Laura Howe 00:00
Hey there, Laura here. For the month of July, the podcast team is going to be taking a summer break. But don't worry, there's still going to be new episodes. For four weeks, we are jumping back to share a few of the most viewed sessions from the past church mental health summit, and I can't wait to share some of these fantastic talks and resources with you. And I'm excited to share that the 2023 summit is open for registration. Over 50 speakers from around the world are coming together to equip the local church to support the mental health of their leaders of their churches and their communities.
So to check out the four tracks and all the speakers go to churchmentalhealthsummit.com from Hope made strong, this is the care ministry podcast, a show about equipping ministry leaders and transforming communities through care.
Supporting those in your church and community not only changes individuals lives, but a growth and strengthens the church but we want to do that without burning out so listen in as we learn about tools, strategies and resources that will equip your team and strengthen hope.
I'm Laura Howe and welcome to The Care Ministry Podcast. The show today is a flashback to one of the top viewed sessions from the 2020 Church mental health summit. We are going back in the archives, but we're doing it because it is such an amazing talk by Joel Malm. Now Joel is a founder of Summit leaders where he uses outdoor adventure and leadership coaching to help people find their calling and pursue vision for their lives. He draws skills on that he has learned as a Master's of counseling and a counselor, as he leads pastors to places like Mount Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu and the Grand Canyon to create transformational experiences.
I think just being there is transformational but coming alongside someone who was a skilled counselor and as a leadership coach, man, that would be an epic adventure. Having a few conversations with him prior to the summit, he identified that he hears commonly words like frustration, irritation or anger, where and this is these were common ways leaders would describe what he would classify as anxiety, depression or mental health struggles. In this talk, he bases on his book where Joel gives a simple framework for understanding the root of all anxiety and anger, and gives insight into how to turn these emotions into a tool for walking in the fullness of all that God has for you.
Now, this talk is fantastic. I'm telling you so many nuggets, that if you're not driving or running or multitasking in some way, you might want to grab a notebook and take some notes because it is so good. I hope you enjoy.
Hello, my name is Joel Malm and I'm the founder of Summit leaders. I do outdoor adventure training, leadership training in the outdoors. I have a master's degree in counseling but after I got that master's degree, I quickly learned that I don't actually like clinical counseling. What I like is taking people into the outdoors and the formula for what we do is something my friend Mark Batterson laid out he said change of pace, plus change of place equals change of perspective.
And that's what I hope to give this this in this session that we're gonna call love slows down, anger speeds up how to get anger working for you. It's based on a book I wrote called Love Slows Down it's right behind me there. How to keep anger, anxiety from ruining lights relationships. In the book, I talked about the connection between anxiety and anger and how all anxiety and anger have the same three sources. There's one of three things that makes every person on the planet afraid or angry and I'll unpack that a little bit in this session as we talk about it.
And my goal for you is that you will get a maybe a really simple framework for evaluating some of your own anxiety and anger. And through that insight, being able to help those that you're in contact with as minister or counselor or whatever the role is that you help other people help see that it's really kind of comes down to three basic things.
So I'll get started with that, basically, the thing about anger and I talked about anger, I never wanted to become the anger guy. But in my own challenges with anger. I was a very angry teenager had a lot of my own struggles with dealing with anger trying to figure out you know, how to keep it from messing things up. I remembered I just exploded anger and I remember thinking if people wouldn't do such dumb things they wouldn't you know, I wouldn't get so angry and I had a lot of moments experiences I remember one of my not so finest moments, I was a drummer in a band in high school and I was so upset one time about how the sound was at a concert we were doing it was a little small thing.
You know on my mind, I'm like a rock star but it was a little small event we were at. And I got so mad at the the sound guy that actually threw my drumsticks across the room at him. And the first time that this guy who became my mentor had ever witnessed me or ever met me within that he had walked in, and he saw me throw my drumsticks across the room and our he said that he turned to his wife and said, if that was my son, I would beat him. And my dad just happened to be sitting in front of him at this thing and turn around and said, that might be a good idea.
It's something he brings up to me over and over again and here's the thing I know about you, there's a good chance that in your life, you've got some regrets that are based around some frustrates and frustrating times where you did something when you were very frustrated, or anxious, or maybe angry, and you look back and go, Ah, I wish I would have just slowed down a little bit, thought it through and not reacted that way. We all have moments that we regret because of anger and anxiety.
But it doesn't have to rule your life. Anger and anxiety don't have to rule your life and what I've learned from studying, through the years trying to get through my own anger, working through my own issues. And working with a psychiatrist, a very renowned guy named David F. Allen.
He's a psychiatrist in the Bahamas kind of float flies below the radar, but he has some great insights on anger. What I've learned about anger, and you may already know this, but it's it was a huge insight to me is that anger is always a secondary emotion. It's always a response to feeling a threat, or feeling hurt.
So anger isn't a sin, it's just a sign. It's like maybe like a notification on your dashboard that something lights up. And if you ignore that light on your dashboard for too long, you're gonna have some problems. If you don't look under the dashboard and under look under the hood and say what's going on here, you're gonna find some problems showing up. And then people might say, what did you see any warning signs? Yeah, well, the lights been on for a little while. Well, that's what anger is for his anger is simply a sign that something needs to be addressed.
When we get angry. It's something happening inside of us. It's all our excuse me, if we when we get angry, something happening to us, it's always because of something happening inside of us. The external is a result of us feeling a threat on the inside. And it comes out of these three things. All anxiety, all anger comes from feeling a threat to either our security, our connection, or our control.
Now, let me explain that,security is your sense of financial security, emotional security, even physical security or safety, you want to be safe, and we all need that. There's nothing wrong with you for that, for needing that. We also need connection. We need relationships with others, we need to know we're valued and esteemed loved by others listen to seen heard.
And we all need to feel a sense of free will control in our lives, that sense of empowerment, we can make choices, we can change our situation in life and we were actually made by God to get to have to need those things so there's nothing default or faulty excuse me, and you because you need those things. Those are things that God created us to mate, of course, didn't need, of course, he created us to need those in the context of his love.
So before sin entered the world, if you think about it in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had all of that they had security, perfect security, they had perfect connection with God, so much so that he walked with him in the cool of the day, and even had control. He said, Hey, you got the run out of place. Make your own decisions, just don't do this one thing. Of course, we did the one thing we weren't supposed to and at that moment, sin into the world. And the first you know, emotion you see that shows up in the Bible, a percentage of the world is fear. God comes looking for Adam and Adam says, Man I got I realized I was naked, and I got afraid and we've all been dealing with fear ever since.
And what's fascinating, if you look at the biblical sequence, fear shows up in Genesis three. And immediately after that anger shows up in Genesis four in the sons of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. So we've got this connection, always between anxiety and anger. And it always comes back to this, this the the issue is always when you get angry, it's a warning sign saying, look, you're looking for security, connection or control in some way, and you feel that it's being threatened.
Now, of course, the reason I wrote the book, Loves Slows Down and I call it that is because you're never going to get those needs met from any person from any job from any amount of money in the bank, from anybody you know, it's not about who you know, have what you own, who none of that will give you the perfect fulfillment of those things. And when we look for those things, security, connection, control and anywhere other than God's love will always be feeling anxiety and anxious, feeling anxious and worried and it will eventually lead to anger.
Now I know some of you what's watching this good bunch of you saying, Well, I don't really get angry and I hear that a lot. And here's what we found people that are sensitive that connection corner wanting to get connection. They don't like to call it anger. They prefer to call it frustration. And that may be you my wife's that way. She says I don't really get angry but I get frustrated and frustration is simply a sign that you're feeling a threat to your security connection or control and if you say you don't get angry and it's frustration is the word. There's a good chance that connection is your thing.
So real quick if you saying I'm not so sure if I agree with all this is a test that you can take online, I'll put a link up for it. It's called whyamiangry.info. It's a test we created around this book. And you can take the short little tests, it's like 18 questions, and hope hopefully, it usually is pretty good at pointing to the area where you're probably a little bit sensitive that security that connection or control, mine is control, right? So whenever I get angry, it's always related to something affecting my control. So traffic makes me go crazy. Traffic is this thing that I just, I know it's coming, but I still lose it in traffic and, and it's not because my security is threatened. We're going like seven miles an hour. And I don't feel my unsafe driving 7 miles an hour. It's not because I want to connect with people in the cars around me and I can't do it. And I have no desire to connect with the people in the cars around me.
The issue is I feel unempowered I feel stuck. I feel like people are limiting me and I can't get to where I want to go and then the worst part with traffic is, when I get to where the slowdown was, I can't figure out what causes slowdowns. Like why did we slow down, so controls the issue for me. But what's fascinating is the same situation can create anger in different people for different reasons. My wife, she tends to get frustrated in traffic, but it's not because of the traffic, she gets frustrated and my response to the traffic when I get all angry, she's like, I'm gonna get out of the car and walk home and the thing is, she's she sees that time to for a good time for connection, we've had to slow down, we're sitting in the car together, but I ruined it because my anger is causing all this anxiety and stress in her and she just gets frustrated. So the same situation can cause anger in different people for different reasons.
But it all comes back to you either feeling a threat to security, connection or control and, you know, we're all unique, we've all got different experiences, some of its nature, that's the natural tendency that we have, the way we see the world. And some of its nurture some of the way we were raised that brought brought up things we didn't get as kids that we maybe should have gotten from our parents, they just in our parents passed down to us things that they learned. And if they haven't learned anything more, we're not going to learn anything more unless we seek insight. But we don't have to live in anger. We don't have to let anger rule us. And this is where anger becomes a gift. It's a fascinating gift. Because if the goal is always to find our sense of security, connection and control and God's love, then anytime we feel anger, it becomes a warning sign a trigger a trigger, essentially saying, Hey, you're seeking security, connection control from a place that you're not going to get it, the only place you're going to get the fulfillment of that is from God's love.
So what it actually becomes anger becomes a gift pointing us to areas of our life where we need to surrender and realize, well, I've been looking for it, and it's someplace that's never going to give it and then we return to God's love. And here's the beautiful part about it, if fear is what's driving our anger, because you know, at the source of all fear is that security connection control thing, not getting that if fear is what's driving our anger, I love it. It says in First John, perfect love drives out fear and only God's love is that perfect love. So that perfect love drives out our fear. And that's where we can begin to walk in peace and joy and hope. And I believe that this little framework, it's so simple. But I believe it's so powerful right now because it explains so much of example, what's going on right now around our world, specifically in our country, we're
seeing so much political division. And if you want to look at this from the framework of political division, everybody here wants the same thing. We all want the same thing in our country security, connection or control, and we're arguing about how to get it, some people are afraid that the other side is going to take their security in the form of their guns or whatever. Again, this isn't a political statement but it's the reality of the psychology, if security is a big thing for you, you're worried about anybody that's going to threaten your security.
So a politician that says I'm going to protect your ability to defend yourself with guns, there's the security thing for others, it's the connection thing you say I don't want our country to turn into this harsh, cold place where we don't welcome refugees or immigrants or those who are struggling. And it's going to become this draconian rule of order in law place and those people tend to lean one way politically, I won't point you to which one it is, you probably already know, others, it's the control thing. I'm not going to have the government telling me what to do. That's the kind of libertarian mindset, and so much of it that what we argue about, we all want the same things but what we're arguing about is how do we get those things. And then of course, the media feeds into the idea that somebody wants to take that from you. The other side wants to take that from you and it leads to anger.
And here's the thing about anger, anger, anger leads to action, which is what people want. It's hard to get people to move if you've ever noticed that as a leader. It's hard to get people to take action on things. But there's one emotion that promises that and it's anger, anger gets people driving. But what happens with anger That's so dangerous, is when we get angry, it actually causes us to lose IQ points. When we get angry, angry, the activity shifts from the prefrontal cortex, that's the rational part of your brain to the cortex. That's the more primal fight or flight part of your brain, which is why anger speeds up.
If love slows down, anger speeds up because what we do is immediately go fight or flight. I'm going to run as fast as I can away from this or I'm going to attack this as fast as I can and we go primal, but we're not thinking rationally which is one of the challenges of dealing with an angry person, when you're dealing with an angry person, you're not going to be able to rationalize with them because rationale has gone out the door, what you have to do is you have to let them calm down a little bit, you have to do this with your own anger, you cannot deal with things in the heat of your anger, it's going to cause destruction and chaos, what you have to do is you have to look for the primary emotion behind it, because anger is a secondary emotion. It's a response to something that's happening inside of you and it's a threat to security, connection or control. But you got to nail down what that primary emotion is if you want to resolve the issue.
So maybe you felt threatened in the area of I felt embarrassed, I felt humiliated, I felt out of control, I felt belittled, I felt helpless. What was the emotion you felt right before you got angry. And when we deal in that context, we can actually help people walk through their anger, and we can walk through our own. But it starts with admitting that primary thing we were feeling if we just go with the anger, and we're just angry, angry, angry, we're not gonna resolve anything. If my anger is butting up against your anger, we have to consult our own anger and say, What is going on inside of me that I feel threatened? Because only when you surrender that and look for it in God's love, are you going to be able to resolve this? And that's that's really the hope that we have in our country now is it? If we can get a little bit of insight on what's driving us recognize we all want the same things, but get a little insight on what's causing your anxiety and anger? Is it a threat to your security, a threat to your connection or a threat to your control?
Recognize that and recognize the patterns to your anger, there's always a pattern to your anger, it's usually the same thing that makes you angry over and over again and if you can consult that anger and say what is it that's always a threat to me, for example, with me when I get angry up, I know something's threatening my control, you take a deep breath. Alright, Lord, I know something's threatening me. It's my some of the related to control and then you take the time to surrender that to him and that's where the rubber meets the road. In this Christian walk things, you know, it's a lot easier to act like a Christian than to react like one and we only react like a Christian when we've done the work of consulting our anger and letting it guide us to areas of our life, we haven't surrendered to God in that area, because again, he's the only one that's going to provide those things for us the security, connection and control.
So that's kind of the foundation of this if you want more, if you want to dive more into this, the book is called Love Slows Down, How To Keep Anxiety and Anger From Ruining Relationships. There's also quite a few YouVersion Bible app devotionals that are free. There's one called calming anger, another one called facing off with fear and anxiety. And another one called Love Slows down those are available on the YouVersion Bible app. If you'd like to get more information about those books, you can go to joelmalm.com. I hope this framework has been helpful for you to maybe kind of get a little more insight on where anxiety and anger come from, so that you can not only help yourself, and we usually can't lead people beyond where we've gone in our own work, but also help those that you lead. And I believe that God is going to do some amazing things in your life when you're willing to consult that anger and say okay, what does that anger pointing? What's that dashboard light saying to me, that I need to surrender to God because it is all about surrendering to God's work in your life. He who began a good work and you will be faithful to complete it.
Your his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works. He has planned he has a purpose for you. The best thing we can do is begin to unpack the insight that these emotions bring to us and begin to help us. Use them to point us to areas of our life where we have not surrendered to God because when we surrender to God, he can take us places we never even dreamed. That's where it starts and that's my prayer for you. I hope you've enjoyed this short session. And again, I'd love to hear from you feel free to contact me on joelmalm.com, You can check out the book on there's also those resources online. Have a great conference.
Laura Howe 18:43
Hey, thanks for listening. I hope you were encouraged by this session. It can be hard to identify and name mental health struggles and they often come out as secondary emotions like anger, but I love how Joel simplified what feels like a really complex emotion or feeling and he offers practical steps and tools. And if you'd like this session, you're gonna want to sign up for the next church mental health summit on October 10. Registration is free and it gives you access to all 50 talks on World Mental Health Day. Just go to church mentalhealthsummit.com Thanks for connecting take care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai