“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Recently, I’ve faced a situation in which I felt hurt and angry. I felt disappointed because someone didn’t fulfill their role in my life as I thought they should. I tried not to focus on these feelings, but they came up again during a sermon at church. My pastor was talking about how the holidays are a time of busyness and spending time with family. He told a story of how one of his family members betrayed another and how difficult it was for the rest of the family to deal with. That family member became isolated and didn’t come back into their lives until recently when he asked for forgiveness. My pastor told us that he forgave that family member because he knew that there have been and will be times in his life when he needs forgiveness, especially the forgiveness of Christ for our salvation. I felt so convicted by this message. I know that I am not superior to the person who hurt me. My pain doesn’t make it okay for me to be prideful or judgmental. Instead, I should use my pain to turn to God and let it shed light on my gratitude for His grace. I was afraid to forgive because I didn’t want to condone what they did, but forgiveness is about healing and obeying God. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether that person thinks what they did was okay or not. Even if they never recognize how they hurt me, God sees my pain and gives me the strength to forgive and move on. The most important thing to me is that I’m obeying God’s will for my life. I know Jesus would forgive in this situation, and I know that God doesn’t want me to hang onto negative feelings. I prayed for the right words to say to this person in my life, and I had faith as I reached out to them. They received what I had to say well, and I felt at peace afterwards. I was so grateful for this convicting sermon because it gave me the push I needed to obey God and feel at peace in this situation. After that sermon, we sang “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin. It says
“You’re a good, good father.
It’s who you are, it’s who you are,
And I’m loved by you.
It’s who I am, it’s who I am.”
I felt so at peace knowing that my identity and purpose is found in Christ, and He gives me everything I need in order to obey him.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32