News from SCA August 2015
Enough Already! by Dale Wightman

By Dale Wightman, MA, LPC, SCA clinical staff member

For several years I led therapy groups for “at-risk” teen boys on the subject of anger management. These youth were court-ordered to be in residential treatment, what the kids refer to as “juvey,” because their behavior was out of the control of parents, foster parents or public school staff. These are the angry boys who take and destroy, having gone from victim to perpetrator. Unless something changes, they will continue a lifestyle of inflicting costs on others – financial, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.

In contrast, society needs men who give and build. If one of these at-risk boys got over his anger at being required to be in a group about anger, he would agree that his anger needed to be “managed." He would become interested to know how he could moderate his rage with self-control, understanding that out-of-control anger will get him into more trouble and take away his freedom to express his anger appropriately. He, like everyone, wants to have more abilities, including the option to “keep a lid on it.”

What struck me about working with those on the outskirts of society is how much I have in common with them. As a man in ministry, a righteous man, it is crucial to grasp that I am also a common man, and anger is something we all have in common.  At times, we all have inappropriate anger.

Anger is not always bad or wrong - it can be righteous indignation. If a wrong needs to be righted, my anger may fuel the ability to stand against injustice or assert what is right. Nice people do not enjoy conflict and can be tempted to do nothing rather than intervene. Good anger needs to well up within people of good impulses and turn into a force to be reckoned with. Righteous anger opposes evil and takes action to change the things that should be changed. Righteous anger benefits others, but unrighteous anger inflicts and afflicts. It lacks love, acceptance, or even positive regard.

Better than managing anger is reducing anger – draining the reservoir of rage rather than building a stronger dam. Draining wrongful anger requires humility and patience. It means releasing control of what I cannot control - especially the illusion that I control others. It requires me to adjust my expectations, and it challenges my beliefs about “enough.”

First of all, God is enough. He is good all the time. His faithfulness endures and his grace is sufficient for all times and circumstances.  He wants me to have peace, and peace is one result of the Spirit of the living Christ gaining control in my everyday walk.

I am enough. My calling does not involve being more than one person or more than a person. The demands on me can seem to require more than one person, but that is a lie. This falsehood could come from an inflated view of my importance and the thought that "If I want it done right I have to do it myself." This results in an unwillingness to release control and to delegate tasks.

Conversely, the "not-enough" lie can stem from a deflated opinion of my worth, which causes me to deny that I have the freedom to draw boundaries. I have the right stuff for God to take, break, bless, and multiply in order to accomplish His will through me.

I have enough. When I get involved in shopping at a mall or online or in my imagination, I can remind myself to pursue the virtue of contentment.

Others are enough. Well, this may be the biggest one – frustration of my expectations of others – and worthy of a future Ministry Minute.

Dale Wightman is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, practicing in Littleton and Westminster.  He holds a Masters degree in counseling from Colorado Christian University. Dale's eight years of counseling experience includes youth and young adults in individual, family and group formats in both outpatient and residential settings. He can assist with managing of depression, anxiety and anger, healing from trauma and loss, repairing relationships, and reaching important decisions. Dale has two grown children and lives with his wife in Lakewood.

Questions and Answers

Q. How can I remind myself to have boundaries in my life?
A. Some of my favorite thoughts for setting limits are:

  • For parenting demands, “Good is good enough.” After your kids are grown and gone, they will ask if they had good parents or bad parents, not ideal or perfect ones.
  • For work or ministry, “All I can do is all I can do.” By all means, do what you can, then let other people and God do their part.
  • For releasing control over others, “I’m OK with that.” This reminds one to honor another’s freedom to choose their path and collect their consequences or rewards.

Q. It seems that my days get hijacked with urgent things and then I have not achieved what I most needed to. How can I focus on the things that really matter?
A. Pray about, write and post at your desk a personal Mission Statement, answering the following:

  • “Who am I?”
  • “Why am I here?”
  • “How will I achieve this?”

Ministry Minute is a quarterly publication of Southwest Counseling Associates. If you know of someone who would benefit from this newsletter, please ask them to contact Doug Feil at:

Southwest Counseling Associates
141 West Davies Avenue, Littleton, CO 80120
Phone: 303-730-1717 | Fax: 303-730-1531
sca@southwestcounseling.org | www.southwestcounseling.org

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