Posts Tagged ‘radio’

WHEN TO FIGHT AND WHEN TO NOT

I’m not much of a fighter. When I was a child, my dad taught me that if someone hits you, hit them back but never be the one to throw the first punch. In essence, only fight back when you have to defend yourself. My mom’s message was taken from Luke 6:29 and contradicted Dad’s: “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” Her voice resonated the strongest with me and for the better part of my life I’d walk away from any confrontation whether physical or verbal. During my childhood, there was a girl who frequently bullied me. I continually walked away from her but she was relentless. One day, I told my older sister who took up my cause. She grabbed the girl by the hair and told her to leave me alone. She never bothered me again.

With the exception of protecting myself in a domestic violence relationship, I have never engaged in physical conflict in my life. And while my typical style of confrontation was one of silence, I have since become more comfortable with engaging in disputes of a verbal nature. While I refuse to participate in an ugly or hostile discussion, I can now more easily verbally defend what I believe in.

Mankind is often quick and eager to fight. A sense of arrogance and entitlement has lessened one’s ability to be patient, has classified some as unworthy of being treated with respect and dignity, and supports the belief that the self should have what they want even at the expense of others. People also have a lower tolerance level than ever before and in many instances seek every opportunity to incite an argument or fight in an attempt to assert power and dominance over others. None of these are a spiritually valid reason for fighting.

There is a time and place for everything and one needs to know when it is best to follow my Mom’s and Luke’s advice to simply walk away and when one needs to stand up for justice as recommended in Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Keep in mind, that when I speak of fighting, I am in no way referring to physical altercations, the destruction of property, or nasty, hateful verbal assaults or threats of any kind. The key to successfully defending one’s person or position and seeking righteous justice (that is, according to Divine Law) is knowing when it’s appropriate to stand tall and when it’s best to let things be as they are. Having a proper set of communication and negotiating skills is essential as well.

Here are some guidelines:

WHEN TO FIGHT:
You are defending those incapable of protecting themselves.
The issue is serious and will not resolve itself or will escalate if not addressed.
There is severe and real harm being perpetrated against yourself or another.
The offense is in violation of God’s law; it is a moral issue.
To remain silent allows evil to prosper.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Sir Edmund Burke

WHEN TO NOT:
No one is being harmed physically, emotionally, or psychologically.
The only thing bruised is your ego.
You have a personal vendetta against the other party.
You are seeking revenge. Romans 12:19 “beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of god, for it is written, “vengeance is mine, i will repay, says the lord.”
The issue will resolve itself.
There is a serious risk that getting involved will only escalate matters.
The issue will not matter in ten years.
It’s none of my business or the other party can handle it themselves.
There is only a perception of harm, not a real and valid threat.
The issue is not one of a moral nature.

Keep in mind, that humans are known for making mountains out of molehills; for making matters appear far more serious than they are; for seeking to exert dominance over others. If any of these are your motives for getting involved in an exchange of ideas (I hesitate to use the word fight for it’s generally accepted definition of a physical altercation or an extremely heated debate) I strongly advise reassessing the situation and finding an alternative course of action. However, if you reasons are to stand up for what you truly believe is morally right, then by all means pursue your decision to address the issue.

Let me reiterate: in the beginning I stated that “for the better part of my life I’d walk away from any confrontation”. My choice of words accurately reflects my beliefs: life is consistently better when one chooses to not fight. (Did you notice that I listed twice as many reasons to not fight?) Therefore, be discreet: carefully and righteously evaluate each situation before becoming involved. Know when it is in your best interest, as well as the other party’s, to simply let things be as they are. If intervention is essential, carefully choose your attitude and approach, motives and methods for they will certainly determine the outcome and lasting effects of your efforts.

Q: The goal of the righteous is to bring a peaceful and fair resolution to each situation for all those concerned.

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NEVER BE A VICTIM AGAIN!

At some time in life, most people feel as though they’ve been treated unfairly to the extent that they would consider themselves a victim. Certainly those who have been the target of a violent crime fall into that category according to society’s standards. Even those of lesser offenses can view themselves as the target of injustice: a faithful spouse who’s partner has an affair or files for divorce; a child being tormented by a bully at school; one who has a rumor spread about them, particularly those that cause significant damage or distress.

By definition, a victim is one who is acted on and (generally speaking) is adversely affected by a force or agent such as robbery, physical assault, or murder. A person who is cheated, tricked or fooled by another (which may or may not cause them harm, such as the target of an innocent prank) or one who is coned out of their life savings for instance, can also be seen as a victim. There are also victims of unforeseen circumstances such as disease or natural disaster (hurricane, flood), or that which is out of their control (bad economy, company downsizing). Typically we perceive said person as being innocent of any wrongdoing that contributed to their unfortunate circumstance. One who engages in gang activity and suffers severe physical harm to their person is not seen as blameless but rather contributory to their injuries. Someone who is unproductive on the job and overlooked for a promotion given to the boss’s son is not a victim of nepotism for their prior actions (or lack thereof) are justification for their being ignored. However, one who has lived a wholesome lifestyle and diagnosed with a devastating disease receives much sympathy.

Yet even those who diverge from the universal criteria for victimization, there are still a significant number who believe they fall into this category. The reasons are several: a victim is one who feels powerless in a given situation. Statements such as “I can’t help it”, “It’s not my fault”, “I did nothing to deserve this”, “Why me?” are common complaints. They view themselves as completely innocent of any wrongdoing and shoulder no responsibility for what is or has transpired but are quick to hold others accountable (blame).They also perceive themselves as having no choice but to comply with or endure what is has happened and fail to see options that could have possibly prevented or could now resolve that which is unjust. Very often, those who feel they have been the deliberate target of an wrongdoing feel persecuted and are consumed with self-pity, resentment, bitterness, and rage.

In truth, the label of “victim” is a matter of perception alone. The Dalai Lama says that “There are no victims in life, only students.” This compelling statement illustrates the power of perception. In any of life’s circumstances, how I view myself is critical to how I react to and/or use the event in my life. Going through my divorce, the estrangement from my children, my dad’s Alzheimer’s, a domestic violence relationship – in each I could see myself as a victim since I was powerless to control, prevent, or correct many of these situations. Or I could choose to learn from each in order that I may grow, become a better person, and share my knowledge with others so that they may benefit as well. That choice is entirely up to me. The first leaves me angry and bitter; the latter grateful and determined.

One of the easiest and quickest means of eliminating a victim mentality is actually quite simple. When something unexpected enters our life, we may react by asking: “Why is this happening to me?” We are stunned that something of such an unpleasant nature could actually appear in our life. This question implies that we are being targeted by someone or some unseen force. In truth, there may be those who seek to deliberately hurt me or this could simply be a random act. In any event, I am not immune to so-called bad things happening. However, one simple shift in terminology releases me from the chains of victimhood to one of liberation and strength. By changing the phrase to me to for me I can experience the event as merely a challenge to accept or as a genuine blessing in my life to appreciate rather than a curse or trauma. In truth, there are no bad experiences; there simply are events that enter our lives. How we label and view them and how we choose to use them determines their value, nothing else. One can view a stroke as a nightmare or they can see it as an opportunity to reinvent their life.

The reality of what has transpired is irrelevant; all that matters is one’s assessment and use of it.

Victims believe they have no power and powerlessness is the very definition of anger. Therefore, victims are filled with anger and fear (a root cause of anger) and may experience rage or paralyzing anxiety. They fail to recognize that all humans possess authentic power which is found in the ability to make personal choices – how we view things, what we think and feel, what we say or don’t say, how we respond or not, and how we allow life to impact us. That is the only real control any of us have – our ability to make our own decisions.

In truth, none of us has dominance over anything eternal, anything outside of the self. I can only influence my surroundings but I cannot control them. Sometimes things work out as I anticipated, other times not even remotely close. I can choose to put forth effort to correct that which I am unsatisfied with or I can elect to accept and be at peace with it. My choice.

So how does one move beyond the mindset of being a victim to establishing authority over their own lives, success, and happiness?

1. Remember that everything that enters your life has purpose and value. The labels you assign determine their worth: good or bad are relevant terms on in the sense that they are dictated by your personal standards. Re evaluate their assessment, removing any derogatory notions and seek the meaning and importance of each. Once its significance is determined, one can find a way to use the experience for a greater good.
Life isn’t about truth and reality; life is about perception. The reality of what has transpired is irrelevant; all that matters is one’s assessment and use of it.
2. Check your perception for accuracy. Many times our expectations of life are unrealistic, such as “my life should be what I want it to be”. Unmet expectations lead to frustration(another root cause of anger), a sense of powerlessness, anger, and bitterness. Be honest and real with yourself about the unpredictability that life affords all of its participants.
3. Try to view each situation from every perspective. By gaining a greater understanding of the cause and nature of the event, we are better able to make sense of it. This can lead to a willingness to accept that which we cannot change.
4. Ask yourself, “What is this experience here to teach me?” Courage, determination, trust, self-confidence, forgiveness: life’s most profound lessons are most often found in our most difficult happenings. This, too, adds greater value to what has transpired.
5. Take control. Are there any changes that can be made to improve things for you and others who have been affected? If so, create a plan and begin putting forth effort. If not, acceptance of those things that we cannot change enables us to move beyond the occurrence with a peaceful determination to get on with our lives.
6. Forgive those who contributed to what happened. People can be mean-spirited, thoughtless, careless, selfish, and more. Their actions are a reflection of their issues, they are not about you. Forgiving acknowledges mankind’s imperfections and releases all judgments. It chooses to put to rest any anger, hatred, jealousy, thoughts of retaliation and so on. Again, learn the lesson, let go of the emotion attached to it, and move forward as a stronger better version of yourself.
7. Accept responsibility for your role, if applicable. Vow to learn and not repeat the same behavior in the future. Forgive yourself as well.

Buddha says, “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” All of us will experience some type of pain in our lives – physical, emotional, financial, etc. However, when we prolong the pain and keep it actively alive in our minds, it converts to suffering that can last a lifetime and destroy our lives.

Remember, victimization is an illusion, not a reality; it is a choice, not a given.

It is rooted in our perception of ourselves in the context of an event accompanied by feelings of self-pity and persecution.
Reclaim your authentic power utilizing your ability to choose. In the words of Pastor Joel Osteen, “You are a victor, not a victim” God created you to rise above and be victorious in every the challenge. You were not created to suffer and fail. Those are personal choices that you need to re evaluate.
Stand tall. Face life as it appears. Redefine each event and use them in such a way that benefits you and those around you. And in doing so, you will never fall prey to the illusion of being a victim ever again.

Q: No one journeys through life unscathed. Each of us faces hardships and challenges along the way. It matters not what enters our life but more importantly what we do with it: how we use it to better ourselves and those around us.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
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RIGHTEOUS ANGER

In regards to anger, I have good news and some bad news. First the good news: there is nothing wrong with being angry. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. It is even necessary for justice to preside as well as for our very survival. The bad news is that it is not ok to express it whenever and however we want. Letting it out can prove to be detrimental to our health, well-being, safety, and even our very lives. According to a study at Stanford University, explosive outbursts can lead to the formation of blood clots. And we know all-to-well that one clot to the heart or brain can be deadly. Inappropriate anger can damage relationships, reputations, get us fired from our jobs, cause destruction of property, injure others emotionally or physically, and even land us in jail. Suppressing anger has its drawbacks as well. It can manifest as all sorts of physical health issues ranging from migraines, high blood pressure, and colitis to cancer and more. Emotionally, repressed anger can result in depression, moodiness, sadness, and an overall dissatisfaction with life, just to name a few.

Even with a laundry list of potential quandaries, anger still has a vital function in our lives. Like all emotions, it is a messenger and in this regard alerts us to the fact that something is wrong; that something or someone does not meet our standards of acceptability. For example, I may become angry if I see one child being given special treatment over others. This creates an inequity that violates my moral principles, causing me to become concerned, angry or irate. This is a good thing. However, it’s only when I express or use my anger in a destructive manner does it become problematic. Ideally, I convert my anger into positive actions which will help to rectify the situation.

But how can we be certain that our anger is appropriate and righteous as opposed to corrupt or immoral? For clarity and guidance, I rely on the Word of God found in the Bible.

In Proverbs 12:16 we are told that anger and foolishness go hand-in-hand: “Fools quickly show that they are upset, but the wise ignore insults”. In addition to insults, there are a host of perceived offenses that we can choose to ignore rather than respond to. If someone tells me my children are poorly behaved, I need not retaliate with a cutting remark. I can consider the possible truth to their comments or simply let it go without taking personal offense.

God does permit His people to get upset while still remaining faithful to Him. For example, Nehemiah (5:6) got angry after learning about the wealthy Israelites’ exploitation of the poor: “Then I was very angry when I had heard these words.” He became irate at their ungodly behavior and the injustices being perpetrated against those less fortunate. God calls upon us to care for all of His children equally. In this instance, the Israelites were in violation of Divine Law.

Even Jesus expressed anger at the Pharisees who exhibited indifference. In Mark 3:1-5 “Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there… Jesus said to the man…, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. ” Jesus was incensed at the lack of compassion for the suffering of another human being and their unwillingness to get him the care he so rightly deserved. Anger that violates God’s Law of love and concern for another is righteous anger. To become enraged over the sinfulness of others is acceptable in God’s eyes.

As a Christian or anyone who truly believes in and loves our Lord, we are expected to react strongly to such issues as abuse, racism, abortion, pornography, infidelity, oppression, murder, poverty, greed, and war – to any activity or belief not founded in love and kindness, the very tenets of God’s Being. However, the justification of our feelings does not give us license to act out in anger or aggression. I am given authority to condemn an activity but not the individual committing it. “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Ephesians clearly dictates righteous anger in Chapter 4:26 “When you are angry, do not sin, and be sure to stop being angry before the end of the day.” There is no justification ever for responding with hostility, rudeness, or assaults of any kind.

One’s motives and intent behind the emotion and behaviors is a key to determining when anger is permissible by God: Is my intent to help or harm the other party? Do I seek to make the circumstances better for all parties or only myself or a chosen few? Am I fighting to be right or to do what is right? These are critical questions in determining when anger is acceptable and appropriate; when it is virtuous rather than sinful. In this regard, these same questions give us pause to determine if a situation is even worthy of our ire. James 1:19 reminds us: “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” Applying my 10 year rule (“Will I remember this issue in 10 years and if I do, will it even matter?”) is a powerful tool to measure the worthiness of the incident. The SWaT Strategy* can easily prevent anyone’s anger from overpowering them and causing an sinful reaction.

Again, one is not expected to ignore those times when we feel angry. However, we must be certain to refrain from retaliation and respond with redemptive action instead. “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26–27). Whether in our families, communities or regarding global issues, we can speak up or join organizations working on correcting life’s inequities. On a more personal level, we must always be stewards of virtue, being an extension of God’s presence and love in this world. In everything we say or do, with every individual we encounter, we must be love. After all, it is not only what is expected of us but it is who we are – it is the very essence of our nature.

Paul gives us some sound advice on the appropriate approach: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary we are instructed: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19–21). In this way, we can stop the cycle of anger and aggression and show others the moral path to salvation.

Righteous anger aligns with what would anger God Himself – when we are confronted with sin, that which violates Divine Law. It is directed at sinful behaviors and unmistakable injustice; it does not attack or degrade those committing the offense. (Love the sinner, hate the sin.)This is a critical distinction to make that few are able to apply. Typically, we attack the egregious person and demean them rather than staying focused on their actions. A child who fights with their sibling needs to be shown the righteous path. “You are a bad child! You are horrible!” does not educate the child but rather instills shame within them. “This is your little brother. It’s very hurtful to him when you treat him unkindly and that is wrong. You are to always be kind and loving to him. Here’s how to do that.” In this way, the parent shows their child the errors of his ways and puts him on the path to being more loving. This is using anger in a positive way. If our outrage results in bringing others into a loving and restorative relationship with God and it is done so with great care and concern, it’s righteous indignation.

For anger to be righteous, it cannot arise in response to a violation of my personal preferences, that is that I have been inconvenienced or I feel that my rights and freedoms have been violated or because someone has offended me. It reacts against that which is actually sinful. Additionally, it is accompanied by Godly actions. We do not use words, tone of voice, facial expressions, or our hands to hurt the other person. We express ourselves in a respectful manner which does not involve cursing, making fun of, ignoring, yelling, intimidating, threatening, any form of physical violence. It is thoughtful of the other person’s feelings and seeks to make a positive difference. Proverbs 15:18 “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”

In summary:
1.Righteous anger reacts against actual sin. It is the result of an accurate perception of true evil, from sin as defined biblically, i.e., as a violation of God’s Word). Righteous anger does not result from merely being inconvenienced or from violations of personal preference or human tradition.
2.Righteous anger focuses on God and His kingdom, rights, and concerns, not on me and mine. It identifies offenses against God and His name, not me. Viewing something as offensive is not enough. It must be offensive to God.
3.Righteous anger is accompanied by other Godly qualities and expresses itself in Godly ways. It remains self-controlled, avoids cursing, screaming, raging, or flying off the handle. It is not consumed with self-pity or despair. It does not ignore people, snub them or withdraw from people. It is always respectful, thoughtful, kind, firm, and fair.

Remember, anger is an acceptable emotion if in fact it is generated from a morally offensive action and is expressed in a manner consistent with God’s Way. Righteous anger can be a powerful force for creating a society of high moral integrity and true justice for all.

Q: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” Romans 12:19–21

* The Secret Side of Anger by Janet Pfeiffer

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
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