Leadership in Context Episode 161 Show Notes
Lessons Learned, pt1
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Lesson #1: Anger is a manifestation of selfishness.
Growing up, I had a severe anger and rage problem. I moved around a lot and was in a lot of different schools. I learned how to fight. I learned that anger could be a great tool of intimidation and could fire your emotions to do things that were outside your ability and character.
When I was born again, there was a peace that came upon my life. That anger, that rage, was gone. Yet that anger had become part of my trained reaction. The normal for me was to be angry.
This is a lesson I’ve learned that has helped me to be less angry and has helped me when I do get angry to not justify my anger—Anger is a manifestation of selfishness.
Anger is just a big boy pouting because he didn’t get his own way. When you show anger to people you love, people who are close to you, and you are using intimidating language or posture, what you are doing is being a two-year old who has overgrown your britches.
I remember someone saying to me one time, “Just because something went wrong, doesn’t mean you have to blame it on someone.” Things go wrong. People do wrong things. People don’t perform to your expectations. Anger is a form of blaming. Anger is a form of excusing yourself and not taking on your own responsibility. It is blaming someone else for what they did wrong, even if they did do something wrong, but ignoring my very wrong response.
Someone once told me, “There are certain faces you make that are very intimidating, and I just wish you would talk to me instead.” That was a very strong statement. I was using my posture to voice my disapproval. Wow. In our lessons about Moses, I talked about how first you lose your demeanor, then your discipline, then you lose your focus on your destination. I learned this lesson the hard way.
When you are working around someone you love, they should never be able to figure out when you are angry or disappointed by your demeanor or by your actions. If it is something that has to be talked about; it should be expressed in calm, meaningful words. Often, we get loose not only with our lips, but with our demeanor.
If you are in leadership and you have a team, there will be times when you feel disappointment, but they should not be able to read that in you. There are things that have to be communicated, people you have to call out to call up, but that should be communicated with words and not demeanor.
Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware when you are doing it. That’s when my bad habit started to change. It’s a bad habit. It’s a sinful habit. It’s giving place to the flesh. You can be very unaware of it.
If people are telling you that you act in anger, don’t defend yourself. That’s what I did. I wasn’t consciously trying to punish someone or act in a certain way. It was my emotional response. I had to really learn how to cut that thing off at the root.
I’m not saying that there is not a time to show passion and emotion and disapproval of certain things, but that is a thin slice of the pie. Jesus had righteous anger when He threw the money changers out of the temple, but that is not the pattern; that is the exception.
We each have a capacity for love and anger. If you are not loving the right thing, you are going to love the wrong thing. If you aren’t being angry at the right thing, you are going to be angry at the wrong thing.
If you spend your time being angry at what God is angry about—haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness, he who spreads strife amongst his brothers—I don’t think you will have a lot of emotional capacity to be angry at much else.
This is a lesson that took me years to learn. Hear my heart. Take this as a sobering moment. Ask those around you how you demonstrate anger that isn’t in a healthy way. Let’s be free of anger. You don’t have to pay the price that I’ve had to pay to learn this. Learn from me.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!