Sometimes I think there’s a beast that lives inside me, in the cavern that’s where my heart should be, and every now and then it fills every last inch of my skin, so that I can’t help but do something inappropriate. Its breath is full of lies; it smells of spite.
— Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care
1.1.1 Watch the training session video below. Make notes as you follow what Pastor Craig says. The workbook notes below correspond with the video session.
If you want to you can download Session 3 Workbook PDF below the video, Print it, and Write on it.
*Note that all the info below is a exact digtal copy of the Workbook, intented to save paper consumption for a better inviroment.
Make sure to answer the questions below. If you are unsure refer back to the video. Bring your notes to the Online Chat session at the end of the week. If there are any questions or statements that stand out or the Holy Spirit implanted in your heart, highlight them to share with the group.
Samson had a supernatural ________________ from God and was set apart with supernatural strength, but he had a dangerously weak will.
Samson was ________________-driven, not Spirit-led.
Both men and women are emotional, but show it in ________________ ways. When women are emotional, they ________________; men tend to ________________.
This gets us in trouble when we know what’s right, but we do what we feel like doing rather than what’s right.
Galatians 5:16 – 17, “So I say to live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what’s ________________ to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They’re in ________________ with each other so you do not do what you want.”
Samson made a stupid bet with thirty Philistines (who were the enemy), giving them a riddle (Judges 14:14). When they couldn’t figure it out, they pressed his bride-to-be to trick him into revealing the answer.
1.2.1 Emotions we need to learn to fight and defeat:
It’s not a ________________ to be angry, it’s a sin to act on your anger in the ________________ way. After losing the bet, Samson set off an anger-filled, violent chain reaction:
Samson’s anger not only cost him, but it cost those that he ________________. Our anger can do the same.
For many of us, anger is a default emotion. Embarrassment or pain produces an angry reaction.
What did Samson have to be angry about? He’s the guy who made all the choices; in reality, it’s almost all his own fault.
Men with great potential let the emotion of anger go wild. Sometimes their anger is directed at themselves as they take it out on the rest of the world. Anger gone wild can take a strong man down.
1.2.2 Fight your personal ________________.
Samson killed a thousand men, using the strength of God, and then boasted about it.
Pride is born out of our ________________. The more insecure we are, the more we try to ________________ with pride.
If you let your ________________ drive you to God, God will ________________ your deepest need. Samson took his physical thirst to God, and also acknowledged that God was behind his strength, and he was revived.
God has given you the heart of a warrior, and you’ve lost some battles and done some stupid things. If you will ________________ yourself and say, “I need God, I need your grace,” he will give you strength and you will be ________________. Our good God loves to make weak men strong.
Take time to discuss what you just watched.
1.3.1 As Craig noted in the video, there tend to be differences in how the sexes process emotions — women verbally and men through actions. How did that hold true among the adult men and women in your family growing up?
It’s also true that sometimes men are verbal and women more demonstrative. Where do you fit along that continuum in how you typically show strong emotions?
1.3.2 What is an example of your anger in action recently? What factors tend to make you so mad you do things you regret?
1.3.3 Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.” What does non-sinful anger look like?
What does it mean practically to “not let the sun go down on your anger”? What makes that practice hard for you personally?
1.3.4 In Romans 8:6 – 8, a passage similar in theme to Galatians 5:16 – 17 that Craig discusses in the video, the apostle Paul writes: “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” What is your reaction to Paul’s point that our minds, if governed by “the flesh,” have no ability whatsoever to do what God wants?
If that is so, how do we both use our minds and emotions, which are gifts from God, and yet also live by the power of the Spirit of God?
1.3.5 The root of pride is not too much belief in our goodness, but rather insecurity and a need to compensate for our lack of confidence and wounded self-esteem. As SØren Kierkegaard pointed out, “The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God.”
Looking back on an episode of pride, in what way can you now admit that you were “fighting with God” — and doing so because of insecurity?
1.3.6 Craig said, “If you let your need drive you to God, God will meet your deepest need.” What need in you has driven you to God recently?
In what ways have you felt God meeting that need?
In what ways does that need still feel unmet?
1.3.7 Individual Activity: My Takeaway
What I’ve learned from this session — and where I need to fight the good fight like a man — is …
For most men, talking doesn’t feel like it accomplishes anything. “Doing” does. The problem is that when we let our emotions lead us to do something, often it is something we shouldn’t have done.
1.3.8 Jesus was no stranger to emotions. Read the following verses and note the emotions you see him experiencing:
John 11:35; Luke 19:41; Isaiah 53:3;
Mark 3:4 – 5; 10:14; John 2:13 – 17
Mark 15:33 – 34; Luke 22:42 – 44
Luke 10:21; John 3:29
Matthew 9:36; Mark 1:40 – 41; John 11:33, 38
1.3.9 One way to categorize core emotions is to use the acronym S.A.S.H.E.T., which stands for “Sad, Angry, Scared, Happy, Excited, Tender.” Other emotions are variations of these base-level feelings (with more or less intensity). None are “bad”; our feelings just exist and are morally neutral. How we react to our feelings is what gets us into trouble, because our emotions are good servants, but bad rulers. As you think about your own life experience, use the following chart to reflect on the role emotions have played, both good and bad (and don’t worry if you don’t have an example for every box).
1.3.10 Of all the feelings, anger seems to be one most likely to get us men into trouble from time to time. Consider these observations about anger:
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”
— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
“Never respond to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it … Don’t allow his anger to become your anger.”
— Bohdi Sanders, Warrior Wisdom: Ageless Wisdom for the Modern Warrior
How would you put the above ideas into your own words?
Growing up, how did your male role models confirm the truth of these statements — either positively or negatively?
Pride is always born of our insecurities. When we don’t know who we are in Christ, we use pride to try to fill that void.
1.3.11. A key verse about pride is Proverbs 21:24. Here is the text in several translations:
The proud and arrogant man — “Mocker” is his name; he behaves with overweening pride. (New International Version)
Mockers are proud and haughty; they act with boundless arrogance. (New Living Translation)
“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride. (English Standard Version)
Although harsh words are used to describe a prideful person in these translations, most of us can relate to times when we’ve acted with pride. Describe a time when pride turned you into a “mocker” or “scoffer.”
1.3.12 CS. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity:
A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you … Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man …
It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone.
Who or what do you tend to compare yourself to (look down on) that fuels and reveals your pride?
How is “knowing who you are in Christ” an antidote to that pride?
1.3.13 Craig noted that despair can also be a form of pride. He writes:
We get stuck in these negative loops of self-judgment and condemnation that are not from God. His Spirit always leads us to confession, to changing directions and going God’s way, to a fresh start, to grace. Often God has forgiven us, but our emotions haven’t caught up. I’m convinced this is just another form of our pride — wanting to be in control of ourselves and not rely on God. We’d rather hate ourselves than risk the vulnerability and humility required to depend on him. It seems easier to expect the worst than to put our hope in God.
Describe a situation when you felt pride keeping you from fully embracing God’s forgiveness. What price did you pay for not allowing his love in?
God, thank you for giving me emotions. Thank you too for giving me a model in Jesus of how to feel and express the full range of human emotions. Open me up to the feelings I tend to avoid, especially … ________________________________________
I confess that, like Samson, my anger and pride bring harm to others and myself. Forgive me, Lord, for the following angry or prideful actions and the hurt I caused … _____________________________________________________________________________
I commit again to allowing your Spirit to lead me, and not letting my feelings control me. Thank you for living in me so I have the power I need. I will humbly ask for help when I need it — from you and from others — so that I do not allow anger, pride, or despair to rule and ruin my life. Amen.
***Recommended resources are not compulsary for this course, they are engaging material to enligten your expereince with the Holy Spirit.
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