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What’s the Bible’s Answer for Anger?



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Rabbi Evan Moffic focuses this episode on anger. He presents five practices that people use to deal with our anger. He discusses the danger of our anger when we lose control. Our response usually entails regret and closes doors to future interactions on the matter at hand. Rabbi illustrates how Solomon confronted issues and gives advice on how we can productively handle our anger.

Announcer 0:02
Welcome to the Solomon Success Show where we explore the timeless wisdom of King Solomon and the Bible as it relates to business and investing false prophets and get rich quick schemes are everywhere. Let’s not be distracted by these. Instead, let’s go to the source, the eternal principles that create a life of peace, power, and prosperity. Here’s our host, Jason Hartman.

Announcer 0:31
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Solomon success show biblical principles for business and investing. Today we have one of our clients as a guest host, and that is Rabbi

Rabbi Evan Moffic 0:43
Evan malefic. Welcome to the Solomon success Show. I’m Rabbi Evan malefic. I’m a friend and client of Jason, and he was kind enough to invite me to co host this show. It’s because I’m a rabbi and an author who believes passionately that the Bible has an message for people of all faiths. And it’s the best guide that we have to a life not only of success, but of meaning and happiness. It’s our most ancient source of wisdom. And if there’s any area of life where we need wisdom, it is in the quest for wealth and happiness. We don’t need any more get rich quick schemes or three steps to perfection. We need true time tested principles. And that’s what we get from the Bible. And that’s what we’re here to learn and teach. And today, I’m going to talk about a feeling many of us have, sometimes often infrequently, but we all have it. And that’s anger. Just look at our country. We see so many angry people, lots of different causes for that anger. But some people describe this era as the age of rage. I mean, just get on Facebook, and you see a public Post is a meme or a video and is offended by something. And immediately hundreds of people chime in. They’re angry that this person posted that politicians of all the political parties, they’re lifted up on the shoulders of anger, anger sells. You know, one of the tricks to writing a best selling book is to get people angry and to create controversy. We’re a society that thrives on anger. And here’s the thing. Anger is not always bad. We can’t even get rid of anger. We evolved as people with anger. I mean, think about it. If we had to defend our family from a predator, we would get angry at what was happening and that anger would fuel our energy. Anger probably helped us defend our tribe or our territory. Anger can also be very productive. We can get angry about something and then we can do something about it. As a rabbi, you read the Hebrew Bible. You read the Bible, the Old Testament, the prophets, they got angry. They were angry at the corruption of the people they were angry at. People falsely put in prison they were angry at immorality. There’s lots of anger in the Bible that motivates human behavior. Even Moses, he gets angry frequently. Remember that scene where he takes the tablets, and he smashes them in anger because the people’s commitment to idolatry. Anger is a strong and powerful human emotion that motivates action. So it’s not all bad. But today, in most cases, especially in our daily interactions, and in our quest for success for meaning, anger is destructive. It hurts us more than it hurts others. And I think the reason is, while some degree of anger is good, it can so easily get out of control. It’s very hard to put limits on it. You’ve probably gotten angry incentive email in a rush and then regretted sending it I know I have I think everyone has somebody send you an email. It hits, you know, the part of the brain that triggers anger is older than the part of the brain that processes thoughts in a rational way. So it is fires before the rational part fires. So we could get an email, we could get so angry with it, then we can write something back so quickly incentive before we’ve even rationally process what the right thing to do is. And almost always, that’s not the right thing to do. So anger is kind of like fire. It’s necessary, it can warm us, but it can quickly get out of control. And so we need to think of a way to deal with anger to stop anger from becoming destructive because our culture feeds on it. It encourages it, and it can hurt us in the long run. So again, this is not anything new. Solomon deals with anger beautifully and eloquently and effectively in the Bible. There’s a beautiful verse in Proverbs, which says, He who is slow to anger is bad. than the mighty and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city. Isn’t that profound? There’s something really deep here, controlling our anger. It’s like a superpower. This emotional control, it gives us this kind of ability to control our emotions, to stay calm through difficult circumstances. It gives us a critical advantage over somebody who is not. It gives us more strength than the ability to destroy city. Also, if we are able to control our emotions, were just happier people. I mean, think back to that email example. We get frustrated after the fact because of what anger led us to do. And have you ever gotten angry at yourself for losing your cool or yelling at somebody? I mean, as a parent, I feel this frequently I sometimes kids can just drive you crazy and you lose your cool in that At least I feel upset afterwards. And anger is usually the wrong approach. We can’t always control the feeling. But we can control what we do with that feeling. And that’s what we’re going to learn to go back to Solomon. We don’t know his personality. But I’ve got to guess that he’s somebody who was able to maintain his cool. Just think about it. He had to decide so many different disputes. He had to be sober when people would come to him with a, a legal dispute. He couldn’t favor one party over the other. He couldn’t let sob stories tagged his emotions. He had to play it sober and straight. And I think we need to also now think about this from the real estate perspective. When you’re a real estate investor, you have to avoid scams and gurus. Jason teaches this all the time and investing in income property. We have to be thoughtful and rational and not get lured in by some promise of crazy appreciation. We also one of the great Things Jason teaches is he connects us with the best providers. And these providers are those Jason vets for us. But then we have to say, we have to come to the conclusion that they say what they mean. And they mean what they say that they’re sober and disciplined and rational. We don’t want to work with people that are quick to anger. I mean, would you want to work with a teacher who would quickly get angry at you if you got something wrong? Similarly, in working in partnership with income property or other areas of life, we don’t want to work with those whom are quick to anger. And then, of course, having control over our own emotions helps us avoid scams, you know, the best marketers in the world. They know exemptions. Now, marketing can be a good thing. I’m talking about marketing that is generally trying to manipulate us that it plays to our emotions, and can get us angry about something. And then in that anger, we buy some product to avoid that catastrophic content. acquaints that we’re supposed to get angry about. So playing it cool. Having the ability to control our anger and deal with it effectively, not only will help us in life in our relationships, but it’ll help us investing in business in any kind of work, because our emotions work faster than our brains. So if we can control our emotions will be an advantage over those who can’t. And one other important point about why it’s important to be able to control our anger and emotions. If we want to be truly free. We have to have the ability to control our passions. I don’t remember where this quote came came from. But it said, to be truly free is to master our passions, by making them subject to our reason. We cannot prevent our desires. But if we make ourselves subject to the tide of passion, we cannot be said to be free. So what does Solomon teach us how to sell them and teach us and lead We have a spotlight disposition, we probably got some anger issues. So what can we learn from Solomon? The first thing is that we need to figure out a way to get outside of ourself. We need to go serve somebody, we need to escape the prism of the I mean, this, this happens in Solomon’s life over and over again. The word I in the book of Ecclesiastes, he’s the Hebrew pronoun for mine, as in the singular, possessive II form is used more in that book than in any other book in the Bible. And that’s because Solomon is obsessed with himself with satisfying his own desires. And what happens in the book of Ecclesiastes, he says that he’s ultimately unhappy. So when we’re always focused on ourself, we get angry, we think if the world is not serving us exactly as we want to be served, that’s someone else’s fault, and we get angry about it. So getting outside of ourselves, is the first way that we can deal with anger. I sometimes tell this to my kids, if they get angry Somebody, go do something for somebody else. Go call grandma’s what I sometimes say, Go connect with somebody else, get outside of yourself, because a person wrapped up in himself makes a very small package. So the first step to controlling our anger is to, in a way, take a step back and get out of the bubble of ourselves. The second way to deal with anger, and this is more of a long term solution, but it’s to practice control of the little things. Right? The danger with anger is that we lose control.

Rabbi Evan Moffic 10:36
That’s the biggest danger, we’re going to feel it but if it gets out of control, if it gets in a rage, you know, Solomon’s father, King David, he had issues with anger. He had issues with controlling his emotions. And that’s one of the reasons he doesn’t build the temple. God has says, you know, you are a man of war, you are a man of aggression. You’re not qualified to build the temple of God. So anger is not a phenomenon. That’s Rabbi Evan Moffic to the Bible. But today, one of the ways we can control anger is to try to be patient with the little things, a little trick that I do. And I don’t know if this helps or not, but it seems to, or at least I think it helps. So maybe just thinking it helps helps me. But when I get back from taking a run, I try to do something, I try to take off my shoes very slowly. I undo the laces, I shake them off. I try to be very deliberate, almost in a way to cultivate patience. Because the enemy of anger is patience and perspective. And if we can cultivate patience on the little things, we have better patience on the big things. The third way of dealing with anger. And this comes again directly from the Bible, but also from other religious traditions, is to brief to slow down. Last week I talked about the Sabbath and taking a digital Sabbath taking time to gain perspective. And that’s the longer version of this practice to breathe to slow down. You know, you’ve probably heard parents sometimes say to children count to 10. And breathing is another way of doing that when we take a deep breath.

Rabbi Evan Moffic 12:15
In Hebrew, the same word for breath, Mishima is also the word for soul. So when we take a deep breath in a way we’re cultivating our soul, we’re trying to take a higher perspective on what happens. So a breath puts us in a different state of mind. It can help us to get through that anger. That’s a beautiful way to think about it if you breathe, Mishima a deep breath in Hebrew is Mishima mocha. So taking that deep breath can help us at least temporarily slow down the firing neurons in our brain of anger. The fourth practice, this takes a little bit of rational thought. But the fourth practice is to look at our situation from the other person’s point of view. How does the person we’re angry at? How are they seeing the situation? Again, Jason has talked about in income property in investing, that sometimes the best deals never close, because the other party realizes something’s wrong. Well, if we looked at these deals from the other party’s perspective, we might see why they would get angry. So in a way, it’s a kind of empathy trick that we can get over our own emotions. If we look at the situation from another person’s point of view. This is almost like a more sophisticated way of following the first principle that’s getting outside of ourselves. Empathy, looking at a situation from another person’s point of view, can help calm us down because we can realize that our perspective isn’t the only one. If you’re a leader of any kind. You lead an organization even leading a family leading a team. You know that when there’s a dispute, and somebody comes to us, telling us what happened We’re usually only hearing one side of the story. Any leader knows that, you know, that’s why we investigate. That’s why we try not to make rash, quick decisions, we need to hear the full picture. Well, we need that kind of same discipline in every area of life. anger comes when we just look at a situation from one perspective. So take a look at the situation from the other person’s point of view. And we’re more likely to slow down our anger. By the way, that’s true in every kind of relationship. Not just business, not just investing in personal relationships. Looking at the situation from another person’s point of view is a superpower. It can really help us calm down and restore a sense of tranquility. Even if we disagree with that perspective. It doesn’t matter we can think our own perspective is right. But if we at least acknowledge the other person’s perspective that helps, by the way, Solomon, even though we look to him as a model for success and wisdom, he sometimes fails to do this most famous Honestly, in the Book of Kings, Second Kings, as Solomon is nearing the end of his reign, the people in the north who are being essentially enslaved, they’re being highly taxed and put to work on building projects. For the people in the southern kingdom where Solomon lives in Jerusalem, and the people in the north. They go to Solomon and say, why are you oppressing us? Just to help your own people in the southern kingdom? Why are you oppressing us people in the north, Solomon is unable to empathize with them. And ultimately, when he dies, the kingdom is split into two because he could never see it from the northern kingdoms point of view. Fifth practice, and this is going to be hard, but this is very important. Recognize that we might be wrong. If we’re angry about a decision that somebody made, that maybe it hurt us, or we don’t think it’s the right decision, and we get angry. Maybe we weren’t right to begin with. You know, oftentimes As a rabbi, I work with a board of directors, and I want something to happen. And usually if my persuasion skills are at their height, and I’ve usually made a good case, the board will agree with me. But occasionally they won’t. And sometimes I think, my God, I’m right, they’re wrong. How can they not see it my way. But then, when I’m in my healthier states of mind, I realized I may be wrong. And part the best leaders surround themselves with people that are smarter than they are. And so they need to be able to admit when they’re wrong. Again, Solomon did this early in his reign. Early in his kingdom. He was surrounded by wise advisors, sometimes people he inherited from his father David. It was later in his reign, when his advisors diminished, and then his son Jeroboam now Jeroboam is fascinating. He was a terrible King. By the way, the Hebrew Bible most of the kings are really bad. Solomon and David are the exceptions and that they’re good. Most of the kings are pretty lousy. Just like most politicians are pretty lousy, but Jeroboam, who’s Solomon, son, when he comes to power,

Rabbi Evan Moffic 17:13
the people in the north renew their complaint. They say to Jeroboam, your father taxed us and oppressed us. You need to reverse his order, or we will leave. And Jeroboam goes to his advisors. And one set of advisors, the older set of Solomon’s advisors say, listen to the people of the North. They’re right. Your father was wrong, stop taxing them, stop oppressing them. Keep the United Kingdom his younger advisors who are not yet as wise. Say, you’re the king. You’re in charge, make their labor even harder for having the audacity, the gall to come complain to you. And what does Jeroboam do? He listens to his younger advisors. So we can learn from that. Sometimes we might just be wrong. So if we can try to embrace these five practices, I think that we’ll have a better chance of controlling our anger. Now all of this might be for not, if we just lose it in the moment. As I noted earlier, the part of our brain I think it’s called the amygdala. I’m not an expert in neuroscience, but I think it’s called the amygdala that’s triggered by anger. It fires faster because it’s older, it’s more primitive, it’s a deeper part of our of our body than the rational part. If that’s triggered, then we may just lose all perspective and get angry and mess things up. And that’s a danger. That’s the danger of emotion. So that’s why I find one of the best practices is to practice control of little things. Eat slowly take off our shoes slowly. Try to cultivate this control this self discipline. That by the way, is one of the great benefits of religion is that We learn to control our emotions, the rituals that are part of a disciplined religious life, extend into other parts of life, they help us live a more disciplined life, even outside of our faith community. But another tip, something that’s an overall perspective, comes from the Psalms, another part of the Bible apart, not written by Solomon, but written by his father, David. And one of my favorite verses of all time in the Psalter, in the book of Psalms, it says, In Hebrew, it’s shoved out an eyelid neck de tomate, which means God is always before me. So if we try to be the kind of person that God wants us to be now, I don’t want to get too deep into faith here. But I mean, this is all based on faith, but this is a deeper kind of piety, that if we can aim to be the kind of people God wants us to be people who are calm, who have perspective, who make wise decisions, educated decision, says Jason would tell us with income property investing. But this is not just about investing. This is about life. If we can become the people that God wants us to be, we will be slower to anger. You know, James clear, wrote this wonderful book called atomic habits, I’m going to try to get him on the show. And in atomic habits, he said, the best way to cultivate good habits is to identify with the person we want to be in a way to envision the kind of person who has the habits that we aim for. And we have that vision of that person that future us in our mind’s eye, we’re more likely to become that kind of person. So I say, let’s apply this notion in religious context. Imagine the kind of person that God wants us to be, and then strive in our daily actions to be that kind of person. If we do that, with that perspective, and we apply these five practices, I think we’ll be able to control our anchor in a better way. And when we do that, we’ll be happier, healthier, more successful. Simply live a more meaningful and balanced life. Much more coming next week. Shalom.

Rabbi Evan Moffic 21:08
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