depression. Unexpressed anger can also lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behavior (getting back at people
indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on), or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile.
People who are
constantly putting others down, criticizing everything and making cynical comments are exhibiting conduct brought on by trying
to suppress their anger.
Anger can be suppressed and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in
your anger, stop thinking about it and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behavior. This means not just controlling your outward behavior, but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down and let the feelings subside.
tools can help calm down angry feelings:
• Breathe deeply, from your diaphragm; breathing from your chest won’t relax you. Picture
your breath coming up from your “gut.”
• Slowly repeat a calm word or phrase such as “relax,” “take it easy.” Repeat it to yourself while breathing
• Use imagery; visualize a relaxing experience, from either your memory or your imagination.
• Slow, non-strenuous, yoga or martial arts exercises can relax your muscles
and make you feel much calmer.
techniques daily. Learn to use them automatically when you’re in a tense situation.
strategy is to give yourself scheduled break times in your day. One example is the working mother who has a standing rule
that when she comes home from work, for the first 15 minutes, “nobody talks to Mom unless the house is on fire.”
After this brief quiet time, she feels better prepared to handle demands from her kids without blowing up at them.
Simply put, this
means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their
inner thoughts. When you’re angry, your thinking can get very exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones.
For instance, instead of telling yourself, “oh, it’s awful, it’s terrible, everything’s ruined,”
tell yourself, “it’s frustrating and it’s understandable that I’m upset about it, but it’s not the end of the world and getting angry isn't going to fix it anyhow.”
Logic defeats anger, because anger, even when it’s justified, can quickly become irrational. So use cold hard logic on yourself. Remind yourself that the world is “not out to get you,” you’re
just experiencing some of the rough spots of daily life. Do this each time you feel anger getting the best of you and it’ll help you get a more balanced perspective.
Angry people tend to demand things:
these things and we're all hurt and disappointed when we don’t get them; but when people demand them and when their demands aren’t met, their disappointment becomes anger.
People need to become aware of their demanding nature and translate it into reasonable expectations. Not every problem has a perfect solution. The best attitude, then, is to focus on how you handle and deal with the problem. Make a plan and check your progress along the
Resolve to give
it your best, but also not to punish yourself if an answer doesn’t come right away. Using a little silly humor with yourself can also help defuse rage before it starts.
If you can approach
a problem with your best intentions and efforts and make a serious attempt to face it head-on, you'll be less likely to lose
patience and fall into all-or-nothing thinking, even if the problem doesn't get solved right away.
Do You Need Counseling?
If you feel that
your anger is really out of control, if it's having a negative impact on your relationships and on important parts
of your life, you might consider counseling to learn how to handle it better.
When you talk
to a prospective therapist, ask about their approach to anger management. Make sure this isn’t only a course of action designed to “put you in touch with your
feelings and express them” - that may be precisely what your problem is.
Remember, you can’t eliminate anger - and it wouldn’t be a good idea if you could. In spite of all your efforts, things will happen that
will cause you anger; and sometimes it'll be justifiable anger. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss and the unpredictable actions of others.
change that; but you can change the way you let such events affect you.
For more information, contact the Michigan State Police Office of Behavioral Science,
America are unsafe & unforgiving for kids
Speeding cars, children darting into traffic, and streets without
sidewalks place youth at risk on America's
"We don't go walking on our street," says Evelyn Moe.
"I don't even allow my kids out in the front yard unless I'm out there."
and her husband, Mike, live in the county outside Sumner,
Wash., about an hour and a half drive south of Seattle. Tulips and rhubarb grow in the fields near the 3-bedroom home where they
are raising their two young boys: Kevin, 4 and Lyle,
"The area that we live in is mostly a rural area with lots of
farming nearby," 30-year-old Moe said. "Often, large trucks go by with rhubarb on the back and when that happens, basically,
the whole house shakes."
The speed limit on the narrow two-lane street in front of the
Moe's home is 35 miles an hour, but often vehicles whiz by exceeding 45. The street has no sidewalks nor shoulder for walking.
"There's just enough room for the cars to go by," Moe explained.
"If you wanted to walk there, you'd be walking out in the muddy fields along the side of the road."
"The road winds too," she added, "so there are a lot of blind
curves and cars can pop out all of a sudden going pretty fast."
David Perez lives on the other side of the United States
from the Moes but has a similar problem: his street isn't safe for his kids either.
The street in front of his home in a tree-lined neighborhood in
Durham, N.C. is used as a
short-cut for commuters trying to gain a few extra minutes going to and from work.
The speed limit is 25 but people often exceed it, 37-year-old
"This year a car ran into the front of the house on the opposite
corner of where we live," he said. "The guy was going so fast that if it wasn't for a big tree in the yard, he probably would
have ended up in the house."
These street conditions understandably make Perez and his wife, Melannie, nervous about allowing their 5-year-old son, Jordon, to play
in the front yard. And unless something is done, the situation is only going to be worse when their 5-month-old daughter,
Gabriel, learns to walk.
Making America Walkable
The complaints of the Moe and Perez
families are not isolated examples. Rather, they are practically the norm in neighborhoods all across the United States these days.
But how does
one person or one family or one community go about making the changes necessary to make our streets safer for our children and for pedestrians in general?
to Jerry Scannell,
president of the National Safety Council in Chicago,
national awareness of the problem is the seed of change.
"I think people tend to think of themselves primarily as drivers
and only incidentally as walkers and because we're not aware that we're pedestrians and that we deserve consideration, we
accept conditions we shouldn't accept," he said. Priority needs to be given to providing places where we can walk safely."
is the chairman of the "Partnership for a Walkable America" -- a coalition of private, state and federal organizations from
all across the United States who have come together with the common cause of increasing public awareness about the unquestionable
need for our communities to be safer and more accessible for walkers. Another focus of the Partnership is to emphasize the healthiness of walking -- both the
physical benefits it provides for those who do it and the social benefits communities reap from this activity.
In order for change to happen, the public is going to have to
ask for it, said Partnership member Bill Wilkinson,
who is also the director of the Pedestrian Federation of America in Washington
"The only thing that's going to make pedestrians be a priority is people getting out there and saying:
"'This is not okay in the community I'm going to be living in. I want a place where I don't have to worry about my kids walking
to school or me having to drive everywhere I want to go,'" he said. "The public doesn't have to have the answers. They just
have to have the indignation to say: 'Excuse me, this isn't what I want. I want a transportation system that is a whole lot
friendlier toward the community.'"
Children At Risk
The members of this growing partnership, which includes private,
state and federal groups, are particularly concerned about the safety of child pedestrians.
to figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), 806 children, ages 15 and younger were killed in pedestrian
crashes in the United States in 1994.
These data also show that on average, 10 boys and 5 girls, in that same age bracket, died each week in a pedestrian crash
The incidence of injuries among children due to pedestrian crashes
is even higher. Many of these injuries are also quite grave. The USDOT figures for that year show that 30,833 children, ages
15 and younger, were injured in pedestrian crashes. Those figures also show that 340 boys and 250 girls, ages 15 and younger,
were injured each week in pedestrian crashes.
The injury and fatality rates for young pedestrians are troubling,
but they can be changed, said Partnership member Dr. Alfred Farina, a research psychologist in charge of
pedestrian and bicycle safety research for the USDOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Dr. Farina said kids need to be taught to be more careful around moving vehicles. He added that
many programs to educate children to stop and look left, right and then left once more before entering the street have been
successful in reducing the incidence of injury and death in young pedestrians.
"Kids are unacquainted with the dangers of the road and they also
tend to think of adults as people who take care of children and that attitude may extend to how they think of drivers," Dr. Farina said.
"We did a study one time about the street crossing behaviors of kids, ranging in age from kindergartners
to third graders," he said. What we found was that about 90% of the crossings made by young children were in error. "
One of the most common errors young children make, Dr. Farina
said, is to a dart out" into the street without first checking left, right and then left again for traffic. In fact, 46% of
the pedestrian crashes involving children, ages 5 through 14, can be attributed to "dart out" behavior.
contributing to child pedestrian crashes is that many parents tend to overestimate their child's ability to deal with street
conditions, said John Moffat,
director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
is a member of the National Association of Governors' Highway Safety Representatives, which is a member of the Partnership.
Pedestrian crashes are one of the biggest killers of children
ages 5 to 9," he said. "That's because children often dart out into the road and by the time a driver detects them and is
able to stop, it is often too late."
Parents Often Overestimate Cognitive Abilities Of Children
children to play unattended near a street is also dangerous, according Partnership member Richard Blomberg, the president of Dunlap & Associates
in Stamford, Conn., a research
organization that specializes in pedestrian safety research.
Parents often say to their children: 'Well, you can play outside,
but don't leave the driveway,'" Blomberg said. "We tend to look at children as little adults and forget that they aren't fully
developed yet. Their ability to localize sound isn't fully developed. Their judgment isn't fully developed. Their vision isn't
fully developed. We as adults have to have an understanding of the limitations of a child."
Children are often so focused on their play activities that they
don't notice cars, said Partnership member John Fegan, the bicycle and pedestrian program manager for the Office of the Secretary of the
"If a ball or something rolls out into the street, they just run
out after it without thinking about the cars," he said.
"Kids also don't have an appreciation foe the dynamics of how
cars work," he added. "A car obviously just can't stop on a dime and kids don't have an understanding of that. I don't think
they have a sense of the danger that a car could hit them. And they're rewarded for that belief and that behavior because
most likely, they have run across the street many times and have not been hit by a car. But it only takes one time."
Changes That Can Help
Cars parked on streets are another safety hazard for children, according to Fegan.
"We know that children dart out and with parked cars, drivers
can't see them," he said. "There are several things we can do to limit that hazard. One would be to change how cars park. Engineers could eliminate street parking or switch to angled parking on
one side of the street. Another would be to lower the vehicle speed so there is more time to detect a child and reduce potential
injuries if there's an unfortunate crash."
the vehicle speed assumes there will be adequate enforcement of the law. And removing parked cars from streets assumes developers
and engineers will offer different kinds of housing and street designs than they do now.
Both these things and more can be accomplished, according to Partnership
member Carol Tan
Esse, program manager for pedestrian and bicycle safety research for the Federal Highway Administration.
"If people want a walkable community, they need to let the engineers
and architects and developers know," she said. "In the end, the consumer dictates the market."
In Praise Of Sidewalks
According to Blomberg, many community developments these days
simply aren't safe for children.
"I consult with several school districts to help make their school
busing safer and some of the problems are zoning laws that don't make any sense," he said. "One of those laws is if you build 13 or fewer
homes, you don't have to put in sidewalks. And if you add homes later, you still don't have to build sidewalks. So guess how
many homes each developer builds initially? And then two years later, they're building another 5 or 10 homes and meanwhile,
they're grandfathered and there are no sidewalks."
of these neighborhoods later have problems transporting children to school, Blomberg said. The roads there are narrow and
winding with lots of blind curves and since they don't have sidewalks, children are forced to walk and wait for the bus in
This problem is not isolated to Connecticut,
said Partnership member Charles Zegeer,
who is associate director of roadway studies at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. He also is a member
of the Institute for Transportation Engineers, a Partner organization.
"In many areas of the country, sidewalks are kind of an exception
rather than a rule and children are expected to walk to school or to the bus stop in roadways or ditches," he said.
our communities more walkable is a shared responsibility, according to Scannell.
Maybe one of the best messages that something like
the Partnership can bring forward is that we all have got to come together and share responsibility for this, he said. "If parents did their part and schools did their part and traffic engineers and developers did their part
- all of that over time would create a better environment and one in which our children would not only be safer, but come to value walking more."
This article was written for the Partnership for a Walkable America by Emily Smith of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research
Phone: (919) 962-2202
Uncontrolled Anger Sequence
Everybody experiences their own anger in unique, individual
ways. However, it's possible to identify some common features in the pattern of uncontrolled anger.
1. TRIGGERS: Something
unpleasant happens, our buttons are pushed (perceived attack on our safety, power, pride, autonomy, esteem, etc.).
2. THOUGHTS: We evaluate
others’ behavior, we think about what happened. Jerk! Unfair! Terrible! Awful! They shouldn’t do that!
3. FEELINGS: We respond
emotionally to our thoughts and evaluations. Hurt! Scared! Outraged! Attacked! Hopeless!
4. BEHAVIORS: We act
out our feelings. Run! Withdraw! Cry! Fight! Attack! Revenge!
5. CONSEQUENCES: The
consequences of our acting out can escalate our anger and the cycle continues.
Chapter 14 Guilt and Forgiveness
We must discover what we are looking for inside not outside
of ourselves. We all have an inner peace we can learn to
External rational thought creates external feelings.
Internal conscious thought accesses internal feelings.
Spiritual Intelligence Inventory
1. Most people find the hardest person to forgive
is themselves. True or False?
2. Some people have done things that cause them to
never feel forgiven. True or False?
3. Some children cannot forgive their parents because
of what they did. True or False?
4. When you cannot forgive another, they control
you. True or False?
5. To forgive means not to blame others for your
hurt and anger. True or False?
6. Some people feel guilty because others get angry
with them. True or False?
7. Some people will always feel guilty because of what they
did. True or False?
Who Owns You?
Scripture says, "If you do not forgive others, neither
will God forgive you." Matt 6;14 Guilt and unforgiveness go together because a person feeling unforgiven feels guilt.
When a person cannot forgive themselves they generally
have someone else they cannot forgive. As long as their hand is in a fist holding onto the other person, they cannot receive
what they most want.
It is only by opening their hand and to give real
forgiveness that freedom from guilt can come. The best definition of forgiveness is "not blaming others for our pain." When
we stop blaming others, we can begin to let it go.
The Oprah Winfrey show had three women who had been
raped. They had become Christians and had forgiven their rapists. To Oprah's and all of our shock, none of them had taken
the men to court. Forgiveness does not mean saying what these men did was right. They were wrong and should spend a good time
in prison for their crime. Forgiveness is a matter of letting yourself go, not letting others go.
Another woman who was raped was asked by an interviewer
whether she was still affected by the rape. She said, "Hell, no! I gave that man thirty minutes of my life and I am not going
to give him any more."
After I finished talking about forgiveness at a conference,
a women came to me and said, "How can I forgive?" She related how her daughter was brutally raped and murdered by a man who
was later convicted was now spending the rest of his life in prison. "Whenever I think of him, what he did to my daughter,
and the terrible tragic loss of my only child, I feel bitterness, anger, deep sorrow, unforgiveness,
and pain. I suffer ever day of my life over what she must have gone through." I asked her, "Do you want this man to own you?"
She jumped back as if hit by an electric shock and with an angry voice said "Certainly not!" I answered, "Well, he does own
you, and until you can let it go and not blame him for your pain, anger, and suffering, he will continue to own you."
Confession without Repentance: (The Scapegoat Problem)
The problem with forgiveness is that people are looking
for forgiveness without repentance. It's called "Scapegoating" and it wont work.
Scapegoating comes from the Old Testament times when
during the Day of Atonement the high priest would confess the sins of Israel on the horns of a goat. The goat was them set
free to escape into the wilderness with the sins of Israel on its head. This seemed to give a certain amount of relief to
the people, but it didn't last very long. The pain of the sin came back. So they decided to tie a scarlet ribbon on the horns
of the goat. When it was bleached out their sin would surely be forgiven. But this also took too long. They then decided to
toss the goat off the cliff feeling that its death would bring a sense of total forgiveness. The problem was the goat didn't
always die, and this wounded goat with a broken leg would be wandering around the wilderness with the sins of Israel attached
to it. Finally they decided they would just kill the goat, but this didn't seem to work either.
Today we consider ourselves more civilized than this
primitive way of trying to get rid of our guilt, yet we are doing the same thing today with capital punishment.
A prison chaplain many years ago told of how when
they would execute a person in Chicago, people would gather around the prison, which was on a hill with a road surrounding
the walls. At midnight the lights dimmed and the people would go quietly away. (Actually, the lights never dimmed –
the people only thought they did. The lights were on a separate power supply.) In effect the people were dumping their anger,
guilt, and pain on a violent criminal and were finding a brief kind of respite. But, as with the ancient Jews, this respite
just would not last very long.
Their problem was that there was no change on the
inside. They would continue creating the same pain, guilt and anger. Soon they would have to find another person to dump on.
Sometimes the "other" would be a spouse, child or innocent bystander. The problem was the sin continued because there was
no repentance. Repentance, a Greek word "metanoia" meaning to change "meta" the nous" mind, way of thinking, or attitude.
You cannot just confess sins and receive forgiveness, but not have a change of mind if you expect it to last.
As a matter of fact, you need to change your mind
first, then comes the sense of forgiveness, and then the confession. Without a change of mind, it is still the same old Scapegoat
If people think, "I won't be happy until they get
rid of Saddam Hussein," Saddam then controls their lives.
The inverse of this is true. it would be possible to be happy
even if they never get rid of Saddam. It is a sad thing when you hear the family of a brutally murdered child say they will
not have closure until the murderer is executed. The problem here is that they are pinning their hopes on having closure and
freedom from the pain on the execution. After the murderer is executed they will still have the same pain, but even greater
because their hopes are dashed. They will perhaps say "I do not understand what closure is."
Spiritual Intelligence Test
The one thing that controls our spiritual intelligence
is unforgiveness. There are three questions we can ask ourselves to test our spiritual intelligence.
First, "Do you think you can not forgive one person
and not have it effect your entire life?" If you believe this, you have low spiritual intelligence. Unforgiveness
is like breaking an arm. You do not want any one to hit you again nor do you want them getting too close to the injury. If
they do get close you may try to warn them by exploding, telling them of your pain and anger. The problem is when you are
controlled by your unforgiveness, no one can see it. They don`t know what you are getting
upset about, or why you are yelling, They get defensive, yell back and you have the start of a long-lasting argument.
In my counseling I have found an old wound, perhaps
some abuse by a parent that is unforgiven, will impact marriage, family, personal, and business
relationships. Sometimes the wound is so deep, it is buried. It may take years of counseling just to dig it up.
However, a person can save hours of counseling and
thousands of dollars if they are willing to start consciously practicing one thing: forgiveness. Forgiveness is like a healing
unction that permeates deep into the life of the soul.
The second question is, "Are you willing to forgive?"
If the answer is "No", you have low spiritual intelligence.
The problem is most people do not know what forgiveness
means, but they think they do. If they knew truly what it meant, they would want to do it.
It is important to have a working, personal definition
of forgiveness, not one someone else told you. A biblical definition of forgiveness can be summarized by the phrase, "Whosoever
sins you forgive they are forgiven. And whosoever sins you do not forgive, they are not forgiven."
First of all this does not mean if you don’t
forgive someone, they are not forgiven. Understanding the grammatical construction can help. The word "whosoever" modifies
"sin". "They" therefore refers to the sin not to the person.
The actual Greek work for "forgive" should be translated
"release". Then this passage
would read, "Whosoever sins you release, they
are released and whosoever sins you retain, they are retained". If you refuse to let go of the pain, hurt and anger,
you naturally will continue to have pain, hurt and anger.
The final question is, "Do you think the reason you
feel hurt is because of what happened?" If so, you have a very low spiritual intelligence score.
The litmus test as to whether you have forgiven someone
or not would be if you believe every time you think of what happened you feel hurt. If you do not have to feel hurt and angry
-- you have forgiven.
Forgiveness is a choice, and we can choose which
we want to believe.
The truth is, at times we feel more hurt than at
other times. And the mood we are in does make a difference.
When we feel secure, loved and happy, we see events
differently than when we feel insecure, unhappy and unloved. This being true, the event does not cause the pain or anger,
but our perspective of the event.
Whenever we think of what happened, we do not have
to feel angry – that it is possible to be at peace. Then we can become open to the presence of the peace that is within
us. We find what is called "closure." This can enables us to be free and healed of our wounds both known and unknown
Guilt from past mistakes we have made can cause us
to be powerless every time we think of what we did. No matter how much we try to make amends, we are still are powerless to
be rid of the guilt. Somehow it never seems to balance out. We always wind up owing someone for something they caused. Guilt,
however, is not caused by the event or by those who will not forgive you. It is caused by our perspective.
The final level is the most important one to understand.
It would be possible, just possible, to think of what happened and still be at peace. Once we reach this level of understanding,
we are on the road to closure.
Consider the fact that at times you have felt more
guilty than other times. This is always true. Next, reflect on times when the mood you are in made a difference. Sometimes
in a low mood you can chew on the guilt and the deed. In a high mood, it is easier to walk away from.
Now consider this truth: You do not always have to
feel guilty every time you think about the event?
Once you realize this, it follows that it would be
possible to be at peace whenever you think of what you did.
That is why understanding the five levels of truth
is so important.
They can be helpful to leading a person to repentance,
to change our way of thinking. They can enable us to understand forgiveness and find closure.
Now check your answers and see if you have any change
RESPONSES TO SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE INVENTORY
1. Most people find the hardest person to forgive
False- Most people have a hard time forgiving themselves
if they have someone else they cannot forgive.
2. Some people have done things that cause them to
never feel forgiven.
False- They can't change what was done, but they
can change how they think about what was done.
3. Some children cannot forgive their parents because
of what they did.
False- Change the way they are thinking and they
change their ability to forgive.
4. When you cannot forgive another, they control
True- Blaming others for your pain puts them in control
5. To forgive means not to blame others for your
hurt and anger
True- Letting go of the blame is what forgiveness
6. Some people feel guilty because others get angry
False- They think that is why they feel guilty.
7. Some people will always feel guilty because of
what they did.
True- It`s their choice, but why do it
source site: PDF click here
Can God Forgive Abortions?
of women and men, both in society and in the church, are suffering under the guilt of abortion. Nearly 1 out of 5 women getting an abortion
identifies herself as an evangelical Christian.* This means a quarter of a million abortions are performed on Christians each
year. Many of the fathers of these children are also part of our churches.
If you're a woman who's had
an abortion, or advised another to have one, this chapter is for you. If you're a man who's been involved in an abortion decision
- whether it concerned your girlfriend, wife, daughter, or anyone it's also for you.
It's counterproductive to
try to eliminate guilt feelings without dealing with guilt's cause. Others may say, "You have nothing to feel guilty about," but you know better. Only by denying reality can you avoid guilt feelings. Denial sets you up for emotional collapse whenever something reminds you of the child you once carried. You need a permanent
solution to your guilt problem, a solution based on reality, not pretense.
Because the Bible offers that
solution, I will quote from it. Ask your pastor, women's group leader, or a Christian friend or family member, to help you
The Work of Christ
The good news is that God loves you and desires to forgive you for your abortion, whether or not you knew what you were doing. But before the good news can
be appreciated, we must know the bad news. The bad news is there's true moral guilt, and all of us are guilty of many moral offenses against God, of which abortion is only one. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans
Sin is falling short of God's holy standards. It separates us from a relationship with God (Isaiah 59:2). Sin deceives us, making us think that wrong is right and right is wrong (Proverbs 14:12).
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Jesus Christ, God's Son, loved us so much that He became a member of the human race to deliver us from our sin problem (John
3:16). He identified with us in our weakness, without being tainted by our sin (Hebrews
2:17-18; 4:15-16). Jesus died on the cross as the only one worthy to pay the penalty for our sins demanded by God's holiness (2 Corinthians 5:21). He rose from the grave, defeating sin and
conquering death (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 54-57).
When Christ died on the cross
for us, He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30).
The Greek word translated "it is finished" was written across certificates of debt when they were canceled. It meant "paid
in full." Christ died to fully pay our debt.
Because of Christ's work on
the cross on our behalf, God freely offers us forgiveness. Here are just a few of those offers:
He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us
according to our iniquities....
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him (Psalm
If we confess our sins, he
is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Therefore, there is now no
condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
A Gift that Can't be EarnedSalvation is a gift - "For it is by grace you have been saved, through
faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). This gift
cannot be worked for, earned, or achieved. It's not dependent on our merit or effort, but solely on Christ's sacrifice for
God offers us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life, but it's not automatically ours. In order to have the gift, we must choose
to accept it.
You may think, "But I don't deserve forgiveness after all I've done." That's exactly right. None of us deserves forgiveness. If we deserved
it, we wouldn't need it. That's the point of grace. Christ got what we deserved on the cross, so we could get what we don't
deserve - a clean slate, a fresh start.
Once forgiven, we can look
forward to spending eternity with Christ and our spiritual family (John 14:1-3; Revelation
20:11-22:6). You can look forward to being reunited in heaven with your loved ones covered by Christ's blood,
including the child you lost through abortion (1 Thessalonians
No Need to Dwell on Past Sins
A promiscuous woman wept at
Christ's feet, kissed them, and wiped them with her hair. Jesus said to a judgmental bystander, "Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven - for she loved much" (Luke
7:47). Jesus offers the same forgiveness to all of us.
God doesn't want you to go through life punishing yourself for your abortion or for any other wrong you have done. Your part
is to accept Christ's atonement, not to repeat it. Jesus said to an immoral woman, "Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has
saved you; go in peace" (Luke 7:47-50). Women rejected by society came
to Jesus, and He welcomed them with compassion and forgiveness.
No matter what you've done,
no sin is beyond the reach of God's grace. He has seen us at our worst and still loves us. There are no limits to his forgiving grace. And there is no freedom
like the freedom of forgiveness.
You may feel immediately cleansed
when you confess your sins, or you may need help working through it. Either way, you're forgiven. You should try to forget
what lies behind and move on to a positive future made possible by Christ (Philippians 3:13-14). Whenever we start
feeling unforgiven, it's time to go back to the Bible and remind ourselves, and each other,
of God's forgiveness.
Joining a group for post-abortion
healing can help you immensely. There are post-abortion Bible studies designed for women, and others for men. Many online
resources can help you find the support group you need.*
by Right Choices Many women who've had abortions carry understandable bitterness toward men who used and abused them, toward parents who pressured them, and toward those who misled them into a choice that resulted in their child's death. God expects us to take the forgiveness He's given us and extend it to others (Matthew 6:14-15).
You need to become part of
a therapeutic community, a family of Christians called a church. (If you're already in
a church, share your abortion experience with someone to get the specific help you need.) You may feel self-conscious
around Christians because of your past. You shouldn't. A true Christ-centered church isn't a showcase for saints but a hospital
for sinners. You won't be judged and condemned for sins Christ has forgiven. The people you're joining are just as human and just as imperfect as you. Most church people aren't self-righteous. Those who are should be pitied because they don't understand God's grace.
A good church will teach the
truths of the Bible, and will provide love, acceptance, and support for you. If you cannot find such a church in your area, contact our organization and we'll gladly help you.
A healthy step you can take
is to reach out to women experiencing unwelcome pregnancies. God can eventually use your experience to equip you to help others and to share with them God's love. My wife and I have a number of good friends who've had abortions. Through their caring pro-life efforts they've given to other women the help they wish someone had given them. Telling their stories has not only
saved children's lives, and mothers from the pain of abortion, but has helped bring healing to them. It can do the same for
Adapted from Randy Alcorn's book Why ProLife?
(Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2004).
by Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 206, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200,
Complexity Of Teaching
Avoiding Simplicity In The Age Of Accountability
unprecedented emphasis on teaching quality emerged from the standards and accountability movement of the 1990's. From the beginning, the issue of “teaching quality” was framed as part of
the larger movement to make schools, school districts and teachers more responsible and accountable for students’ learning.
As a policy
matter, a political priority and in public opinion polls, teaching quality and teacher accountability are now inextricably tied.
the most recent Hart-Teeter poll, commissioned by the Educational Testing Service (Hart & Teeter, 2002),
is entitled “A National Priority: Americans Speak on Teacher Quality.” This bipartisan public opinion survey found that even since September 11, improving education is a top priority for American adults, with only
family values and fighting terrorism ranked higher. The link between teaching quality and teaching accountability is crystal clear in the poll’s highlights:
- The public strongly supports standards and accountability. Although Americans support measures to raise teacher quality, they continue to insist on reforms that raise
standards and accountability for both students and teachers.
- All groups recognize that the quality of teaching determines the quality of education. Americans want more and better teachers in
the nation’s schools. . . . 9 in 10 (91%) adults support offering more training programs so teachers can continue to
learn and become better teachers. (Hart &
Teeter, 2002, p. 2)
The poll also
indicates that Americans are willing to pay higher taxes for better teachers - including improved working conditions, higher
salaries and ongoing professional development - as long as these are linked to greater accountability. Along these lines, more than 73% of adults surveyed favored testing student achievement and holding teachers
and schools responsible for their scores and 70% wanted teachers tested on subject knowledge and skills.
debate in the education community about the assertion that quality of teaching and teacher preparation ought to be defined
(at least in part) in terms of student learning. Few question the idea that the public has a right
to expect that how teachers are prepared has something to do with what they know, how they teach and what and how much
their students learn. There are also few who question the assertion that higher education institutions ought to take some
of the responsibility for these connections.
however, the accountability bottom line - higher scores on standardized student achievement tests - is the singular focus of state and federal
policies related to teaching quality and teacher preparation and a major focus of external funders and professional accrediting
agencies that deal with teacher preparation. Increasingly, teaching quality and students’ learning are equated with
high-stakes test scores. It's this simplistic equating that is problematic rather than the larger notion of accountability itself.
of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 2001 established an unprecedented and greatly enlarged federal
role in educational matters previously considered the purview of the states &/or of the educational community.
mandatory annual statewide testing of K-12 students in multiple subject areas and requires that schools hire only “highly
qualified” teachers, certified through traditional or alternate routes and with passing scores on state teacher certification
tests. As Richard Elmore
(2002) rightly points out, ESEA also cements into law the equating of teaching quality and student
learning with scores on high-stakes tests:
government further mandates a single definition of adequate yearly progress, the amount by which schools must increase their
test scores in order to avoid some sort of sanction . . . the law sets a single target date by which all students must exceed a state defined
proficiency level. . . . Thus the federal government is now accelerating the worst trend of the current accountability movement: that performance based accountability has come to mean testing alone. (p.
Policies intended to improve teaching quality can only be as good as the underlying conceptions of teaching, learning and schooling
on which they're based. Unfortunately, as a number of critics (including myself) have argued (Cochran-Smith, 2001; Earley, 2000; Engel, 2000), many current policies and policy recommendations share narrow - and some would
say impoverished - notions of teaching and learning that don't account for the complexities that are at the heart of the educational enterprise in a democratic society.
a book about writing - Anne Lamott’s
(1994) Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - is helpful along these lines. In her chapter on the “moral
point of view,” Lamott advises writers to avoid simple oppositions in their development of plots and characters:
I used to think that paired opposites were a given, that love was the opposite of hate, right the opposite of wrong. But now I think we sometimes buy into these concepts because it's so much easier to embrace absolutes than to suffer reality.
[Now] I don’t think anything is the opposite of love. Reality is unforgivingly
complex [emphasis added]. (p. 104)
writers not to avoid the intense complexity of real life but to embrace it and write with passion about its biggest questions.
Although in a different way, Lamott’s
advice about how to write applies equally well to how we need to conceptualize teaching quality if we're ultimately to understand, assess and improve it. Teaching is unforgivingly complex. It isn't simply good or bad, right or wrong,
working or failing. Although absolutes and dichotomies such as these are popular in the headlines and in campaign slogans,
they're limited in their usefulness.
assume there's consensus across our diverse society about the purposes of schooling and what it means to be engaged in
the process of becoming an educated person as well as consensus about whose knowledge and values are of most worth and what counts as evidence of the effectiveness of teaching and learning. They ignore almost completely the nuances of “good” (or “bad”)
teaching of real students collected in actual classrooms in the context of particular times and places.
reductionism for clarity, myopia for insight. And, as Elmore (2002) suggests, they “utterly fail” (p. 35) to appreciate the institutional realities and complexities of accountability in various schools and school districts as well as in particular states.
- and teacher educators - we must be held accountable for our work. But measures of this work can't be determined by narrow conceptions of teaching quality and student
learning that focus exclusively on test scores and ignore the incredible complexity of teaching and learning and the institutional realities inherent in the accountability context.
Part of what
we need in teacher education right now are efforts to be responsible and responsive to the concerns of the public, to acknowledge the exigencies of public policy and to preserve complexity in the press for accountability. Such efforts need to transcend rhetoric and clearly demonstrate that we're taking responsibility for examining our programs in order to assess and ultimately strengthen the performance of our graduates and
their students in K-12 schools.
One such initiative
is the Ohio Partnership for Accountability (OPA), which is a consortium of Ohio’s
51 teacher preparation institutions, the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Board of Regents (Ohio Accountability Project, 2002).
project combines 3 studies to examine the relationships among features of teacher preparation, school students’
performances on standardized tests as well as their broader learning and multiple systems of accountability.
on a mixed-methods approach, combining K-12 student data based on value-added assessment techniques, prospective teacher data
intended to identify differing configurations of their teacher preparation experiences and experienced teacher data about
classroom discourse patterns and instructional practices that are linked with both the development of higher order thinking processes and teacher effectiveness as measured by value added techniques.
and strength of this project isn't simply that it links 3 distinct but interrelated studies in order to preserve the complexity
of teaching quality, teacher preparation, student learning, and multiple accountability contexts, although this is certainly a central and critical feature of its design.
The worth of the project is also derived from its success (so far) in bringing to the table:
(a) a multi-institutional research team with interests in many
aspects of teaching quality and teacher preparation and with expertise in multiple research methods
(b) an advisory board that includes representatives from all
of the relevant Ohio stake holders
(c) a national external review panel that quite
intentionally includes those with diverse methodological and ideological positions.
The Ohio initiative isn't the perfect research study nor the perfect accountability project that asks all of the significant questions about the exceedingly important issues of teaching quality and teacher preparation. Of course, no project ever is or ever could be. But this
project, which is still in the planning stages, represents the kind of effort it'll take for institutions to be accountable while honoring complexity. Einstein is reported to have said that everything should be as
simple as possible - but no simpler.
in this editorial isn't that the teacher education community should avoid simplicity merely because we prefer the elegance and sophistication of more complex models. Rather, we must
avoid what's too simple - isomorphic equations between teaching quality and test scores and between student learning
and test scores because they're grossly inadequate to the task of understanding (and ultimately
improving) teaching & learning in a diverse
but democratic society in the 21st century.
Cochran-Smith, M. (2001). The outcomes question in teacher education. Teaching
and Teacher Education, 17(5), 527-546.
Earley, P. (2000). Finding the culprit: Federal policy and teacher education. Educational
Policy, 14(1), 25-39.
Elmore, R. F. (2002). Testing trap. Harvard Magazine, 105(1),
Engel, M. (2000). The struggle for control of public education: Market ideology
vs. democratic values. Philadelphia: Temple
Hart, P. D.,&Teeter, R.M. (2002). Anational priority:
Americans speak on teacher quality. Princeton, NJ:
Educational Testing Service.
Lamott, A. (1994). Bird by bird: Some instructions on writing and life. New York: Anchor Books.
Ohio Accountability Project. (2002, September 23). Teacher education and student
achievement in complex contexts of accountability.
Dayton:OhioPartnership for Accountability.