A Common Struggle for Men
In this video, Matt Cline from Restored Ministries talks about:
- the hidden dangers of anger
- why we actually get angry (versus what we think is the reason)
- how to not sin in our anger, and
- why some anger can be a good thing.
- [10:31] Being OK with things that are out of our control (Colossians 3:1-2)
- [12:00] Anger is a secondary emotion
- [12:26] The ripple effect of anger
- [16:52] Anger is not a bad thing and [20:35] can be a gift.
- [21:16] The 3 keys to dealing with anger, the 3 D’s:
- [29:39] God’s chisel in making us more like him and the renewing of our minds
- [37:38] An example of what King David did when he was angry
- [38:46] Action points
Matt also answers the questions:
- [48:11] If we react to something in righteous anger, does it justify us getting violent as it appeared Jesus did?
- [49:33] What’s a good method to stop and take the time to ask God what am I feeling?
- [51:42] What about the in-the-moment anger? When the kids aren’t listening, and suddenly after many reasonable attempts at getting them to listen some anger comes out?
- [53:50] What do you do when you’re on the receiving end of anger?
- [56:08] In the moments when I am not able to control my anger the way I wanted to, I still ask for forgiveness but struggle with guilt. What can I do?
- [58:55] What if I feel like I can’t forgive?
- [1:01:19] What if the person I need to forgive has died?
- [1:03:20] How do I forgive myself for the damage I’ve caused?
- [1:05:47] Can I totally get rid of my anger?
- [1:08:56] If someone has said they have forgiven you for past mistake due to anger, or anything else, but they keep bringing it up, what can I do?
Related resources and links:
- Matt’s story on This Is Me
- Restored Ministries
Below is the transcript of the video:
Paul: [00:00] Good evening, everyone, and welcome to our live stream tonight on Facebook, YouTube and our website impactus.org. My name is Paul La Vigne, and I am with Impactus | Promise Keepers Canada and really excited to be joining you tonight.
Tonight we’re going to hear from Matt Cline, the founder of Restored Ministries. He’s going to be talking about dealing with anger, an issue that so many guys face. Now some of you may not know who we are as a ministry. We are a men’s ministry and we are focused on equipping men for a life of purpose and godly impact. And our goal is to reach men globally in a digital world through our website, impactus.org. And we’re designed to address the challenges and the question that we all face as men.
Now for those of you who do know us, I want to welcome you and thank you so much for joining us tonight. And if you’re watching tonight any of you on Facebook, hit that share button if you would, and I would ask if you would share this with all of your friends. We want to get as many guys here tonight as possible to hear what Matt has to say. Start a watch party. If you have any comments, any questions put them in the comments, and we will get to them later in the evening.
Now I want to introduce to you Matt Cline, who is a long-time friend of the ministry. He’s got an interesting background. Matt was actually an NHL prospect growing up in Alberta, Canada, and he played hockey at a really high level in the western hockey league. But unfortunately, a serious concussion put an end to this dream of playing in the NHL. And so, as he struggled to first of all recover from the concussion and understand where God wanted him to go next, he really pressed into God just to find out where God wanted him to go. (you can watch Matt’s story on This Is Me TV)
And God led him to start this ministry called Restored Ministries. And through his ministry, he tackles the epidemic of pornography in this world, and he does it through speaking, through coaching, through digital platforms. He’s got incredible resources on his website and so much more. Matt is also a certified speaker and coach with the John Maxwell team. Now he lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife, Louise and his sons, David and Oliver, and I’d like to introduce you tonight to our friend and the founder of Restored Ministries, Matt Cline, Matt, how are you doing?
Matt: Good, good, thanks. It’s great to be here. I love your ministry. I love just partnering with you in any way, and just everything you guys do is so good – so it’s great to be here.
Paul: [02:22] Oh, so glad to have here you. I mean, and this is not the first time we’ve worked together, and we just love what you guys do, what your ministry does to help guys with pornography. And, you know, another issue that you see so often is anger.
Matt: You know, when the Lord called me into pornography, I often joke, called me in to dealing with pornography, I often joke that I had no idea what was going to, what was going to come at me. Like what were going to be the issues that people dealt with – and it goes beyond pornography. And often when we deal with people that have had affairs or they’re, not even just pornography but they’re seeing prostitutes or whatever their sexual vice is, when you go beneath the surface, there are so many other things that lead to that if they’re not founded in Christ.
So anger is one that comes up all the time. And a lot of times, anger leads to pornography when somebody’s angry and doesn’t know how to deal with it. But a lot of times when someone is getting free from pornography then all of a sudden they’re like oh, I’ve got anger in my heart now, I can’t escape to something else so they start dealing with it then too.
Paul: [03:25] Wow, yeah. Well, I’m excited to hear what you have to say tonight because, you know, I have struggled with anger at times in the past, and so many men have. But before we get to that, I want to talk hockey for a second because I’m a hockey guy. I worked, before coming to Impactus | Promise Keepers Canada, I worked in the hockey business for many years. So you grew up in Alberta playing hockey, the home of the Oilers.
Matt: What else do you do – what else do you do in Alberta? I always joke, especially when I go to schools and give talks to kids, I joke never picked up a piece of Lego in my life; it was all hockey, hockey video games, hockey, you know, even I went to hockey school where school in the morning, hockey in the afternoon. Hockey in the basement, hockey on the street, hockey in the garage. It was hockey, so it was fun.
Paul: [04:06] Yeah, so that was your life for sure.
Paul: Yeah, I mean that’s just kind of the rite of passage for Canadian kids, especially out west. And so I was looking some of your stats – you played in the western hockey league and in ’06, ’07, you played for the Red Deer Rebels and you had a 71 game season and 70 penalties, Matt. That’s like a minute a game. That was impressive.
Matt: You know I mean I was a rookie. So you want to be a point a game, but I was a rookie figuring out my place in the league. I wasn’t there on the points, so I figured I may as well become a fighter, which is so funny for my personality. In minor hockey, guys are always like show more passion, coaches, scouts whatever, be more passionate. And I took pride when I was younger in having no penalties over a whole season, so then I get to junior, and I’m third on the team in fights, and I got these penalties – it’s pretty funny. So I don’t know what happened, but I didn’t do too well in the fights. But you don’t see that; you just see the penalty minutes.
Paul: [05:02] Right, right. And so then you ran into a pretty big guy. You’re a pretty big guy yourself at 6’3 and then skates, and you ran into a pretty big guy one game, and that kind of did it.
Matt: Yeah, he was 6’7 off skates, so 6’10 or whatever it is on skates. And yeah, it was just a normal play, but in hockey, if you guys out there if you know hockey lingo, they call it the danger zone: when you’re about two, three feet from the boards and if you’re taking a hit you want to be kind of against the boards where you kind of cushion. But I was in that danger zone, and this big dude came, and he got me. And my head snapped back and hit the glass, and that was it. That was it for hockey. I didn’t know it at the time, but it took just about a year to realize that that was it for hockey.
Paul: [05:46] Wow, wow. And I can’t imagine what you were going through, having that dream of trying to get to the big show. But God had different plans for you.
Matt: Better plans, better plans. My wife often says, “If you played hockey, we would have never met.” And then I think about our kids, and oh, I wouldn’t have these kids. Maybe I’d have other kids, but He had better plans. Yeah, and it was a hard year, though, for sure. And to be honest, I had headaches for six years. So the first year, it was brutal with the headaches, but it lasted into my 20’s – and I was 18 when it happened. So it was, yeah, it was a rough go, but the Lord’s brought me through and to be honest, I know Him a lot better now than I did then; so He uses things for his good. (you can watch Matt’s story on This Is Me TV)
Paul: [06:28] For sure, for sure. I mean His plans are so much greater than ours, and here you are today with us. And, you know, we’re going to minister to a whole bunch of men tonight. I’m going to turn it over to you, and we’re going to talk tonight with Matt and dealing with anger. So again, guys, any kind of questions, comments, fire them in there and please, we’ll get to them after Matt’s done. So Matt, take it away.
Matt: Awesome, awesome, well thank you. I’ve just got to say first, if you guys don’t have this water bottle oh man, come on. See that, come on, you’ve got to get this water bottle. If you’re struggling with, ETDW, they’ve got to pay me for this ad, but if you’re struggling with not drinking enough water, look at this. Where’s the camera here, 7AM, 9AM, 11AM, 1PM, 3PM, 5PM, 7PM, 9PM. It’s beautiful, you guys, I fill it up once a day, and I’m good to go.
But the reason why I’m bringing it on is because this you see in a gym, you don’t really see this in somebody’s house so often. But you see it in a gym and it’s – and we’re talking training today, I want to talk training ourselves in godliness, right? And God has a standard that is super high. If you think about the standard that Jesus lived at, I mean it was perfection. It was different than anybody has ever lived at.
But I don’t believe that Jesus then goes, “Because you’re not perfect it’s OK for you to live at this lower standard.” He’s got incredible grace, but I don’t think that he wants us to justify living at a standard. I think he wants us to go, “This is Jesus’ standard, now I want to get there.” And when we fall short, there’s incredible grace, there’s infinite grace. I mean, we’ve got to be OK with that.
But I’m saying this to say that the way that I teach, the way that I have seen it be impactful on people, the way that I’ve seen it be impactful in my life is when we know the standard of Jesus, and then we go, “I’m not going to justify staying lower than that, I’m going to go for the standard of Jesus.” And when I screw up, because inevitably I will, I’m going to have grace, but I’m just going to get back on the train and go back to that standard rather than justify and blame other people or blame situations for where I’m at. And so, we’re training ourselves in godliness; I’ve got my water bottle here to train.
And guys, if you don’t have this water bottle my wife got two of them for us, she had one and I had one. And then she’s a hairdresser and so our pastor’s wife came over and she saw this water bottle and Louise was talking about how beautiful it is and then the pastor’s wife got it and she shared with someone else about it and now there’s like 30 people in our church that have it and they got it up on stage and it was pretty funny, so.
That’s a free plug. If you can find this, it’s ETDW and it’s a life changer. So, if you’re mad about not drinking enough water, if you’re mad about how many trips back to the kitchen sink that you’ve got to take to get your eight cups of water, just get this, it’s one and done, and you’re good to go.
So, I got to say, too, one thing I’m mad about, and I’m curious about this – this is just another little fun thing to start it off. But throw open the chat: When was the first time you got a grey hair? When was the first time that, hopefully you guys are older, but when was the first time that you got a grey hair? I was, OK, I’m 33 now, but I was 24. My dad was in his 40s, my mom was in her 40s, my grandparents they’re like in their 80’s, 90’s, they still weren’t fully grey. All of a sudden, I’m 24 – I’ve got grey hair.
And so, I get married then, my wife’s a hairdresser – she’s always looking at my grey hairs. And to me, I just, I hated them. And I call them the intruders, and I’m like, “Babe, get rid of these intruders – deal with them!” And now on the sides, it’s too much; I can’t even handle it.
But yesterday in my moustache I saw my first grey hair, and then today just before I was coming on here I looked in the mirror after I showered and in my eyebrow I’ve got a grey hair. And I’m like: oh, this is brutal! I got so many grey hairs. How old were you guys when you first got a grey hair? I hope some of you guys were young like me; I want to pull you down.[10:31] But I’m just kidding, but, you know, it’s a funny thing to kind of start with. But we’ve got to be so OK with some things that are out of our control, and we’ve got to realize that in Colossians 3 (Col.3:1-2), it says to think on things above, not on things below. We’ve got to realize that some things are going to happen in life. Grey hair’s going to happen, other people are going to mistreat us, situations are going to happen.
And so, when we respond with anger, we’re always blaming the situation. But when we look at the standard of Jesus- Jesus wasn’t moved by situations because everything that he saw the Father do, that’s what he did. And so, he was moved by the Father, or he was moved by the word of God; he was moved by the spirit of God. He wasn’t ever moved by situations.
And so, when we’re walking people through anger, a foundational thing for people to understand is that anger is a secondary emotion. I started learning this concept and really started studying it in people, and what I found is that anger’s a secondary emotion.
So, what leads to anger? And you’ve always got to be aware of that. If you look back in your life and you go – what was I angry about, or what is something that continually makes me angry? What makes me lash out, or what makes me retreat, or just gossip and stew in my mind and blame situations for my pity party?[12:00] Anger’s a secondary emotion, so what leads to that? What I found a lot is that disappointments and being disrespected are two things. They’re not the only things, but they’re two things that hugely lead to anger when people don’t know to deal with disappointments. Or people don’t know how to deal with being disrespected or not being heard or not being known. But then we respond with anger, and we make this whole mess. [12:26] The man that I got premarital counselling from, I just love the guy. He’s such a soft-spoken, gentle guy, loving guy; he’s incredible. I’ve got so much respect for him. And he said, “Matt, up until” – he’s in his 60’s – he said, “Up until 20 years ago I dealt with anger. Like people were terrified of me. They were so scared of me, my family, my wife, my kids – they were terrified of me.” And he said, “But what I didn’t realize until I dealt with my anger issue, was that when I got angry, everybody was so scared of me. But I never, I looked at myself and I looked at situations, but I never looked at the impact of what it was doing to other people.”
And so, he talked about it kind of like when you drop a rock in water – more like when you drop a boulder in water, not just a little pebble. And the ripples that keep on going … and you can get the visual. This is very real with anger. So what Dave was telling me was that I never realized that when I dropped the boulder of anger into my house, into my family, it wasn’t just about me – it was all of these people were being impacted. There was a ripple effect, and they were being impacted in different ways. They were feeling not loved, they were feeling not respected, they were feeling not heard. I was causing division in my family, not unity.
And so, when we can realize that leads to anger, what’s the thing? Like, is it a longing of wanting to be known, wanting to be respected? It’s so important to be able to do this. And I’ll tell you a story. When you can recognize this, you react to disappointments differently; you react to not being respected differently.
There was a time where I was chatting with somebody, and it was somebody that I wanted respect from or I wanted to have a good relationship with this person. They were just coming at me, and it was just a negative experience. It didn’t seem like anything that I said was taken with a positive light. It was a frustrating, disappointing situation where I wanted unity, but I wasn’t being heard; I was being vastly disrespected.
So, I went to a church service, and this was heavy in my heart. And I’m trying to worship, right? Like ‘Lord, I worship you, you’re Lord of my heart,’ but in the moment I’m like, ‘No – anger, disappointment and disrespect – that’s Lord of my heart right now.’ And so, I couldn’t handle it in the church service; I couldn’t get into it.
So I went to the bathroom, and I was sitting there, and I was kind of leaned over. I was thinking about this, and I was praying. I was going, “God, I know that you want me to be thankful in every situation. You want me to give thanks in all circumstances.” And I was leaning over, and I literally felt tears falling. I looked at the floor, and there were tears on the ground, and I was feeling so heavy and so disrespected. But I didn’t want to lash out at this person, and I wanted to be able to engage and have purity in my heart when I engaged the Lord.
And so, knowing that I felt these things and then taking them to the Lord was so key. Because I’m sitting there, and I’m looking at the ground, and there’s this puddle of tears on the floor. And that doesn’t usually happen. I was very surprised. I felt the Lord say something to me that it literally, it so changed my life, it so changed the way that I see any situation, when I get rejected, when it’s a disappointment, when it’s somebody who’s just like, oh, just a hard person to deal with.
What the Lord said to me, I want to share it later, but what he said to me has impacted many people in dealing with anger. But I want you to know that anger’s a secondary emotion. I didn’t get there because when I felt disappointment, when I felt angry in my heart – see, the Lord says not to sin in your anger (Eph. 4:26). He doesn’t say to not feel anger; he says don’t sin in your anger. So, when I felt that in my heart I was able to them go to him, talk to him, say, “I don’t know what’s going on here,” I was able to vent to him a little bit and get his perspective on a situation that then impacted how I handled it moving forward.[16:52] I want to share what he said to me in a bit, but God’s thoughts to me about anger are that it’s not always a bad thing. I mean, there was this person that I was talking to one time and he’s like, “Man, I’m an angry person. Like I deal with anger a lot. How do you not?” And I just encouraged him right off the bat, and I said, “Man, you know what? I wish that I had more anger in my life in order to have it be a good anger, a healthy anger, a God-focused anger.”
Did Jesus ever get angry? You know, it’s funny because we have this image of Jesus that’s just like he’s just meek, and he’s loving, and he’s gentle, and he’s all these things. But did he ever get angry? There’s a difference between a godly anger – a righteous anger – than an anger that we often feel and that we often lash out with. The difference is this: that when Jesus was so angry at those in the temple who were disrespecting the temple of his Father, he spent time and he fashioned a whip. He spent time. It was like premeditated anger. Like Jesus went into the temple with his premeditated plan to flip tables and make a big scene. But it was premeditated because he felt such anger.
And so, then he spent time on his own doing everything that the Father did, saying everything that the Father said, and then going and executing his angry plan. But there’s a contrast between what Jesus did and what the people of Nazareth did. Because the people of Nazareth, when Jesus came back home and he was preaching to them, he made this bold statement about fulfilling prophecies and who he was. And they were like, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph, right? Like, isn’t he just a carpenter?”
It says that they got so angry with him that they drove him out of town. This is what I want you to see. They reacted, and they literally drove the power of God out of town. I want to make this practical for you soon. They reacted in the moment, and they drove the power of God out of town, so much so, that he could only do a few miracles there. They drove the power of God out of town. They drove the love of God out of town because of their anger. They didn’t make room for the love of God to stay among them.
What Jesus did was he didn’t react in the moment. He took time, went to the side, he planned his attack in anger, and then he went. I was laughing about this, reading the Bible one day, and I was laughing, because Jesus kind of had a rough day. He’s cursing a fig tree, and he went and flipped tables, and people aren’t believing him. It was a really a rough day for him.
I was kind of laughing in prayer as I was reading this going – man, Jesus, that was a rough day. And I felt him get really stern with me. And Jesus says, “Matt, that wasn’t funny.” He said to me in my heart he said, “The reason why I flipped out was because I was so about my Father that I’m willing to make a scene with other people. Because I’m so about my Father. My love for my Father trumps my love for other people.” Not that he doesn’t love us any less; it’s that the love for the Father takes priority. And so, for me, I’m thinking I would go in and I would love those people, and I’d take them to the side in the temple if they’re, you know, the money changers in the temple and I’d take them to the side and say, “Hey, this isn’t what we want here.” And I’d just gently kind of ask them to close down, right? And that’s what I would do because I love them. But Jesus is love – but he has this righteous anger.[20:35] So, I want to encourage you, if you have a righteous anger, if you call yourself an angry person, I think that the Lord has given you a gift. And I think he wants you to steward it in the right way. There’s a lot of injustice in the world right now. There’s a lot of things going on where you can be an advocate for some cause that just get things going, like just stirs you in your heart. You’re like, ‘Man, this makes me so angry. I’ve got this kind of fiery personality; let’s steward it now in the right way.’ So, anger’s not always bad. But what do we do with it? We’re stewards; we’re stewards of everything that God gives us. [21:16] I want to talk about three D’s quickly. There’s three D’s that I want to talk about, and I don’t want to go too long because I want to answer a lot of questions. So if you have questions, make sure you put them in the chat. But if you’re writing stuff down, I want you to write down these three D’s. People always will say I didn’t deserve that, right? Or I deserve this, I deserve people to treat me like this, or I deserve this job promotion, or I deserve whatever.
My question to you is, what do you actually deserve? Think about it, what do you actually deserve? If people treat you in a way that you say you don’t deserve, I’m going to tell you that you’re absolutely right. You don’t deserve for people to treat you poorly because I know for me what the Bible says is that the only thing that I deserve is hell. It’s the only thing that I deserve.
So people treat us poorly, and we feel disrespected, and we feel disappointed, and we feel like, ‘Oh, I just wish that things could go better. And I wish that I never got grey hairs until I was 67 years old. And I wish that my marriage was perfect. And I wish that the people at work saw value in me. I don’t deserve to be treated like this. Do you see what I did for people? I take care of people, I’m a generous person, I don’t deserve this.’
You’re right. What we deserve is, we deserve hell. And so, what Scripture says, when I was praying in the bathroom that day, what Scripture says is be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Now this is a challenging thing; it’s a challenging teaching, but remember the standard is high that Jesus set. That’s what we’re going for: thankful in all circumstances. What I’m going to say is that there’s not one thing that any human being can go through on earth that’s as bad as what you deserve.
If you’re offended by that, it’s OK. Take time and think about it. Because there’s atrocities in this world, especially in different countries and with terrorism, there’s atrocities in this world. There’s horrible things in this world. So, does Jesus say give thanks in all circumstances except for when things are so bad that it doesn’t logically make sense in our finite brains? It’s not what he says. He says give thanks in all circumstances. How on earth do we do that?[23:42] The first key in dealing with anger is knowing what you deserve. What do you actually deserve? Because when you know what you deserve, you realize that in Christ we lay down our rights. What we deserve is hell, so everything that we’ve been given is a gift. Everything that we’ve been given is better than what we deserve. And when you realize that, it changes your perspective on anger. I’m going to get to what that perspective is at the end of these three D’s. [24:14] So the first D is deserve, second D is die to self. This is a core teaching in everything that I do: Why are we here? Why did God make us? Why did he put us on earth? When Jesus was going to the cross, it says that he endured the cross for the joy that was set before him, and then he sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.
I had read this a lot of times in my life. And I just thought, you know, like, the joy set before him. I mean, he was going to heaven. He was sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God. Of course, he’s going to endure the momentary suffering and look towards what he was going to, what the reward that he was going to get, right? He was going to go to heaven. It was bliss and amazing.
But I was reading this at a time then when I was really learning and diving into this concept of dying to self. And I realized that if Jesus did nothing primarily for his own good, then the joy set before him couldn’t have been him just leaving this world. That was not the joy set before him. The joy set before him is found in this prayer in John 17 where the joy set before him he endured the cross, OK? So, in John (John 17:1-26, it’s this prayer that he prayed right before he endured the cross.
And what he said was this – it’s a long prayer, but two of the things that he said – he said, “God, Father, glorify me that I may glorify you.” (John 17:1) That’s a key. How do I die to myself? I realize that the purpose that I have on earth is everything that I do is to glorify the Father. Every single thing that I ever do, every thought that I ever make, every word that I ever speak is to glorify the Father.
The second thing that he prayed that I want to touch on in this prayer, he said, “Show the people that you’ve given me, show the people that you’ve given me your glory. I want them to see your glory.” The second thing that Jesus is showing us is that everything that he did was to benefit other people. Every single thing, word, thought, anything that Jesus did was to glorify God and to benefit other people, and never was his own self-interest at the forefront of his mind.
And so, he endured the cross for the joy that was set before him, which I believe was the fulfillment of his whole purpose. Like him and the Father, he was slain before there was time, and so he and the Father had this whole redemptive plan that he was going to come and die on the cross and bring the people back to the Father – be in one in family. He was going to be the firstborn and the firstfruits and all these things. This was the moment.
And so, of course, he was willing to go through it because the joy set before him was that he was going to finally, finally benefit human beings so much, mankind so much, that they were going to be one with the Father. They were going to benefit so much. And secondly, he was glorifying the Father above all else. When you realize these two things, that this is why we’re here, to glorify him and to benefit other people, it really makes it hard to have pity parties when people treat us poorly.
It really makes it hard to lash out in anger with this thing in our conscience going oh, I’m supposed to bless this person right now. It really, really, really makes it hard. So why are you here? Are you here for people to treat you perfectly? We’re not here for situations to go well.
Deserve – What do you deserve? Die to self – Really understand this concept, die to self.[27:43] And the third one is disappointments. How do you deal with [with] disappointments? You know, in our main program, it’s called the Pure Freedom Journey. There’s a lesson in there called the “Power of Disappointments”. I was walking through this with the coaching, a guy – I don’t really call our coaching people clients, I just call them friends, the people that I do one on one coaching with, but we develop good relationships. I love these guys.
And so, there was a gentleman whose wife had had an affair on him. And so, after this happened and this came to light and she wanted the marriage to end, he enrolled in our coaching.
And so, we were walking through this, just as the part, the normal part of the grieving process – anger – came up. It wasn’t right away – wasn’t the first call. I mean, there was a bit, for sure. But there was one particular call where he was like, “Matt, I’m so angry. How do I deal with this? Like, how do I forgive my wife?”
And I remember making this promise to him at the start of the call. I said, “If you will understand forgiveness, you will understand that by the end of this call, you’re going to see that forgiveness is the only option. But also, you’re going to be fired up to go and forgive your wife.” And that was not where he was. Over the course of 45 minutes, he got to the point where he went, ‘Oh my goodness, the first thing I’m going to do when I see my wife is I’m going to go forgive her.’[29:39] This is the reason I’m sitting on the toilet in the bathroom. I’m looking down at the puddles, at the puddles of tears on the floor, and I say to God, I’m like, “How am I supposed to be thankful in this circumstance?” I feel so disappointed; I wanted to just get so angry, I want to punch things. And he said, “Matt, every single negative word that you ever hear and every single disappointment, I use as a chisel to make you more, to bring me out in you.”
So, if we’re in Christ, if Christ is in us, we’re in him and he’s in us, we have the mind of Christ. But we think with this funny mind that doesn’t live up to the standard of Jesus.
But we have the mind of Christ, and we’re transformed by renewing our mind. If we want to get transformed, then we have to change the way we think. So naturally, the world will tell you that when you’re disappointed, when you’re disrespected, when somebody has an affair on you, cheats on you, all these things, you should get so mad, and you’re justified to do it.
But what Jesus says is, “All of those situations are a chisel. I’m chiselling the flesh out. I’m chiselling all of your sin responses away, and I’m bringing Christ out in you.”
You guys, when I realized this, I realized that every single negative thing that happens is an opportunity for me to become more like Christ. And that’s exactly what I want. Now, if people don’t want this, that’s a different story. I think the first thing is to fall in love with Jesus. But if you love Jesus and you desperately, genuinely, just want to get better and just want to not lash out in anger, you realize he’s using every single hard situation as a chisel.
And so, this is an example. Christ in us – how does he want us to live? I said to this guy, “When should you forgive?” And he said, “I guess I probably should soon.” A lot of people will go through this process of going, Man, this horrible thing happened. I got to work out my forgiveness. I got to take a few weeks and get to the point where maybe I can forgive.
And I look at what Jesus did the cross, and I look at him, hands nailed, I won’t put them all out because I’m too big, my – well, the screen’s too small, everybody’s too big – but hands nailed on the cross, they’re literally hammering the nails in his hands to the cross. He’s going to die – they’re killing him. And Jesus is crying out in the moment that they’re hurting him for their forgiveness. The Scripture says to forgive as Christ forgave us (Col. 3:13).
Remember, the standard is high. We’re training. This is training. It’s a process to get there, you guys, and God has so much grace. I have so much grace for myself and for other people. We’ve got to have grace for ourselves in the process. But when we understand that the standard is high, that Jesus is like, I want you to forgive in the moment they’re hurting you. Then we don’t justify going: Well, I’m not going to live like Christ because of a situation. This thing hurt me too much.
But somebody said to me one time, he said, “The thing that I do with my wife when she’s reacting and I just want to get angry is, I go quiet, right? That’s what I should do, right?” And I said, “But actually, if you look scripturally, if you look biblically I think it’s Matthew 5 where it says those who persecute you pray for them, those who hate you, love them.” (Matt. 5:44)
Like I’m not getting the wording exactly right but it’s like always when somebody does something to you, take a positive action. And isn’t that what Jesus did? He’s always redemptive, he’s not neutral. He’s going, “There’s a negative. I’m going to step in with a positive, I’m not going to just wash it away.” And so, what I want you to know is that if you’ve dealt with anger, he doesn’t want you to just forget about it. He wants you to funnel that and use it for his glory. He wants you to just take all the negative situations, and he wants you to redeem those because he’s redemptive.
And so, this person that was saying – yeah, I go quiet – what I said is actually, biblically, there’s two things it says. Yeah, like quiet is better than saying something if it’s negative. But the standard of Jesus, remember the standard of Jesus, is actually love the person in the moment. As you’re nailing the hands to the cross, forgive them. Forgive them fully, and never bring it up again in the sense of you’re holding it against them. If it’s a thing where you’ve got to work it through it with the person, of course you can bring it up. But you’re not holding it against them.
When you realize that you deserve hell, that you’re dying to self and that disappointments are a chisel to make you more like Christ, to make you love the person in the moment. Anger, I’m telling you guys, will start to dissipate in your life so quickly.
And so, then my premarital counsellor was saying to me, he’s like, “I never realized the ripple effect on other people, I never realized what it did to them.” But when you realize that when we have this new perspective, we look outward, we don’t just look inward and we realize that oh, this is an opportunity for me to love that person. This is an opportunity for me to be the bigger person and to show Christ to that person.
What the power of this does is that just like what didn’t happen in Nazareth where it drove the love of God out of town, they drove the power of God out of town. When disappointments happen, and you come over top, and you love that person and you respect that person and you bless that person, you’re – the love is God is flowing in you and through you. And you’re realizing, Man, that didn’t faze me. I’m still good because I’m in Christ.
This is the beauty of it.
So there’s a guy who’s in our program, and just through our coaching programs, he was saying, “I’ve just been angry. Like I’ve never really thought about it – I’ve just been angry my whole life.” And there’s reasons for that, I mean there’s – he saw lots of abuse in his home when he was young. And what he said, though, is “I’ve dealt with pornography, and then I realized that now anger is something to deal with. But beforehand it was just what I do.”
When you can realize that certain things are an escape – pornography is an escape, anger even is an escape from what you’re actually feeling. When you go to God, and you go – “What am I actually feeling right now? What’s the longing of my heart that I really want to have fulfilled right now?” It’s so powerful in having the love of God coming in you and then flow through you to other people.
I just want to chat maybe two more minutes, and then ask some questions. I would love to hear some questions. But what do you do when you feel anger, then? Anger is a natural emotion – we’re going to feel it. And so, we have these perspectives – We’ve got to be transformed by changing the way we think when we feel anger. But then what do we do with it? Because we’ve got to release it.
I was driving yesterday with our little boy. So, Paul, you said we have two boys, and one’s almost 2 and a half, and the other one’s almost 2 months. He’s young. And so, I was driving with my sister-in-law and our 2-year-old yesterday. And it’s so funny – I always think, whatever kids do, I always think – what if adults did what they do? Like, what if we just jumped out of the car and did three cartwheels in the parking lot? What if we just – whatever it is?
Yesterday our boy was just making random noises – la, la – and he was just learning words. He’s just shouting and learning his vocal cords. I was just laughing to my sister-in-law, “What if adults could just make random noises like a baby does?” And it was so funny because she said, “I do. I do that all the time. Whenever I feel angry, I just get it out. I just yell.” And it was so funny. If you can bring joy to things guys – side tip – it makes it easier to go into that thing. And so, when you’re feeling angry, if you can realize, oh – just yell.[37:38] Look at what David did in the Psalms. He was calling for the heads of his enemies to be crushed and calling for their death and all these horrible things because he was angry. But then he always brought it back to God: You are good, and I trust you. I surrender to you. And we realize that our life is not about us, it’s about other people and about God. We realize that we surrender to God.
The last thing that I want to say is this, you can’t do with this without the power of God. You’ve got to spend time with God. You’ve got to actually get in the word and make that personal.
Like what is, so I read a verse – how do I do that – like dwell on that, meditate on that, ask God, “How do I do that? How do I take this verse, ‘Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.’ How do I actually do that?” You personalize it, and you spend time in a quiet place with God, and you become more like him. You can’t do anything good without him. Especially when we’re dealing with anger, which is such a natural human emotion, and we don’t know how to steward it. You’ve got to spend time with God because he’ll give you grace and then you’ll have grace for yourself.
And so, action points, and then I want to share the screen just quickly and then take some questions.[38:46] Action points: If you’ve got somebody or multiple people that you need to forgive, I want you to go forgive. I want you to pray a blessing for those people, and even if you can tangibly give them something, write them a letter, send them a gift, give your spouse a massage, go do that. Because when you can come overtop, and you forgive that person, they receive so much grace, and it draws them closer to God.
This was this motivation with this man who, by the end of our coaching call, wanted to forgive his wife. He was like – if I can be an example of Christ love to her, that’s all I ever want. And so, I want you to do that action point: Go and forgive somebody. Some of you have people to forgive. Some of you, it’s been a 10, 20-year grudge. You’ve got people to forgive. Some of you, those people have passed away. Pray to God, just forgive them. Forgive them, just release them in your soul.
Forgiveness, you guys. Listen to this – this is key: forgiveness is not about freeing up your soul. There’s a lot of teaching about that in the world. Forgiveness – you better forgive because if you don’t forgive, your soul is going to get tied up. In Matthew 18 it says that if we’re in unforgiveness, sorry I’m on this point now but, if we’re in unforgiveness, our soul, we’re going to be turned over to the tormentors. But that’s not a motivation for forgiveness.
The motivation is found in 2 Corinthians 2 (2 Cor. 2:5-8) where Paul is telling the church to forgive somebody because the weight of what he did is enough. So, let’s as believers not add to that weight by not forgiving the person. That’s biblical forgiveness. Jesus isn’t hanging on the cross going, “Man, I better forgive these people so that my soul will be set free.” But he knows that if he forgives them for their benefit, for them to know God, his soul will be free. That’s a sidebar, a benefit of it.
And so, I want you guys to take action on this. I want you guys to realize that anger’s a secondary emotion and there’s things maybe going on underneath that you haven’t identified, that you haven’t realized. And think about that, ask God about that: what are the things that I’m missing?
I want to just quickly show my screen because Impactus – the one thing I love about Impactus, (and then I’ll stop rambling) is they’re always about next steps. What can people do next? Everything that Impactus does you guys, they’re so great because you don’t just want to give a teaching and then go OK, but now there’s nothing.
And so, I’m just going to share my screen here quickly and show you our coaching program. I wanted to show you guys what I did here with our coaching program because we got this Freedom to Impact coaching program.
And so, what I always harp on these guys about is, I’m not about just getting you free from whatever your sin is. I’m about having you know who you are in Christ, which inevitably leads to impact because you can’t know who you are in a crisis and not impact other people. And so we’re about let’s get you free from porn right away, let’s get you free from anger quickly, but then let’s disciple you and grow you into things of the Lord and then give you opportunities to lead.
And so, you’ll experience victory with my one-on-one coaching if this is what you want to do. You’ll live in freedom, but you’ll also be equipped in your purpose. What I always see with guys is, particularly with what we do, is guys go, “Man, I’ve been porn-free for three months…” or you can listen to my story in different places, I know Impactus did a documentary on my story or on our [Restored Ministries’ Pure Victory] podcast too. But I was free from porn for two and a half years, but I never knew who I was in Christ, so I fell right back into it. And that happens all the time.
When you know who are you in Christ and you’re going out there and you’re impacting people, you’re going to have such an anchor where you’re not going to be able to go back in sin as easily.
And so anyways, there’s a promo code you guys, that this is just for a week because we have, I haven’t opened the coaching, the one-on-one coaching, since November. There’s a lot of demand for it, and so we’re trying, we’re raising up coaches. But there’s a lot of demand for it, and right now there’s one other coach that works for us. But there’s just two – there’s a lot of people, and so we’re very selective in the number of people that we take on for coaching.
It hasn’t been open since November, and I’m opening it now, but only for a week and only for 10 guys. But for being on here tonight, I wanted to give you guys a promo code where if you enter in Impactus when you register, you’ll save $150 on the coaching. It’ll be closed in seven days, but Mauricio, you can put that link up if you haven’t already, restoredministries.ca/impactus. There’s 10 spots available.
You can go to the site, and you can read all this stuff. World-class achievers always get coached, What’s your goal? We want to change what you think to not just get free from sin; we want to equip you because of our ulterior motives here. I haven’t touched on this, but we want to see a million people by 2030 living porn-free and powerful, powerful lives. And so, we’re raising up leaders to be able to go and multiply that impact and then take advantage of the resources that we create. And then go into their churches, and their schools, their networks whatever and then take our resources and go impact other people. And so, this is our goal. It’s not just in freedom but impact too. So, there’s some testimonies here, you guys.
This is what’s involved: lifetime access to our main program, Pure Freedom Journey, which is 52 weeks of weekly trainings. There’s video, there’s audio, there’s transcript, there’s assessments that you take, there’s a weekly interactive Zoom call with Facebook Live with different trainers. I do a lot of them; a lot of our leaders do them. There’s different guys from different ministries that we bring in.
The first month with Freedom to Impact, we do four coaching calls which is weekly. And then the second month we do two because I want to train somebody up so that they’re not so dependent on the coaching. And so, at first, we’re doing weekly, then we move to the second month and the third month to every two weeks. And we’re training people to be leaders and to deal with their sin quickly to get the attitude of Christ the thing that they’re armed with. And then the next nine months here, we do group coaching with The Pure Freedom Journey. And some people lead it, some people partake in it, but there’s huge value you guys. It’s really invaluable.
I always think – Why are we putting a dollar value to it? – because really it’s invaluable. But doing all these things individually would be $11,500. And so, you can read these testimonies. But what we’re doing now, and this is before the promo code, is if you go one payment you’ll get the eight sessions, the eight coaching sessions, all Pure Freedom Journey forever for $1,800. That’s Canadian, for you guys that are international. Or you can split that up and do three payments of $700 each.
This is what’s available just for you guys as far as the promo code. There’s 10 spots right now, and it’s only for a week that it’s open. So, if you guys are wanting more, I’d love to see you guys take advantage of that. And if you have questions, reach out.
OK, I want to turn it over, Mauricio, Paul – See if there’s any questions. Thank you, guys.
Paul: [46:49] Yeah, there was so much to unpack there I wish we had, you know, a couple of hours to unpack this whole thing. That was really incredible – thank you so much. Your 3 D’s really hit home, and one of the points you made was about being disrespected. I’ll speak for myself, and maybe on behalf of a bunch of dads who will get angry at their kids. And, you know, you ask them to do something once and twice and five times and you feel disrespected – it’s like I’ve asked you to do this, and then you blow your lid, which is just wrong, absolutely wrong. So yeah, it really resonated with me.
Matt: Yeah, yeah, it’s true. And I mean, it’s when things don’t go the way you want, right, I mean that’s another way to put it is like how do you deal with it when things don’t go the way you want? It’s so true, so it’s so important to understand that stuff.
Paul: [47:46] Yeah, precisely, yeah. So yeah, we’ve got a bunch of questions. I’m going to start with one – a very interesting question. And I love the fact that you talk about righteous anger and how Jesus himself, you know, he got angry and the fact that yeah, there is so much injustice in this world, and we should focus our anger on a lot of these things, which I really feel a lot of Christian guys just don’t.
Paul: We kind of just let it all go by.
Paul: [48:11]But, you know, Jesus, he reacted, he got angry. And so if we react to something like that in righteous anger, does it justify us getting violent as it appeared Jesus did by, you know, throwing the tables over?
Matt: [48:30] It’s funny. He also says to the disciples about – Don’t use a sword – and then at different times – Use a sword. It’s like – What? So, there’s an importance of being Spirit-led for sure. And so when is the right time? I don’t know if I would go to the point of saying that when Scripture says don’t sin in your anger, I don’t know if we could ever sin in our anger. Can we get violent? I can’t really think, maybe I should think more, but I can’t really think of a situation like that.
This is a situation that I could think of for sure: Paul, you talk about your kids. I got kids. If somebody comes and they’re taking our kid or kidnapping our kid or violating our kid, absolutely, absolutely get violent, for sure. So, I guess yeah, I’m glad that a situation came to mind. That was probably the Lord, but yeah. There are times for sure that you can get violent, I guess, in that sense.
But I think what we want to know is, are we sinning, or are we doing what the Lord want us to do? That’s always got to be the measuring stick. And so, I think that God is very fierce in his protection of his children and so I think that we can model that for sure. So that’s a good question, for sure.
Paul: [49:33] Right, yeah. Yeah, we have a number of others. Jared has asked, “What’s a good method to stop and take the time to ask God what am I feeling here?” So, what’s a good method to stop and take the time to ask what am I feeling?
Matt: [49:47] Yeah, good question. I think you don’t need to overthink it. You can do it when you’re driving with your family. And I know kids are loud, you’ve got kids, I see in the picture there. You got a lot! But when – I don’t believe that if you’re not spending time in the secret place with God in a quiet place, I don’t believe you’re going to hear him as clearly when you’re out in public. And so, we want to have the situation where we’re praying without ceasing, like Scripture says. But we want to have a situation where we know God’s voice when we’re in the midst of turmoil.
But I think before we ever do that – I’m not going to say 100% of the time, because God can speak – but we’ll know his voice better when we’re spending time in that secret place. I think there’s even been power in mornings, biblically, so many people – even Jesus, David – is like morning, morning, morning, they’re spending time with the Father. If we can spend time learning God’s voice, then when we’re in the midst of a hard time, then you go, OK, God, what am I feeling here? I think when you learn his voice, you’ll know it. You’ll be more confident in this.
But when you’re not really sure, like, is that the Lord or is that me? I just tell people, when you’re learning the voice of God, and something comes to your mind, and you don’t know if that’s God or not, if it lines up with Scripture and it sounds right, oh, I’m feeling disrespected right now. It’s probably God. But if it’s not God, it’s still right, so just be encouraged with that.
Also, just practice this – just practice this. Practice, like every time you’re angry, make it a goal. Like beforehand, before you’re angry, make it a goal. Every time I’m angry, I’m going to stop and be like, God, what am I actually feeling here? And then surrender the anger, surrender whatever it is you’re feeling. And just go, God, I’m about you and I’m about these people right now, how can I bless these people?
Paul: [49:47] Great stuff.
Matt: [51:41] I hope that helped.
Paul: [51:42] Another question similar to, you know, the kids example, “What about the in-the-moment anger? When the kids aren’t listening, and suddenly after many reasonable attempts at getting them to listen some anger comes out?” So there’s that in the-moment anger once again that so many dads do experience.
Matt: [52:01] So many, and you guys, it’s funny, because I didn’t tell you about a lot, but it kind of ties in about being offended. I think the spirit of offence is wrecking the world right now. Everybody’s offended at everything. And so, if you look in Scripture when we get offended, it’s such a – those people in Nazareth, some translations say they got offended at Jesus, and they drove him out of town.
So, but having said that, yesterday my wife was very tired and not able to do a lot. And it wasn’t right away, but it was like after a few things, and I felt like I was alone, and I got offended. And I was like, Oh, I hate this so much. I hate that I got offended. But what I did was, I didn’t stay there and go, Well, it’s because of whatever. I was like, Oh man. And she called me on it. And I had to think about it humbly because I didn’t want to admit it, because I teach on it all the time. But I was like, She’s right. I got offended. And I went to the Lord, and I said, “Lord, I’m sorry that I did this. I know that this isn’t right. How could I have reacted differently?”
And so, the first thing that I felt the Lord was directing me to do was go apologize, which – full disclosure – I haven’t done yet because we have three kids here. We have a nephew here, too, so – just having that time. But I’m going to do it. If she was in the room with me when the Lord was directing me to apologize, I would have just done it right then. And so, I think that that’s important.
When we react, man, if you can come back an hour later or the next day and apologize to your kids, I think that’s great. But if you can apologize in the moment, I think that’s amazing. And so have grace for yourselves in this process but make it a goal that you’re going to get to the standard of Christ but understand he’s got grace for you in the process too, so encourage yourself in that.
Paul: [53:50] That’s great, thank you so much. And guys, just a reminder, if you have any questions put them in the comment. So, what do you do when you’re on the receiving end of anger?
Matt: [54:03] I wondered if someone would ask this, actually. To be honest – and it’s a great question, and I didn’t touch on it, so I’m glad you asked it – but the same things apply. When you’re on the receiving end of anger, you’re being disrespected, you’re not being heard, you’re not being loved, you’re disappointed on how things are going.
Why are you here on earth? You’re here on earth to glorify God and to love other people, and to die to yourself. Because when we die to ourselves, life comes, right? Like when the seed dies, only when it dies, does life come.
I’ve got two thoughts going on in my head, and I want to answer the question instead of going on a rabbit trail. But when you’re on the receiving end of anger, how do you love that person? “A gentle word turns away wrath,” it says in the Scripture (Proverbs 15:1). How do you love the person? And sometimes loving them – this is what I struggle with and I’m trying to grow it in – sometimes loving the person means giving them time.
I don’t want to be a person that when I’m angry I go, Oh, I just need an hour to calm down. I want to be able to be like Jesus and forgive in the moment. So, I’m growing in that. But sometimes when the other person isn’t there and they’re angry and they just need to calm down, what I’m having to learn – and maybe it’s the same for you asking this question – is that sometimes love is just give them some time to calm down and then pray about how you can react. And come back and love them, bless them, pray for them, all of those things that we talk about.
Because this is the thing: they’re not expecting it. That gentleman whose wife cheated on him, his wife was expecting what kind of reaction? Anger, of course. He comes and forgives and goes, oh, like she’s not expecting to be forgiven, right? So, it’s incredible when you let the love of God come in you and through you. What the other people react with is really shocking and surprise – oh, I wasn’t expecting that.
Paul: [56:08] Yeah, that’s great, yeah. I got one from Neil here: “In the moments when I am not able to control my anger the way I wanted to, I still ask for forgiveness but struggle with guilt. What can I do?”
Matt: Receive the grace of God is the main thing. This is why I say this: it might sound stereotypical, but what I’ve seen in dealing with a lot of people is that when people are hard on themselves and people don’t give themselves grace, they typically also don’t give other people grace and they typically also don’t receive grace from God. They see him more as a mean God or like he’s mad at them – he’s holding a grudge.
And so, giving yourself grace. OK, this is a good point. You mentioned forgiveness. If you can pray in this new way, transform your mind, right, or renew your mind, it’ll transform you. I tell people, and some people struggle with this but let me explain. Don’t ask for forgiveness – don’t ask for forgiveness as if you don’t have it. The last person that ever had to ask for forgiveness was Jesus 2,000 years ago. We have forgiveness. Now it’s a little bit of a funny way to say it because in the scripture it says, ask for forgiveness. I get that.
But don’t ask as if you don’t have it – desperately, oh, I hope that you forgive me. Maybe in a week you’ll forgive me. Receive forgiveness in the moment – God, thank you so much that 2,000 years ago you made the ultimate sacrifice that satisfied all of the wrath of God and the justice that you can’t hold it against me so then I can’t hold it against myself. And I don’t think that you’re ever going to get there if you’re begging for forgiveness, not knowing if God forgives you, not understanding that in the moment when you sin, when you come to him you’ve got that forgiveness, you just have to receive it and it’s there for you fully. So, get forgiveness and grace from God and speak the words even when you don’t feel it.
This is what I did for five years, and it’s a longer story. I’ve told the guys in our group, but for five years I told myself a dream that God gave me about, I forgive you in the moment, and I didn’t believe it. But for five years, every time I was like, I can’t give myself grace. It doesn’t make sense. I would speak it out like, no, I spoke it even when I didn’t believe it. And it took five years for me to be at the point – OK, God’s grace is real and full for me in this moment, so.
Paul: Very good. He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
Matt: [58:54] Totally.
Paul: [58:55] What if I feel like I can’t forgive?
Matt: [58:58] Yeah, see if you feel like you can’t forgive, I would bet a million dollars the reason why you can’t forgive because in your mind the situation is so great that it’s beyond forgiveness. That situation, you might even say, it’s worse than anything I’ve done or I would never do that to somebody, or you have no idea how this person wrecked my life. But I’ll tell you, and maybe this is offensive, but hear me, hear my heart on this because it’s for your benefit: When we hold onto a grudge, actually the thing that wrecked our life is holding onto the grudge. It’s not what happened to us.
In Hebrews 6, it talks about these intellectual things: understanding the baptisms and… intellectual understandings about Christianity is the elementary things of Christ. And there’s these things like the pinnacle of Christianity. But then it says, but then move from these things, these intellectual things and grow in your salvation. (Hebrews 6:1-12) And in 1 Peter 2:1 it says that you grow in your salvation by turning away from bitterness and envy and malice and all these things. So, you grow in your salvation but not just understanding things theologically; it’s more of a character issue where you turn away from the negative character things and then grow in your salvation.
And so, realizing that no matter what someone did to you that the contrast between the holiness of God and our sin is greater than what the person did to you and where you’re at. So, if God forgave you, it’s the glory of God that you live for and the benefit of other people. How can you forgive other people just like he forgave you? He’s a perfect God; he didn’t need to forgive, but he did that for you.
And so be so proud of yourself, if you’re asking this question. Be absolutely so proud of yourself when you make the decision to forgive somebody for an offence that you would never do to anybody. Be so proud of yourself for loving that person in that way. It’s going to set you free. It’s incredible and sets the other person free too.
Paul: [1:01:19] So this one you kind of touched on during your teaching, but what if the person I need to forgive has died. They’ve passed away?
Matt: Yeah, it’s a hard one. That’s come across from guys in our program too. You know, in that case, and there might be more teaching that people would give to this, but in this case where I talk about the pinnacle of forgiveness, really, what forgiveness is, is to benefit other people. To have the love of God flow through you.
They’re not around anymore, so just remember what it says in Mathew 18, and you can go and you can read that story over and over and over again if you want. And 2 Corinthians 2, you read that. It’s not a story, but it’s like a verse where it’s a part of a story where Paul talks about forgiving people. Read those things. (Matthew 18:21-35 and 2 Corinthians 2:5-11)
To answer your question, release them in your heart. When I was learning about forgiveness our pastor just talked about release them. Like say their name, “God, I release their person what they did to me, I’m not going to hang onto it anymore and I’m thankful for the lesson that you’re teaching me through this situation. And I release this person from ever having a hold on my heart anymore.” If you can also then move forward and get a different perspective on that person, get God’s perspective on that person, it’s going to really help you.
And so, they can’t necessarily benefit from your forgiveness, but you can benefit a whole lot from your forgiveness by releasing it, by giving God the situation. And even doing this: giving God the situation and ask – What do you have for me in return? He’ll say things like, “You surrender things at the cross.” What do you have in return for me, Jesus? “I have abundant life for you. I’ve got joy for you, I’ve got peace for you.” He’ll say these things. And then ask God for his perspective, “How do you see that person?” And it’s going to change – it’s going to be different than how you see them. So I hope that helps.
Paul: Yeah, yeah, it will certainly set you free, that’s for sure.
Paul: [1:03:20] This is a great question, “How do I forgive myself for the damage I’ve caused?”
Matt: Yeah, good question, good question. It’s a funny thing, like Scripture talks about grace and truth, right? And grace and truth, it’s kind of like truth is the standard of Jesus. And then grace – and like so live here. If you’re living at truth, you’re going to live here all the time. Grace is like, no matter what we’ve done, we’ve got infinite grace.
It’s a funny thing because it seems like it contradicts – how can I have both? You want to get to that standard but at the same time realize that man, Christ died on the cross while you were yet a sinner, before you knew him, knowing what you were going to do. He made a covenant after the flood when, with Noah, saying I’m never going to wipe out the earth again. I’m never going to wipe out the people again.
He made a covenant knowing what we were going to do, saying, I’m going to love you fiercely, forever. I’m going to chase after you with my kindness. And so if you can’t forgive yourself again, it goes back to just receive the grace of God and realize man, I’m a human being, and I got weakness, and I’m growing. The mistake that I made was I wasn’t at the point where I want to be, but I’m growing.
And so, if you can grow in your life, not let it hinder you and receive God’s grace, it’s powerful. Now I know that’s kind of a generic thing, but really, just spend time in prayer and spend time even receiving love from other people. Because when we spend time in prayer, often times we don’t spend time praying to God about the big things on our heart. So, if we pray to God, if you pray to God about that every day – God, how can I forgive me? Give me your perspective on this. How do you see me right now? And understand his love for you is so full, despite what you’ve done.
I hope that these things can help, but it’s a powerful thing to go through, because when you struggle with not understanding how to forgive yourself, when you get there you’re going to be, you’re going to live in God’s grace the rest of your life. It’s a challenge for you that God is maybe wanting to work you through because he wants you to be able to live in his grace the rest of your life. And if you didn’t go through this, you maybe wouldn’t ever learn the lesson that you learn, so. I hope that helped.
Paul: [1:05:47] Very good, yeah. So, I’m going to jump to our last question, it looks like the last one this evening. We’ve gone past the hour. “Can I totally get rid of my anger?”
Matt: Yeah. I was thinking about this as I was preparing. I don’t think so. And the reason is because God gives us weakness. And he gives us weakness so that his strength can be made perfect. And it’s the same thing with the guys in dealing with pornography, where often guys like, oh I just pray for God to take away the temptation – temptation is never – it’s not a sin. And it actually says in the Scripture that God allows us to be tempted but never beyond what we can bear. So, he’ll never allow us to be tempted more than we can bear. But temptation is something that’s a reality to draw us close to God when we feel weak.
Same with your anger. Anger is an emotion. It’s a normal human emotion. If you didn’t feel anger about anything, I’d be very worried. Anger is something that’s part of our being. But I want to say this: it will go from like a 10-out-of-10 to a 1-out-of-10 in situations where it would be ungodly anger. You’ll learn, as you go through this process, you’ll learn about how to be in the moment. I got a guy a month or two ago just came at me, cursing me out, “I’m going to tear down everything that you’ve ever built in your life. I’m going to slap you silly.” Like, all of these things. It was like insane.
And I didn’t – I’m telling you not to brag, but because I’ve gone through this process to tell you where you can get to and not that I’ve arrived either – but I didn’t feel one bit of ill will towards this guy. I felt so much compassion for him because he was giving me so much evidence that he didn’t know Christ. And so, how could I be mad at the guy? I’m like, man, I didn’t lash out. I tried to speak life, and it went nowhere, so I just left it. But then I spent probably a few days or a week praying for the guy. And so, you get to a point where you’re in situations where you used to lash out in anger, you get to a point where maybe you won’t feel it as often or as much.
But I think that it’s important to realize that God gave us weakness, and we’ll have weakness the whole rest of our lives with intention that we go to him in those moments. Because when we feel anger and then we go to him, then we can hear his little whisper going, “I’m chiselling me out of you. I’m making me more like you.” And that’s the beauty of our weakness.
And so, celebrate that you have emotion, that you have anger. I don’t want you to think oh, this is terrible. No, I mean not having anger and not having emotion – that would be scary. But it will dissipate, it will diminish and get less and less and less in your life the more you deal with it. So I hope that helps. Good questions. I love these questions. They’re really good.
Paul: [1:08:35] Yeah, for sure. And you’ve given us tools tonight to help us, you know, chip away at that. And just as we press more and more into our walk with Jesus, he will certainly, you know, walk with us and help us with that anger. I just say, We’re imperfect human beings; it’s always going to be there. But we got another question that came in from Neil.
Paul: [1:08:56] “If someone has said they have forgiven you for past mistake due to anger, or anything else, but they keep bringing it up, what can I do?”
Matt: You can teach them about forgiveness if you want. You can teach them what we talked about tonight but not out of anger, because everything we do is to glorify God and to benefit other people. If this person’s not living at their best, how could I help this person? If they’re bringing it up, there’s obviously something in their heart that is leading them to bring it up.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) If they’re bringing it up, they’re feeling a wound; they’re feeling something in their heart, unforgiveness in their heart. How can you walk them through this and go, You’ve already said you forgave me, and we respond with anger. How can you go OK, yeah we bring this up, you know, once a week or once a month. It’s obviously something that’s still on your heart; how could we get to the point where we see this in a different way, or how could I love you in a certain way to help you really deal with this, because I don’t want it to hinder you in your heart anymore.
So you say things like that where it’s for the benefit of the other person. And as long as you’re doing it not out of anger, it’s going to go well for you, as long as you’re doing it for their benefit and to glorify God in everything that we do, it’s the foundation for everything that we do. It’s to glorify God and to benefit other people; it’s never for our own benefit.
Paul: [1:10:29] Amen. Well, on that note Matt, I want to thank you so much for joining us tonight and just sharing your heart with us. You’ve just given us so much to think about. We really appreciate you joining us tonight. Tell us more about Restored Ministries and what else guys can find at your ministry and on your website.
Matt: [1:10:46] Sure, yeah well, it’s been so good to be with you. And like I say I love the questions and the interaction, it’s so good. Yeah, so with Restored, the reason why our coaching program is a program is because when we work with people one or two times, people don’t commit. People take a month or two months off and those things, and it’s just not quite the same as the impact.
Now guys still are impacted for sure, but when we work with you in a set amount of time, it’s so beautiful. And so the one-on-one coaching that we went over is a key transformational program. The Pure Freedom Journey is so powerful, you guys. Like the testimonies, they keep coming. I was doing a workshop a couple of weeks ago with this woman, and she follows us on Instagram, which is @restored_community if you want to follow on Instagram. But she said the testimonies, I thought you’d have one testimony, and then they keep coming, and it’s incredible. And I’m so blown away by what God is doing in people.
And so the Pure Freedom Journey is on the website. That’s the one that I direct individuals to; I really, really recommend that one. Because within the Pure Freedom Journey there’s group coaching. Guys meet with each other, they develop relationships. There’s guys I worked closely with at the start, and now I don’t talk to them anymore. And I kind of miss them because it’s kind of, there’s more groups going on but they have their own leaders. And so, there’s a community aspect to it along with weekly teachings.
This is the power. And this is I think what separates us in a sense from other ministries, is that there’s a lot of support groups out there where nobody is free, and it’s like a bunch of guys that are like – oh, we all want to get free from anger and porn, but nobody ever has been and so they don’t know the way out. Or we’ve got myself and other people as well that come on, and we train you. All of the groups are walking you through the resources, but they’re led by people who have gotten free and are tight with the Lord. There’s so much power in the community and the leadership and just getting resources too.
And the last thing is if you want to deal with pornography, this isn’t an anger thing but, if it’s on your heart to deal with pornography and you want to make an impact, the [Restored] Boot Camp is an eight-week series with videos and worksheets that church groups can go through. And we do some leadership training with guys that, with guys that want it, that want to lead groups. We’ll spend some time with you and work with you on how to lead people effectively.
You can use the Boot Camp in your church, in your, just in your network. I guess you can get eight guys together or four guys together, whatever. And so those are some resources for you, and I hope that you take advantage. And if you ever have any questions, definitely reach out.
Paul: [1:13:32] Absolutely. You can learn more about Matt’s ministry at restoredministries.ca. So I really encourage you to check it out. There’s a ton more resources he hasn’t even touched on. A shout out from Neil who says, “A great perspective on the topic tonight, Matt. Thank you so much.”
And for all the guys who joined us tonight, we really hope this has been a blessing to you. And I’d like to remind you as well in this time of COVID and lockdown we’ve been unable for the past year to do live conferences, and so we are hosting a free virtual online conference on Friday, April the 16th . You can learn all about it on impactus.org. We’d love to see you there. We have great speakers, great worship, and it’ll be just a great night. So that’s at impactus.org.
So Matt, once again, thanks again. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you joining us tonight and ministering to us. It was a real blessing and thank you so much.
Matt: Awesome, thank you, Paul. It’s been great.
Paul: Oh yeah, for sure.
Matt: You bet.
Paul: So guys, and everyone that’s joined us tonight, thank you so much for joining us. We hope you got a lot of out of this. We’ll post this on our YouTube page, and you can watch it again. It’ll be on replay. So once again, thank you so much. I hope it was a blessing to you tonight, so have a great night. God bless.