This may also apply to many that are not wealthy but it is very prevalent in those that are. In counseling the wealthy, I have noticed a preponderance of anger over marriages, children, business partners and a multitude of other things. Over the years, I have noticed a strong correlation between anger and addiction. The anger is about the past, the present, loss of control (wealth does not guarantee kids that behave nor a wife or husband that complies). They are angry at life in general and yet they can still run their businesses with a fair amount of success and continue to make a lot of money. That may be the only thing that keeps them sane and “happy”.
I’ve done a lot of work helping people save millions of tax dollars, but the work that gives me the most satisfaction is what we can do for their relationships. Creating a legacy plan involves so much more than saving taxes and giving money and assets to the next generation and to charity. It involves the messages, virtues, and values that we leave behind as well. Anger is not a compelling positive legacy and one that may be duplicated by the next generation.
If anger moves us to addiction, we merely complicate the issues. It appears that when a marriage, children or relationships on the job spiral out of control, these heads of household get angry. They do not know how to control or solve the problem and deaden the pain with a sedative. Whether it be pornography, promiscuity, drugs, alcohol, food, overwork, slander… and the list goes on to include:
- anything that gets their minds off the situation,
- quiets the nervousness within, and
- eases the awareness that not all life can be controlled or fixed by them.
I remember a drunken Irishman who, being asked why he was drunk, responded, “It is the quickest way out of Ireland that I know!”
However, addiction has a downside:
- By not facing the situation straight on, but rather avoiding it by using a sedative, the addict remains emotionally thwarted, a perpetual adolescent. (Most of those who are angry and addicted will not admit either.)
- Creativity is stifled. If someone who is depressed and frustrated can see the truth of a situation and not take a drug to solve it, they are the first to be creative with a solution.
- Addiction leads to condemnation, which leads to self-hatred, which leads to more addictive behavior and more condemnation in an endless cycle.
- There is the deception that addictive people have lost their free will.
- Addiction makes problems multiply.
Anger, mentioned 266 times in the Bible, is the fall of many and the cause of untold suffering and impulsive, destructive behavior. On the other hand, the person free from anger is a giant in the bible:
Proverbs 16:32, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.”
Proverbs 19:19, “A man of great anger shall bear the penalty, for if you rescue (him) you will only have to do it again.”
Ecclesiastes 5:7, “Throughout his life (he) also eats in darkness with great vexation, sickness and anger.”
What we do in our planning process with families and what I outline in the book I wrote, The Master’s Plan, is to help families become transparent with each other and deal with past wounds and wounds that are currently occurring directly, without embarrassment and with an eternal focus. Only when they see that investing in the bank of the eternal will they see clear of the anger and addictions. The bank of this world has limited satisfaction, is fleeting and is temporary.
IT IS TIME THAT WE STOP ACTING LIKE WE HAVE NO GOD, WITH EXHAUSTION AND ANGER THAT ACCOMPANY PLAYING GOD.
I know that is a harsh, no-nonsense statement, but it is the truth and if you can admit it and humbly submit to God’s leadership, you will have hope and joy…I promise you!
- It is God’s responsibility to cause all things to work together for the good
- When a problem or situation comes from the past or present, simply say amen and yield to God. We are not saying that it doesn’t matter but that we are giving the situation to God and refusing to carry it.
- Stop trusting the addiction. We cannot play mind games that allow us to be in a place where we can escape.
- We need to confess that our “chooser” is not broken. We still can make the right choice with the help of grace and God.
- When the draw of an addiction comes, we call on the grace of the Lord to help us. Say, “Jesus, fill in me the need I hope this addiction will meet! Help me break it.”
- BE HONEST! If we like the addiction, we need to tell the Lord. If we don’t plan on leaving the addiction, tell Him. If we love it, more than Him, tell Him. And then tell Him it is His.
NOW WATCH WHAT HE WILL DO IN YOUR LIFE. HE IS NOT DEAD.
THAT IS CERTAIN!!!
Download The Master’s Plan!
This is a book about transforming your family legacy – both today and in generations to come. It is for Christian families who want to eliminate estate and capital gains taxes, maintain their current lifestyle, pass on an appropriate inheritance to their heirs, maximize giving to worthy ministries, create healthier family relationships and leave a lasting legacy to impact God’s kingdom.
By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.