I’ve been thinking a lot today about anger and forgiveness.
Seeing people hurt each other does that to me. First, it makes me really angry, to the point that I want the “hurt-er” to suffer in the same way and degree as the “hurt-ee.” I’ve always been quick to become “righteously indignant” at the mistreatment of others. But then, after reflection (sometimes a lot of reflection), I realise that I am doing the same thing, or at least violating the same principle.
I’m a follower of Jesus. I love Him, and really want to live my life in a way that pleases Him. In order to do that, I have to keep His commandments, as it says in John 14:15 (“If you love Me, keep my commandments.”)
I say that because my initial intention was to have a good rant. This is my blog, and blogs are made for rants at times, right? And there are so many scriptures that talk about love and forgiveness. So, so many! I know because I’ve looked up a bunch of them today while I’ve been thinking along these lines.
But castigating someone with scripture is unloving and vengeful.
I was inspired to go ahead and write today after reading an email from someone I follow who has made it his mission to inspire would-be-bloggers and hopefuls. He said to overcome your fear and say what’s inside of you. Well, what’s inside of me today has the makings of a sermon on overlooking wrongs that have been done to you and forgiving, instead of lashing out and trying to get even.
Kind of ironic, since lashing out with words, desiring to shake up, wake up, and correct unloving behaviour, is itself hurtful.
I would love to just go for it, and unleash all the scriptural correctness that’s rolling around in my brain. Like….
Forgive exhaustively (70 x 7) (Matthew 18:22)
In your anger, do not sin. (Ephesians 4:26)
Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
Pretty much all of Matthew, chapter 5 – Blessed are those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy…But I say if you are even angry at someone you are subject to judgment…. ‘Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!’
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (Colossians 3:13)
I could go on, but you’ve more than gotten the idea. And I have now given a mini-sermon to myself.
And pray. Always pray.
The act of writing has been cathartic. I feel better! I hope at least one person out there does too. And if not, write it out, and pray it out; then I’m sure you will.