A college boy asked Bill to help him contain his anger and for 3 years, Bill had tried to help – with no apparent results. Finally, Bill asked the boy to bring his father and mother along with him to see if there’s something they could do together to resolve the problem. When they arrived, it became apparent that the entire family had a problem with anger and needed help. Bill asked them to go into his conference room and sit around a roundtable. Stalling for the time until he could figure out how to deal with their argumentative spirit, Bill had them take several pieces of paper and list the following:
1. List what it would take to have a successful family (their answers reflected finger pointing)
2. List the last times you got angry (reflected which rights they had felt they were denied)
3. List the rights they felt they had as members of the family (usually tied directly to the list of angry emotions they felt)
He then pointed out that if they were going to deal with their anger, they first had to deal with their “rights.” Turning to Philippians 2:5ff, Bill pointed out that Jesus gave up his rights to Godhood when he became a man and that they needed to do so also using a six-step plan:
1. They were to TRANSFER their RIGHTS to God (these rights did have value so they weren’t “throwing them away.”)
2. They were to FULFILL their RESPONSIBILITIES – teaching the children to be respecting authority but give away the right to be “respected” and concentrate on earning that response.
3. BALANCE THEIR EXPECTATIONS – God gives back their rights as privileges – they needed to learn thanksgiving.
4. GIVE UP rights and personal ownership.
5. ACCEPT them back as privileges.
6. USE further ANGER to detect unyielded rights. (Luke 9:23)
They then put their papers in the center of the table and dedicated the pile as an “altar” to God offered up to Him for Him to use as He saw fit. Repeated visits began to reflect fewer and fewer problems.