Chapter 6 "The Angry Man"
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
Ask yourself, “Am I an angry man?” If you answered “No,” what if someone were to ask your wife, your children, or those at your workplace if you were an angry man? Would they also say “No”? Anger is mentioned 266 times in the Bible. The majority of these passages are written in regard to God’s anger toward those who sinned repeatedly without repenting. The word angry is mentioned 87 times. Some preachers tell us that we are commanded to be angry. Is this true? Let’s search for the wisdom of God in His Word regarding anger.
Angry Men in Scripture
Angry Cain. There are many accounts of angry men in Scripture and the consequences suffered by those who could not overcome their anger. They kept trying to “rise above” their anger. Satan deceived them, because to overcome anger you must bow down with humility. “. . . But for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it’” (Gen. 4:5). It was Cain’s pride that made him envious and angry towards his brother.
Moses. Moses was a man whom God used mightily. Yet it was his anger that often got in his way. “But they did not listen to Moses . . . and Moses was angry with them” (Exod. 16:20). Many times he was angered by the disobedience and sinfulness of those he was to lead to the Promised Land. Do you ever get angry with those whom you have been assigned to lead? “An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression” (Prov. 29:22).
“But Moses searched carefully for the goat of the sin offering, and behold, it had been burned up! So he was angry with Aaron’s surviving sons . . .” (Lev. 10:16).
“Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, ‘Do not regard their offering! I have not taken a single donkey from them, nor have I done harm to any of them’” (Num. 16:15).
“And Moses was angry with the officers of the army . . .” (Num. 31:14).
“And all these your servants will come down to me and bow themselves before me, saying, ‘Go out, you and all the people who follow you,’ and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in hot anger” (Exod. 11:8).
“And it came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain” (Exod. 32:19). Men, have you ever thrown anything when you were angry? Don’t make the mistake of using Moses’ anger as an excuse for your own anger. The truth is that God did use him mightily in spite of his weakness in this area; but to excuse sin is placing yourself on dangerous ground. By the way, is anger the only sin in your life, or are there other sins such as immorality, covetousness, drunkenness, or carousing? “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God” (Rom. 14:10).
“And Aaron said, ‘Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, that they are prone to evil’” (Exod. 32:22). All those in our homes are prone to evil. They need our prayers to help keep their paths straight; battle for them in the proper way. Teach them to battle in the proper way. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). If they (or you) are unsaved, they (or you) are slaves of sin. “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16).
Moses was a man blessed by God in many ways, but his anger caused him to miss the blessing of going into the Promised Land.
Angry Jonah. “But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry” (Jon. 4:1).
“And the Lord said [to Jonah], ‘Do you have good reason to be angry?’” (Jon. 4:4). Many times, after you calm down, aren’t you surprised when you realize how stupid it was to get so angry over something so small and insignificant?
What did Jesus say about being angry? “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell” (Matt. 5:22). Was Jesus just talking about being angry with a brother? No. He was talking about being angry with anyone, even your wife or your children. Does that mean that you are guilty enough for hell? Yes, it does. But, if we are Christians, Christ saved us from the consequences of our sin because He continues to cleanse us from our sins.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The verse says if we confess. The question then is, if you have a problem with anger, have you confessed this sin to the Lord your Savior? Have you confessed it to those whom you have offended? “Raca” is a word that means “worthless” in Greek. Have you ever told your wife or children, in so many words, that they were worthless? You are guilty of fiery hell, unless you repent. If you think that you will lose their respect by asking them to forgive you, try it and see. They may just give you the respect that you’ve been desiring from them.
Angry tempers. “For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there may be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances . . .” (2 Cor. 12:20). What would your brothers in Christ find if they walked unannounced into your home or office?
Commanded to be angry? Many preachers have used the following verse to tell those who want to have their ears tickled that we are actually commanded to be angry. Taken out of context this would seem true. Yet, when searching for the Truth, you need only to read the entire verse: “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity . . . Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear . . . And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God . . . Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:26–32). Anger is a natural reaction when someone offends us, or should we say a fleshly reaction. But as followers of Christ, we are asked to walk in the Spirit! “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).
Walk in love. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph. 5:1).
Family scattered. “Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel” (Gen. 49:7). Has your family been scattered? Do your children go outside or to a friend’s house to play when you are home because they are fearful of your anger? Are your teens or young adults gone because of your anger? “And fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). (See Chapter 14, “Father’s Instructions.”)
Slow to Anger
God tells us that He is slow to anger. “Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and Truth . . .’” (Exod. 34:6).
“The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression . . .” (Num. 14:18).
“The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness” (Ps. 145:8).
Slow or quick to anger—which one are you? God describes the difference between a man who follows God and one who does not.
Do you exalt folly? If you are quick-tempered you do. “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly” (Prov. 14:29).
Do you stir up strife or do you pacify contentions? “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger pacifies contention” (Prov. 15:18).
Are you better than the mighty? “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city” (Prov. 16:32).
The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. “This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:19).
How to Gain Control of Your Anger
By having discretion. “A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression” (Prov. 19:11). How do you gain discretion? “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion” (Prov. 8:12).
By having wisdom. “Scorners set a city aflame, but wise men turn away anger” (Prov. 29:8). Where do you find wisdom? You find it in your fear of the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . .” (Ps. 111:10).
Is this you in your home? “The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion; he who provokes him to anger forfeits his own life” (Prov. 20:2).
Anger produces strife. “For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife” (Prov. 30:33). Does your anger churn constantly inside you? Is everyone expected to walk on eggshells because you may blow up any minute? “Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting with strife” (Prov. 17:1).
Are you “practicing” the deeds of the flesh or the fruits of the Spirit? “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger,disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:19–23).
Do you have a quarrelsome spirit? “But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations knowing they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged” (2 Tim. 2:23). Are you a “know it all”? Or do you have a contrary comment for many of the things others say? God tells us to “agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time thine adversary deliver thee to the judge” (Matt. 5:25, KJV).
Are you argumentative? “Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative” (Titus 2:9). Are you Jesus’ bondslave? Has He bought you with a price? Then you owe it to Him to be well-pleasing.
Is there strife in your home? Again, “Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it than a house full of feasting and strife” (Prov. 17:1). Are your children loud and unruly? (See Chapter 14, “Father’s Instructions,” for “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge . . .” (Hos. 4:6).)
Do you ever quarrel with your wife? “The beginning of strife is like letting out of water, so abandon the quarrel before it breaks out” (Prov. 17:14). The world, and so-called experts in marriage, tell us that a good fight is actually healthy for the marriage—don’t you believe it!
Was I Not Joking?
Are you a madman? One of the most common snares that men fall into is joking with others when in public. Do you tease your wife about her weaknesses or sometimes about things that she has confided in you? “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, so is the man who deceives his neighbor [or his wife], and says, ‘Was I not joking?’” (Prov. 26:18–19).
Empty words, silly talk, or coarse jesting. “But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and Truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light” (Eph. 5:3–13).
Speak as a child. Do you joke, jest, talk silliness, or waste your words with nonsense? Is what you say pleasing to the Lord? Most women hate to be teased. Some are good sports about it; most are not. As a boy, you may have practiced your jokes and talking nonsense with your friends when you were in school or in sports. You probably practiced your teasing on the outcasts at school and more than likely with your brothers or sisters. “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11). Now that you are a man, put away your childish ways, “trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”
Expose them. When other men start joking about their wives, or other empty words are spoken, walk away from these situations or keep silent. When others see the difference in you, they may ask you about it. Expose them to the light of Truth. “. . . But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong” (1 Pet. 3:15–17).
A slanderer. You must never expose to others a weakness in your wife, nor tell others something your wife told to you in confidence. Remember, “A slanderer separates intimate friends” (Prov. 16:28).
The definition of a slanderer in the Strong’s Concordance is rakiyl (raw- keel), a talebearer.
Others may think you’re funny, but God knows your heart. “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy” (Ps. 101:5). “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).
Let’s all put this type of talk away from us. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice” (Eph. 4:31).
The Source of Your Anger . . . Pride!
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride” (Dan. 4:37).
Why are so many men angry? Is it because Christian men imitate the world and the world’s thinking? Almost all the books we read, the counselors we seek, and the classes we attend do not reflect God’s Word, which is pure and uncompromising. Instead, the church continues to present us with a Christianized worldly view.
Poison dipped in chocolate is still poison! Men, the deadly worldly views are more dangerous when they are dipped in Christianity because we eat it right up! We have been brainwashed into thinking that “self-love” and “self-esteem” are good things; yet, these attitudes are the root of our problem. It’s the “know-it-all” who argues and wants his own way, because he knows (actually thinks) he is right. And when he is wrong, his self-esteem needs to be protected. There is never a humble word or an “I’m sorry.” The angry man has been conditioned to think that to make an apology would be too humiliating—a sign of weakness. His “self-love” will train him to continue to climb up on his pedestal of pride, only to fall again and again.
What is the cure? “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah” (Exod. 15:23). Moses threw a tree into the water, a representation of the cross of Calvary. You must also throw the cross into your sea of bitterness. Christ died to free you from all sin, including anger, pride, and self-absorbed behavior.
Here is God’s prescription. God told us that if we, as a nation, would humble ourselves, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, He would heal our land. Instead, we “walk in the counsel of the wicked” (Ps. 1:1) and we “trust in mankind” (Jer. 17:5). This is why we will have superficial healing! “The brokenness of His people is healed superficially” (Jer. 8:11).
Psychology in the church. It is extremely dangerous for Christians to act as if man’s ideas or psychology is God’s Word. It is also dangerous to use God’s Word to promote current worldly views in the church. “‘The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My Word speak My Word in Truth. What does straw have in common with grain?’ declares the Lord . . . ‘Behold, I am against the prophets,’ declares the Lord, ‘who use their tongues and declare, “the Lord declares.”’” (Jer. 23:28, 30, 31). What does psychology (straw) have in common with God’s Word (grain)?
Are you training and encouraging your children to have self-esteem? The word “self-esteem” should make a Christian cringe since it is just another word for “pride.” This is a wolf’s word in sheep’s clothing! You will soon witness a child who acts so arrogant and self-absorbed that others won’t even like him. It is absurd to think that a child needs to be built up to feel good about himself, as if a child isn’t completely self-absorbed already! From birth, a child wants his own way, so he cries. Won’t a two-year-old scream and pitch a fit until he gets what he wants?
Building your child’s self-esteem. There are books and books and more books written for Christians by Christians, but many of the teachings are not what God teaches in His Word. Let’s look at what God tells us about building our self-esteem or our children’s self-esteem. Let’s find out why we should be careful not to say, “I have my pride!” and “I am so proud of you.”
Pride is a sin. Pride was the first sin ever committed by the angel Lucifer, who later became Satan. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I (God) cast you to the ground” (Ezek. 28:17). Satan also said, “I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14). Yet, we praise our children for their beauty, and we teach our children to “go for the top,” to “reach for the stars,” and to “believe in yourself.”
“Self-esteem” began as a lie, formed by twisting Scripture. Satan used Scripture when he tempted Jesus in the desert; he uses it today. He just twists it a little and makes it a half-truth. But we know that anything that is half-true is a lie, lest we forget Abraham and Sarah (“she is my sister,” Gen. 12:19).
“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). Those who have psychology degrees will try to tell you that this verse means you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. In other words, “self-love” is needed first because some of us, or most of us, hate ourselves. Is this the Truth or a lie? It is a lie! Why—because it contradicts God’s Word. “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it . . .” (Eph. 5:29).
Jesus teaches that if we are humble we will be blessed. We are to think of others as more important than ourselves. Those who contemplate or threaten suicide are told by the world that they hate themselves, but that contradicts the Word of God. Remember, God said, “No one ever hated his own flesh!” Satan blinds them with pain until they are not thinking clearly. If there is a “spirit of death” in your home, see if this sin has been passed down from a family member. A person who threatens suicide is crying out for help. Help them with love and comfort. Share the Truth. Satan wants them to feel hopeless—give them some hope! (See Chapter 10, “Various Trials.”) Then encourage them to pray with “thanksgiving,” thanking God for everything, including the trials, “knowing they are working together for good” (Rom. 8:28).
Selfishness or empty conceit. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3). “Blessed are the humble [gentle, meek] for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). These verses of Scripture are so contrary to the way Christians speak these days because of the influence of psychology among believers. If this complacency to God’s Word does not cause you to shudder, it should!
The last will be first. Many teach their children that being first should be their goal and that we cannot please anyone unless we please ourselves. The Truth is, “But many who are first will be last; and the last first” (Matt. 19:30). “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). Help your children to attain Christlikeness by sharing these verses instead of rambling off the worldly clichés we have all heard!
The world tells us to speak well of ourselves, but Jesus said, “And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Matt. 23:12).
Learn from Nebuchadnezzar—his grandson didn’t. Nebuchadnezzar (see this section’s opening Scripture), who was proud of his power and wealth, was made to be like the cattle of the field and to eat grass. Yet his grandson chose to exalt himself. “Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this, but you have exalted yourself . . .” (Dan. 5:22–23).
Pride is evil—it will cause God to humble you. You may think that certain things you go through are humiliating, but God means it for your good. He doesn’t want to humiliate you; He wants to humble you. “For from within, out of the heart of men proceed the evil . . . pride” (Mark 7:21). “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not of the Father, but is from the world” (1 John 2:16). Pride is not of God!
Why do you boast? “For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast . . .?” (1 Cor. 4:7).
Instead we are to die to self. “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). “. . . He died for all that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:15).
As we humble ourselves, then God is free to exalt us. “. . . Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time . . .” (1 Pet. 5:5–6). “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble . . . Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:6, 11). “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Exalt Christ above yourself.
Always and in all things, Jesus should be our example in the way that He walked on this earth. “Have this attitude [humility] in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:5–9).
What shall we do if we have been prideful?
Learn from the Lord. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart . . .” (Matt. 11:29).
Boast in the Lord. “But he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends” (2 Cor. 10:17–18).
Don’t praise yourself. “Let another praise you and not your own mouth; a stranger and not your own lips” (Prov. 27:2).
And if you don’t humble yourself?
“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own eyes” (Isa. 5:21).
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Prov. 26:12).
“For anyone who thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself” (Gal. 6:3).
“Surely God will not listen to vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it” (Job 35:13).
“An arrogant man stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered” (Prov. 28:25–26).
“And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God’” (Luke 16:15). “And He humbled you and let you be hungry . . .” (Deut. 8:3).
Can you see anywhere in Scripture where God instructs us to build up our self-esteem? Or do you find anywhere in Scripture where God instructs us to teach our children to have self-esteem? Are we to pride ourselves in what we have done, or made, or accomplished? What will our flattering do to others, especially our children?
How do we Begin to Change?
Confess your sins. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). Pray for an opportunity to talk to your wife so you can ask for forgiveness for your anger. Don’t ramble on and on, justifying yourself or blaming her for your anger. Just tell her honestly that God has convicted you of being angry and argumentative. Tell her that with the Lord’s help you can change. Give her a kiss, and then go and ask your children’s forgiveness and explain to your children how God is going to help you to change. Each time you blow up, confess to those who have been hurt by your anger. Continue to ask for forgiveness.
First be reconciled. If you don’t feel “led” to go and get things right with your wife and children, never go back into church. “If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering” (Matt. 5:23–24).
Grace to the humble. Humble yourself; don’t be too proud to admit that you are an angry man. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Pet. 5:5–6).
Stumbles. This verse separates the men from the boys, or, actually, the righteous from the wicked. Which one will you prove to be? “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, but the wicked stumble in time of calamity” (Prov. 24:16). You will stumble even after you humble yourself and confess your past failures. “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). The only way to be victorious is to continue to get up again and confess over and over again. Each confession will bring about more humility; therefore, more grace will abound. This will lead to victory over this area of sin in your life.
Personal commitment: To put away my angry ways. “Based on what I have learned from God’s Word, I commit to refuse the excusing of my anger and the blaming of others for it. I commit to renew my mind daily and to be a doer of the Word by putting away my angry ways.”
“Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on, in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:12).