60511 11. Anger: When Mad Is Bad

Some years ago, I (Henry) traveled to Zimbabwe for a conference and spoke about forgiveness. Afterward, a couple asked to speak with me in private. They were from Uganda, and they told me their story. 

During the brutal reign of Uganda’s Idi Amin, the couple received a note telling them that their twenty-six-year-old son had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom. Before the couple had met with Ugandan authorities how best they should respond, they received another note informing them that their son was dead. 

The father tried to locate his son’s body. In doing this, he was seized by soldiers and taken to the same prison cell where his son had been held. There he was whipped with leather strips before being loaded onto a pickup truck and dropped off at a street corner. As a parting shot, the soldiers shouted that if he ever tried to locate his son again, he would be killed.

Two years had passed. I met the couple in Zimbabwe. They wanted to know if I believed they were wrong to keep alive their hatred for the soldiers who had treated their family so cruelly. Might it not even be disloyal to the memory of their son if they were to forgive his murderers?

I have had my own struggles with anger and hatred from time to time, but never with a cause as reasonable as this hurting couple. I did not know what to say to them. “God, help me,” I prayed.

We sat in silence for a while. It seemed to me that God was telling me to gently urge this couple to let go of their hostility. So I suggested they needed to pray for a change of heart.

The man said in a trembling voice, “I am ready.”

The wife added, “So am I.”

The three of us knelt on the floor. I have never heard such moving prayers. We stood up afterward and embraced each other with tears of joy streaming down our cheeks.

The next day the man stood up at the conference and told the entire gathering that he and his wife were leaving a heavy burden behind.1

A heavy burden indeed is the anger that many of us carry. Like the Ugandan couple, we may have good reasons for our emotion, but we are weighed down by it all the same.

Anger is a strong feeling of dislike, displeasure, or antagonism. It is connected to a host of other negative feelings and behaviors, including rage, hatred, bitterness, vengefulness, and violence. In this chapter we will look at how to lay down such burdens. Before that, though, we must learn how to separate sinful anger from the rarer, but still possible, forms of acceptable anger.

The Danger in Anger

Just as there is such a thing as justifiable pride, so also there is such a thing as righteous indignation. When Jesus chased the merchants out of the temple (see John 2:13–17), He was angry at them for defiling God’s house and hindering Gentile worship. He had good reasons to have godly anger. Likewise, in some cases, there may be nothing wrong with our anger.

When we see unrighteousness or injustice, getting upset is a reasonable response. But at other times our anger is improper, such as when we misinterpret what is going on or are too quick to take offense or let our anger grow out of proportion to the cause. Our anger is also unrighteous if we hang on to it for too long.

Anger is inherently dangerous. That’s why the apostle Paul warned, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26–27).2 In other words, even if your anger falls into the category of righteous indignation, get past it quickly before it has a chance to harm you. Anger cherished becomes like rot or gangrene. It opens the door to hatred and other sins.

Archibald Hart wrote, “It is not the anger (as feeling) that is wrong, but…anger has the potential for leading you into sin.” If we choose to be angry at the wrong time or for the wrong reason, we are guilty before God. And if we are angry much of the time, we are dealing with a habitual sin—one that has a potential to harm not only those around us but also ourselves.

Rage is one term used to describe an excessive and uncontrolled anger.

Lashing Out

I (Henry) arrived at my counseling session half an hour late, and I was nervous about making my apologies. The man I was making them to was Jay Carty, former professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers—six feet, seven inches tall, and all of it muscle. With him was his wife, Mary.

My nervousness was due not so much to Jay’s size as to what I had learned from a temperament test Jay had taken. It showed that Jay was an extremely dominant, very hostile, and strongly expressive person. As I had expected, he glared at me for showing up late.

I ignored the look and got the session started by asking, “What’s the problem?”

Jay said, “I’m having trouble making a job change and thought you could help us sort out the decision-making process.”

“Well,” I said, “it’s easy to see what the problem is. There’s sin in your life.”

An uncomfortable pause followed. Finally, with an impatience that was impossible to disguise, Jay said, “Henry, perhaps you could elaborate just a little bit.”

Over the next few minutes, I pointed out the web of sin that his temperament test had revealed. I told him his anger was like a pot on boil. I told him that everyone irritated him and that when they failed him, he would blow up at them.

“You hotshot!” Jay shouted. “You don’t care about me, or you wouldn’t have forgotten about the appointment. Then you pull this grandstand move by telling me there’s sin in my life, pat me on the rear, and send me on my way so I can tell people I talked to the great Dr. Henry Brandt. Well, thank you, but I’m not impressed. I think you’re a fraud.”

He got up and motioned for his wife to follow him out the door.

I said, “No, no, don’t go. Right now, Jay, how do you feel down in the pit of your stomach? Is it the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control?”

“That answer’s easy,” Jay snorted. “None of those qualities typifies the way I feel, at least not right now.”

I asked him pointedly, “Do you feel angry most of the time?”

It was so quiet that you could hear the three of us breathing. “Yes.”

Jay sat back down and poured out his story. He was someone with great gifts and a powerful personality who had been fixing most of his problems by just trying harder and expecting everyone else to follow his lead.

At last Jay asked, “Henry, how bad am I? What am I going to do? I’ve spent a lifetime learning to live this way.”3

Jay Carty is an example of someone whose anger built up over time and produced a lifestyle of rage. Others, though, have what’s called a “short fuse.” Their anger flares out suddenly and then subsides just as quickly. Is that type of rage any better?

A woman once came to evangelist Billy Sunday and tried to rationalize her angry outbursts. “There’s nothing wrong with losing my temper,” she said. “I blow up and then it’s all over.”

“So does a shotgun,” Sunday replied, “and look at the damage it leaves behind!”

Wise Solomon said, “Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool” (Ecclesiastes 7:9).4

Whether rage is of the slow or the fast variety, it is so common that you might almost think that people want to be angry. And maybe some do—to their harm. Frederick Buechner said in Wishful Thinking:

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.5

Anger produces bodily changes that cannot be ignored. Here are just a few of the symptoms doctors and counselors have noticed in persons with rage:

  • increased pulse rate
  • faster heartbeat
  • high blood pressure
  • tight throat
  • dry mouth
  • hair standing on end
  • enlarged pupils
  • change in skin color
  • tense muscles
  • shaking or twitching
  • insomnia
  • stmach pains or nausea
  • nagging body pains
  • loss of appetite or difficulty in controlling food craving

In the saddest cases, such symptoms have contributed to the untimely deaths of many rage-filled men and women.

In Anger Is a Choice, one of the coauthors tells about visiting a seventy-two-year-old minister who was on a tirade about the medical treatment he had been receiving. The author said to the minister, “Paul, if you don’t stop this, you’re going to kill yourself!” Within two days, Paul was dead of a heart attack.

Beyond the physical effects, rage is also spiritually destructive. Jesus declared in no uncertain terms, “If you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!” (Matthew 5:22). Furthermore, He said that anger is akin to murder. If you are a person with a rage problem, regardless of the legitimacy of its cause, you are in the wrong.

Suppressing rage—turning “outrage” into “inrage,” so to speak—is not the answer. You need to confess your sin. You need to work through the process of soul healing that appears at the end of this chapter so that your body and spirit may be cleansed of this serious condition.

God Himself is “slow to anger” (Exodus 34:6). With His help, we can be too.

He can also help to free us from the related attitudes of hatred and bitterness.

The Wolf of Hatred

A little boy came to his grandfather in tears and declared that he hated a schoolmate. The grandfather said he understood the feeling, then told this story: “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended.

“But the other wolf…Ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great.

“It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The grandfather replied, “The one I feed.”

The wolf of hatred is powerful. Unrighteous anger feeds the hatred and allows it to grow more powerful still, until the wolf stretches out its fangs and claws to tear at those around. Such a beast lies within us when we hate. If we are to become holy people, we must starve this vicious predator.

Bitterness is like hatred in that it results from the harm others have done us, but it stays closer to home. While hatred is a feeling of intense hostility toward another person, bitterness is a rancor we nurse in our hearts to keep our anger alive. Hatred is the hostile emissary that we mentally send out to our enemy; bitterness is a fire that smolders deep inside. Both are sinful.

There are some who think hatred is reasonable and just, even admirable. Jesus acknowledged this attitude when He said, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy” (Matthew 5:43). In fact, Leviticus 19:18 does say to love your neighbor. The religious teachers called Pharisees interpreted this verse to mean it was okay to hate your enemies.

Jesus, though, had a surprising take on the matter. “But I say, love your enemies!” (Matthew 5:44). And what He had in mind by “love” was not some weak “Oh, all right, I love you” attitude but a love demonstrated in action. The examples He gave of love for enemies included the following commands: “Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:27–28).

Bitterness likewise is out of bounds for Christians. One early Christian leader wrote, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:14–15 nkjv).

Bitterness, then, is not only like a smoldering fire; it is also like a root that puts out weedy growth in our spirit if given half a chance. We cannot just prune it back. We must pull it out, roots and all.

Like its cousin hate, bitterness will eat away at us. If we have an ongoing problem with either hate or bitterness, we need to take aggressive action. If we do not, one error we can be led into is revenge.

Getting Mad and Getting Even

No one can say for certain how the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud got started. One thing for sure is that around the time of the Civil War the Confederate-sympathizing Hatfields of West Virginia conceived a hatred for the Union-sympathizing McCoys across the border in Kentucky, and the McCoys returned the favor.

Provocation quickly led to escalation. In 1878 Randolph McCoy accused one of the Hatfields of stealing a pig. The case went to court and the Hatfields won. Later a Hatfield boy got a McCoy girl pregnant and was rewarded with a severe beating by her relatives. Then in 1882 Ellison Hatfield was killed, starting a run of murders that would reach eleven over the next decade.

How bitter is revenge! How destructive!

We may not aim a rifle at anyone from behind a tree, but in a myriad of ways we get back at people who have hurt us. When others wound us by their words or actions, Revenge whispers in our ears, “Give him the cold shoulder!” or “Say something equally harsh in return!” or “Spread a rumor that will wreck her reputation!” Sometimes people will wait for years, nursing their resentment, until they are in a position to harm the one they hate.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Is any of it acceptable behavior in the eyes of God? The apostle Peter wrote, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you” (1 Peter 3:9). His colleague Paul similarly instructed readers,

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. —Romans 12:197

God reserves judgment for Himself. Only He knows all the facts and is capable of rendering justice fairly and comprehensively. True, He gives properly instituted human leadership the authority to handle matters of earthly justice as best they can. But He does not give us as individuals the right to punish those who have hurt us.

Revenge is reputed to be sweet, and in fact for a while it may replace our feelings of hurt with a sense of triumph. But revenge swiftly turns sour because inside we know our revenge has lowered us to the level of our antagonist and has laid destruction upon destruction. God is wise in reserving for Himself the prerogative of avenging wrongs.

Besides trusting Him to handle matters of justice, what should we do?

Instead of helping a relationship head downward in a spiral of attack and counterattack, we are to do our best at reversing the direction the relationship is going in. Peter said that rather than retaliating against others, we should “pay them back with a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9). Paul said that instead of avenging ourselves, we should “conquer evil by doing good” (Romans 12:21).

Such seemingly illogical responses really make a great deal of sense. They are not likely to make matters worse, and they might make the situation a great deal better. When Abraham Lincoln was chided for not seeking to destroy his enemies, he replied, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” Paying back evil with good puts a stop to the cycle of revenge.

But in real life—in our lives—is this possible? Can vengeful people learn to lay down their arms and embrace their enemies?

Certainly it is not easy or enjoyable—nobody is saying that. But possible? Yes. Just ask the Hatfields and the McCoys.

Both clans are still in existence today. And although violence between them ended with the 1800s, the feud continued in the form of legal disputes over timber rights and cemetery plots for another century. But shortly after the conclusion of the final court case between them, the two families joined together to put a formal end to the feud.

On June 14, 2003, representatives of the two families signed a proclamation that read, “We do hereby and formally declare an official end to all hostilities, implied, inferred, and real, between the families, now and forevermore. We ask by God’s grace and love that we be forever remembered as those that bound together the hearts of two families to form a family of freedom in America.”8

God bless the Hatfields and the McCoys! And God bless you if you will keep from returning evil for evil and will return good instead.

Revenge’s counterpart, violence, is another evil practice we must avoid.

Violence: The Shortcut That Goes Nowhere

If asked, a park ranger in British Columbia will be glad to show off the interlocked antlers of two bull moose. Apparently the moose began fighting, their antlers got stuck together, and they could not pull free. Both moose died because of their fighting. Sometimes people are a lot like animals.

While in some of us anger goes underground as hatred or bitterness, in others it comes right out in the open as violence. Men especially (though not exclusively) will on occasion resort to physical coercion in an attempt to solve their problems. Violence seems like such a direct way to react to a situation—not to mention a quick release for pent-up feelings of anger!

The headlines about violence that grab our attention are ones like these:

  • Student opens fire at school, kills four
  • Movie star accused of drowning wife
  • Factory worker kills boss, guard, self

What we do not see (or at least pay as much attention to) are news stories about the less extraordinary kind of violence that goes on in homes and public places every day. What would you think if you saw these headlines?

  • Husband beats wife, third time this month
  • Friends drink at bar, fight in parking lot, regret it later
  • Man who attempted rape says women have slighted him

This kind of “everyday” violence may be too common to get much notice, but its contribution to the sum of human misery is hard to overestimate.

The consequences of violence go beyond the obvious results of physical pain and wounding. Even if no one is permanently injured by an act of violence, the scars on the inside may take a long time to heal—if ever. And one violent person may be producing another. Few things are as self-perpetuating as violence.

The violent person is also degraded by his own violence. He knows he has sunk to an animalistic level. If he has any conscience left, he is ashamed of causing another human being pain. He has to worry about legal ramifications. He is caught in the consequences of his actions—just like the bull moose.

In part for such reasons, violence is like vengeance in that it is something individuals are not permitted to do. The state has the right to pursue justice through criminal punishment and war, but individuals should never use violence (unless necessary for self-defense). Certainly we should never instigate violence just because we are angry.

The apostle Paul said, “Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy” (Romans 13:13). In other words, fighting is just as bad as other types of sin like drunkenness and adultery. Aggressive violence cannot be justified.

When Peter drew a sword to protect Jesus from the men who had come to arrest Him, Jesus ordered the hot-tempered disciple, “Put your sword back into its sheath” (John 8:11). He would say something like that to any of us who would try to solve our problems with violence. Keep your hands to yourself. Put down the knife. Lock up the gun.

If you are habitually violent, work through the soul-healing process. And if you think you may be on the verge of hurting another person, get professional help—now.

The Forgiveness Factor

What do you do if you are filled with rage or hatred or bitterness? What do you do if you are vengeful or violent? By God’s grace, you get rid of the sin of anger and replace it with the virtue of forgiveness.

Anger is an emotion that is set off when someone else has done something we do not like. We may be quite right in disliking what the other person has said or done. Sometimes, in fact, the offense is monstrous, as in the case of the Ugandan couple whose son was murdered. But because the offense has a personal origin, the only way to free ourselves of the destructive emotion we feel and move ahead in life is to forgive the person who did wrong.9

Of course, when we have been hurt, something inside us screams “No!” to the idea of forgiveness. It seems unjust. And do you know what? It is. When we forgive, we pay a price for a wrong that someone else has done. What does that remind you of?

Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. It was not just or fair, but He willingly did it so that mercy would triumph over justice. We follow in His footsteps when we forgive one who has committed an offense against us.

Another reason we might resist forgiving is that we conceive of unforgiveness as a type of revenge. We believe we are hurting the one who has hurt us if we withhold our forgiveness. That is foolish thinking. We are only hurting ourselves by holding on to a grudge. In the words of writer Anne Lamott, “Not forgiving people is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”

For these reasons, forgiveness does not necessarily mean suddenly having a warm feeling toward the one who has hurt us. 

“Forgiveness is not a feeling, first and foremost. It is a choice that goes beyond feelings; it is an activity of the will.10 We choose to forgive and we pray that the loving feelings will follow. This is loving by faith.

What about “forgiving and forgetting”? Can we forget the offense against us once we have forgiven the offender? Of course not. We will still recall the hurt—but we need not relive the hurt. As David Augsburger said, “The hornet of memory may fly again, but forgiveness has drawn out the sting.”

And what about reconciliation? A restored relationship should be our goal whenever it is a possibility. When the one who has offended us is a fellow Christian, we can follow the guidelines of Matthew 18 to initiate a process of confrontation that starts privately and adds on pressure and publicity if needed. When the offender is a non-Christian, we can still seek restoration of our relationship by humbly approaching the other and discussing what happened.

But reconciliation requires two. The other person may be unwilling to admit the wrong he or she has done and seek to restore the relationship. Or maybe you are unable to reconcile with the other person. You may not know how to get in touch with the offender anymore, or perhaps that person has died. And if the other person still presents a threat to you, as in the case of an abuser, it might not even be wise to reestablish contact. In such cases, remember that you can still forgive the person. Unlike reconciliation, forgiveness requires only one.

Hard as it is, forgiveness is a blessing to us because it frees us from anger and all the ill effects that anger brings upon us. That is why God both commands and enables forgiveness. “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13).

The New Testament consistently links our forgiveness of others to God’s forgiveness of us. Jesus once told a parable in which a servant was forgiven for a vast sum of money the servant owed a king. The servant turned around and shook down a fellow servant for neglecting to repay a much smaller sum. (See Matthew 18:21–35.) Like the unforgiving servant, our sins against God are immeasurably greater than any offense someone else has committed against us. So let us forgive as we have been forgiven.

As often as someone angers you, just so often can you forgive. That’s the way to beat the anger habit.

Soul Prescription for Anger

Are you struggling with anger or an anger-related sin habit? We have outlined a five-step process to help you repent and heal in this area of your life. Take all the time you need with each of the steps below.

Step 1: Adopt a Correct View of God

Almost certainly, a distorted perception of God’s nature lies at the core of your problem with anger. We do not know exactly what that is for you. But quite possibly you are overemphasizing the wrath of God while underemphasizing His faithful love. Consider these key truths about God’s nature.

  • God offers forgiveness, reconciliation, and eternity instead of condemnation.

The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” —Exodus 34:6

  • God is merciful and expects us to extend His mercy to others.

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when He judges you.—James 2:13

Search the Scriptures for everything you can find about God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness. Allow what you find out about Him begin to change the way you think about God and about yourself as God’s child.

Step 2: Revise Your False Beliefs

You may be an angry person because you have developed some mistaken ideas about yourself and other people as well as how to get along in life. Do you believe that? Well, ask yourself these questions:

• Do you believe you are justified in your anger?

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. —Proverbs 19:11

• Do you believe that your anger is uncontrollable?

Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. —Ephesians 4:26

• Do you believe that anger is a useful tool in life?

People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness. —Proverbs 14:29

Along with those suggested here, there are many more false beliefs that can keep you a slave to anger. Seek clues in Scripture for ways that your ideas have gone off track, contributing to your anger problem. Ask the Holy Spirit to use biblical truth to change your conscious and unconscious beliefs so that you are living in truth and not falsehood. He will do it!

Step 3: Repent of Your Sin

Are you ready to admit that you are angry and to give it up? In what particular ways (rage, violence, revenge, and so on) do you express your anger? Identify your anger and “own” it.

When you are ready, ask God to forgive you for your anger. You can pray the following prayer (or another like it in your own words). Insert the word for your particular anger problem in the blank spaces.

God, I am an angry person, especially in the area of __________. And I know that is sinful. I am sorry for how the flames of my anger have singed others, and especially I am sorry for how I have grieved You. Please forgive me for my anger now. Cleanse me completely from the sin of __________ so that it is gone from my life. And furthermore, give me the power never to return to my angry ways again.

I want to be like Jesus, merciful and kind. In His name I pray, amen.

If you have harmed others with your sin, apologize to them. Seek reconciliation and offer restitution where appropriate.

Step 4: Defend against Spiritual Attacks

The enemies of your soul—the world, the flesh, and the Devil—do not like it when you repent of your anger. They will stir up your anger again if you let them. Get ready to defend yourself against these enemies.

  • In the world’s value system, anger is considered good. The world would tell us that anger confers power. But you can overcome this false system if you hold fast to God’s values, which tell us that those who control their anger have the real spiritual power.
  • Anger can feel good. Our flesh, or sinful nature, urges us to get that good feeling back by letting ourselves be filled with rage again. So when you feel that kind of desire rising within you, remind yourself that the flesh is dead and you do not have to satisfy its desires. Turn to the Spirit to help you want what God wants for you: a forgiving spirit.
  • Satan will use your sense of personal rights and your selfishness to goad you into angry outbursts and attitudes. Put on the armor of God to resist the Devil’s schemes. Above all, put on the “shoes of peace” (Ephesians 6:15), which enable you to move around in harmony with all your Christian brothers and sisters.

Are you ready to be in control of your anger, instead of its being in control of you? The battle has begun and will not be over soon. So the time is now to stand strong in the strength of Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to supernaturally equip you to defeat the enemies of your soul.

Step 5: Flee Temptation

Many of us find that our anger has certain triggers. Walking through a minefield, you have a much better chance of survival if you know where the danger is and learn to avoid it.

  • Focus on your relationship with God. 
    Cultivate your relationship with God through the spiritual disciplines of prayer and meditation. Learn to hear God’s voice so that His whisper of peace will sound louder in your ears than the cry of temptation to lash out in anger.
  • Latch on to God’s promises. 
    Search Scripture for verses and stories that emphasize the danger of anger and the value of forgiveness. Memorize Scriptures that can help you in times of temptation. One relevant scriptural passage is the parable of the unforgiving servant. Read it in Matthew 18:21–35.
  • Establish safeguards.
    Take specific steps to avoid whatever triggers your anger. Consider these examples:
  • If you want to get revenge against somebody, do something good for that person in secret.
  • If you have a tongue that is quick with a harsh retort, learn to quickly ask the Holy Spirit for help before saying anything in a potentially explosive situation.
  • Ask a trusted Christian friend to hold you accountable in your commitment to not get angry.

• Expect victory. 
As a believer, you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He will help you put a clamp on your anger before it can do any damage. Believe that you can go from being an angry person to being a person of forgiveness.

Visit www.SoulPrescription.com for more insights and resources, and to download a free leader’s guide for small group Bible studies.