Bishop Dale Bronner taught the men of City Harvest Church about the issues that affect men most deeply.
At City Harvest Church men’s meeting on 24 June, held at Jurong West premises, Bishop Dale Bronner, senior pastor of Word of Faith Worship Center in Atlanta, Georgia, addressed two deep issues that affect most men: anger and money. Bronner identified one of the major sources of frustration in the lives of believers as “not having sufficient money to do what you feel you need to do.”
Bronner began by telling the audience about Job. Job lost everything—he lost all his 10 children, his money, his livestock and property, his servants and also his status in society. It was, to say the least, a challenging period for Job, who became deeply frustrated.
“Job felt like he was being judged by God,” said Bronner. “But it rains on the righteous just as it does on the unrighteous. Being saved doesn’t mean we’re exempt from problems. We can be blessed and highly favored, but we aren’t exempt from problems. Job was blessed and highly favored, but he wasn’t exempt from problems. It was the same with David—he was blessed and highly favored, but his predecessor, Saul, tried to kill him 21 times over the course of 15 years.”
When confronted with frustration, Bronner said that most men have difficulty articulating their feelings: “Men always say they’re fine. Let me tell you what ‘fine’ means: it means you’re Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotionally unstable.” Men hide their problems because they don’t want to look weak.
However, Bronner pointed out problems and their associated frustrations are part and parcel of the Christian walk. He further emphasized that the devil is meant to oppose the works of the Godly, and “if everything is going your way, and you never get opposed, it means you’re walking in the same direction as the devil. Airplanes need to take off against the wind, not in the same direction. God can make use of the wind from the mouths of those who oppose us to lift us up.”
“God never gives us a challenge that we cannot handle with God’s help,” Bronner reminded the men. “But, He also schedules a God-factor into every dream He gives. Frustration will come until the God-factor appears.”
Bronner gave the example of Israelites on the shore of the Red Sea. God gave them a dream of leaving Egypt, but when they saw the sea before them and the Egyptian soldiers behind them they realized they were at a dead end. They got angry, with God and with Moses, until the God-factor appeared.
Anger, Bronner said, is a natural response to problems, and that “it’s okay to get angry, but ‘Be angry, and sin not.’ Jesus got angry with the merchants in the Temple Court but he didn’t sin. God got angry too. It’s okay to get angry, but you don’t have a license to hurt others.”
In fact, Bronner stated, “When the devil works against us, we ought to get angry. It’s called ‘righteous indignation!’”
But the preacher also cautioned that anger has a dual role. It can be a powerful motivator, or it can distract us from our purpose in Christ. The Latin root of “frustrate” means “to deceive.” At its root, frustration is founded on deception. “God has given us dreams but circumstances lie to us, telling us that what God has promised will not come to pass,” said Bronner. “If we believe the deception, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and your frustration will distract you from your true purpose.”
He continued: “The fear of losing God’s promise distracts and frustrates us, and we can’t think straight when we’re frustrated. It takes our minds off the strategy and promise that God has for us. Abraham got frustrated: he was 75 when God told him that he would be the ‘father of many nations’ but by 90 he was still childless. He became frustrated, and was deceived. He went to the tent of Sarah’s maid, Hagar, and begat Ishmael but that wasn’t in God’s plan!”
Bronner pointed out that frustration stops a man from thinking. “The Devil is afraid of thinking men, so he sends frustration to make men react. Thinking men respond; but when you react, you react without thinking.”
Bronner went to to identify 17 common sources of frustration: lacking the money, time or energy to do what needs to be done, or lacking clarity in thought, expressive ability or instruction, or circumstances or people that one cannot control or perhaps the sense that one is not working towards one’s purpose in life.
To combat frustration, Bronner taught the men to “STOP”: Sit down and calm down; Think, because frustration stops us from thinking; Observe and look at the situation clearly and objectively, and then Plan a solution to overcome the problem.
Bronner went on to explain how to alleviate some of the frustration that comes from not having enough money, “Benjamin Franklin taught, ‘Spend less than you earn, and learn to have money. Then, you’ll be wealthy.’ First you need to spend less than you earn. Next, you need to learn how to have money, not just spend it.”
“One way to learn it is to start every day with a $100 bill in your pocket. When you have money, you have more options—if I were to go to lunch with only $5 in my pocket, I know where I can’t go. But if I had a hundred dollars, then I have a lot more options. Having these options changes the way you think.”
The frustration of not having enough money is that you feel trapped, explained Bronner. Having the $100 bill relieves that frustration and changes the way one thinks.
The preacher also taught the audience that the key to wealth was the seed principle: “How do i produce something with a seed in it?” Many times, frustrated people feel they have little to give. But, Bronner pointed out that there are things that can be given away without diminishing the giver: love, encouragement, knowledge and wisdom. “You can give all that away, without diminishing yourself!”
P Yoga, 23, a fresh graduate, felt that Bronner’s message was an eye-opener. “I didn’t realize how anger affects us. Now I know what happens when we repress our anger.”
Luo Yong Siang, 32, a healthcare worker, agreed, “It has taught me the importance of identifying and articulating why we’re angry and resolving it. We shouldn’t let anger control us.”
Bishop Bronner’s List of 17 Common Frustrations For Men:
- Not having sufficient money to do what you feel you need to do.
- Having something of value to offer someone who has no appetite for what you have.
- Being unable to control the reactions and responses of others.
- The sense that you are running out of time to do what you want or need to do.
- Having an assignment but no clarity as to how to get it done.
- Not having sufficient health or energy to do what you have in your heart to do.
- Not being organized in your thoughts—being unable to express yourself.
- Trying your hardest to make things happen, yet doors remain closed.
- Not being able to gain access to the person you love or need help from.
- Not being able to resolve conflict.
- Operating in a job you’re not designed for.
- Having circumstances beyond your control.
- Having to submit to controls you don’t understand or agree with.
- Watching someone you care about live beneath their potential.
- Having things happen for which you have no explanation.
- Not really liking where you are but being too afraid to leave.
- Not knowing your purpose.