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Displaying items by tag: anger

Monday, 15 March 2021 11:42

Lighthearted or Bitter

Choose between a lighthearted or bitter future 1

Anger wells up when life seems unfair. Recently, a memory snaked its way back into my mind. That waitress was so rude. Why didn’t I notify management? Rehearsing the speech I wish I gave, I laid awake for hours. Friends, that incident occurred years ago. Why did it slip in now? I don’t know - but it was something I needed to get rid of.

After laying there for a while I heard this whisper: “Why are you holding onto that offense?”

“Well, I don’t know.”

“What are you supposed to do?” The whisper continued.

“Forgive. I forgive that waitress for her insensitivity and the frustration she caused in me. Forgive me for hanging on to this memory like a dog with a bone. I’m so sorry Lord.”

Culturally acceptable, anger is emotion can cripple us. We allow the imagined argument to swirl around in our heads, feeling justified by the cause.

Ephesians 4:26-27 is a well-known verse among church goers. “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”

It seems so hard to do. It is easy to point out in others but difficult to apply to ourselves. Everyone gets angry, this is part of the human condition. Sometimes we don’t even see the bitterness we hang onto.

Foolishly we nurture unforgiveness until it morphs into bitterness, which leads to an inhospitable environment. Like poison it spreads and hardens our hearts so that they are no longer malleable by God. This occurs when the offense becomes bigger and more important than God. The word “foothold” use in verse 27 means give space to. Our response opens the door and invites sin to live in us.

Sometimes we don’t even see the bitterness we are hanging onto. How do we recognize it?

Does the memory pop into my mind and anger surges again? Do I feel the need to talk about it with others for sympathy or justification? Do I qualify my emotional response with excuses? Does the experience and its corresponding emotions keep me up at night?

If the answer is yes, we must wrestle them away and allow the Holy Spirit to soften us again. We choose to let it go, yes, we decide not to feed the thoughts anymore. Shake off the anger and extract the poison by giving it over to Jesus. Jesus took our sin, there is no need for us to hold onto it. Lay the burden at Jesus feet, see yourself doing it (Matthew 11:28). He is our rest.

When I am angry, I need to remember.

God is good

Vengeance belongs to Him.

The other person who made me angry is made in the image of God

The other person deserves God’s grace as much as I do.

Extending forgiveness benefits both of us; extracting the poison from our heart.

Choose between a lighthearted or bitter future, we are in control of this.

It seems easy, yet human nature naturally embraces the trap of regurgitating past hurts. Those angry thoughts do return, there is real pain and insecurity associated with the memory. Thankfully, our God is trustworthy with this vulnerability. We return to the top of the list above and fight the urge to hold on lay it at the feet of Jesus.

When the temptation to ruminate on the rude waitress along with my ineptness at handling the situation occurs, I remember:

God is good.

Vengeance belongs to Him, He will lovingly correct her.

The waitress who made me angry is made in the image of God.

She deserves God’s grace as much as I do.

Extending forgiveness benefits both of us; extracting the poison from our heart.

I choose between a lighthearted future; we are in control of this.

Jesus reminds us that His burden is light. Always ready for us, He calls the weary to Himself. (Matthew 11:28-30) God used my anger to teach me and trust Him. He will do the same for you.

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Thursday, 27 August 2020 16:52

Handling Anger

Add a little bit of body text 2

Anger wells up when life seems unfair. Recently, a memory snaked its way back into my mind. That waitress was so rude, why didn’t management get notified. Instead I sat there and took it. Rehearsing the speech, I wish I gave I laid awake for hours. Friends that incident occurred years ago. Why did it slip in now? I don’t know but it was something I needed to get rid of.

After laying there for a while I heard this whisper “Why are you holding onto that offense?”

“Well, I don’t know.”

“What are you supposed to do?” The whisper continued.

“Forgive. I forgive that waitress for her insensitivity and the frustration she caused in me. Forgive me for hanging on to this memory like a dog with a bone. I’m so sorry Lord.”

Culturally acceptable, this emotion can cripple us. We allow the imagined argument to swirl around in our heads, feeling justified by the cause.

Ephesians 4:26-27 is a well-known verse among church goers.  “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” It is known but seems so hard to do. It is easy to point out in others but difficult to apply to ourselves. Sometimes we don’t even see the bitterness we are hanging onto.

Sweet old ladies welcome everyone, the mood of the room lightens when they are present. Without complaint emotions are faced and dealt with. Forgiveness can get easier with age but only if it’s regularly applied. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness which leads to an inhospitable environment.

There is a woman at my church who has survived a traumatic childhood. Her teenage years were spent in Germany during World War II. She lost a great deal. She came to the United States as a young woman and became a citizen. Now as an elderly member of our church she calls all of us family. She loves the Lord and lives in gratitude for the life He has given her. She is always ready with a hug and word of encouragement. She gives honest feedback but always delivers truth in love. Her presence invites others in as a strong example to those around her. She is a role model for me but scoffs at me when I tell her so.

When I am angry, I need to remember.

God is good

Vengeance belongs to Him.

The other person who made me angry is made in the image of God

The other person deserves God’s grace as much as I do.

Extending forgiveness benefits both of us.

Choose between a lighthearted or bitter future.

It seems easy yet human nature naturally embraces the trap of regurgitating past hurts. Return to the top of the list fight the urge to hold on lay it at the feet of Jesus. He reminds us that His burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Always ready for us, He call us, the weary, to Him.

 

Published in Devotionals