Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vultures and Hummingbirds

So I'm teaching the Wednesday night ladies' class at church starting next week. I've never taught anyone older than 4-yr-olds, so it's a first for me. We have decided to study a book called "From Vultures to Hummingbirds: 6 Attitudes to Eliminate, 7 Attitudes to Cultivate." by Mary Alice Wilhelm. The six bad attitudes are anger, hatred, jealousy, selfishness, hypocrisy, worry. The seven good attitudes are compassion, forgiveness, the servant spirit, contentment, gratitude, the submissive spirit, love. The title is kinda odd, but with a little explanation, it makes perfect sense. Here is the explanation that the book intro gives.

"It is said that both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation's deserts. All the vulture sees is decaying, rotting meat (carrion), because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the putrid flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful, aromatic blossoms of blooming desert plants. The vulture lives on what was! They live on the failed past. They fill themselves on what is dead and lifeless. Hummingbirds live on what is! They revel in fresh, pleasant things. They seek vibrant, living things. Each bird finds what it is looking for. So do we all. Obviously a choice we all have to make is whether we want to be vultures or hummingbirds."

The first topic is anger. The book gives several examples from the Bible of people showing anger properly or improperly: Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, Moses, Mary and Martha, Paul and Barnabas, and Samson.
There are also several good quotes about anger. Quotes are kinda my thing. I used to collect and compile them in high school. I've got a Word document on my computer that has like, 40 pages of quotes divided into topics. So here are some of the quotes that were included, and some that I have added.
-Anger toward someone else is like taking poison ourselves and expecting someone else to die!
-Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.
-It is he who is in the wrong who first gets angry.
-Anger is that feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind.
-Speak when you're angry and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.
-If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape 100 days of sorrow.
-It is misdirected energy to be angry at things you can help, and wasted energy to be angry at things you cannot help.
-You don't have to take back what you don't say.
-The best time for you to hold your tongue is when you feel you must say something or bust.
-He who angers you, controls you.
-A relationship that has been years in the making can be destroyed by just a few thoughtless words.

The power of the tongue in James 3 is also covered a little bit.

So this is one of those posts where I am wanting some feedback! So comment! Any advice on teaching class in general? Any stories or input about anger?

Here are some of the discussion questions to prompt your thoughts a little. =)
-How important is it for people to settle disputes quickly, even not to "go to bed mad?"
-What circumstances in the world today perhaps call for a little more righteous indignation than we often show?
-How was "political correctness" influenced our inclination to be tolerant of intolerable things?
-What makes you angry quicker than anything else?

Thanks in advance for your input! =)

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