Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Justifiable" Anger (Ephesians 4:31)

Today's scripture: Ephesians 4:31

Bitterness and wrath and anger … These are destructive. They can tear apart families. They can annihilate friendships. They can kill the soul.

And so often they start “justifiably.”

Someone hurts us or someone we love. We have the “right” to be angry. And perhaps we do. We should be angry at injustice or blatant sin.

However, we have to be very, very careful to not let righteous anger grow to a bitterness that flames out of control.

I speak from experience. I was “justifiably” angry at the men who abused me. Between the ages of nine and sixteen, I was abused by three men … and I was angry. But instead of dealing with the pain, instead of offering forgiveness—whether they asked for it or not—I allowed the anger to grow from a tiny flame to a forest fire in my heart and soul. It burned away peace and joy and contentment.

And that bitterness and wrath and anger pulled me away from faith. From my Father.

There’s a saying: “Anger is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

If your heart is full of anger—righteous or not—I encourage you to do two things: First, forgive whomever has hurt you. It won’t be easy, but you can do it if you do the second: Give all your bitterness and wrath and anger to the Lord. Ask Him to help you forgive. Ask Him to fill your heart with love instead of anger. Peace instead of bitterness. Joy instead of wrath.

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