Anger and Forgiveness
26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.
Over the last few weeks at both of our Breaking The Chains sites, our lessons have been geared towards anger and forgiveness. Both of these areas seem to be major problems for people. Our world seems to be getting angrier by the day with little to no self-control in words or actions. Forgiveness is chosen less and seemingly more difficult to do. The problem is that when you try to do anything without including Jesus, your situations will seem more difficult to handle and forgiveness will seem impossible because you remain angry.
The Word doesn’t say “don’t be angry”, but “be angry, and do not sin”. Anger is an emotion we all get from time to time for different reasons, from being upset at an injustice to simply not getting our way or not getting something we want. The problem comes when we utilize our anger to cause harm whether through words or actions or to harbor grudges. Anger is not meant to be held onto because the longer it stays the more difficult it is to get rid of and the more damage it can cause within us and around us. It can destroy relationships and has torn families apart. It has caused the most loving person to react in a most unloving manner. When anger is not dealt appropriately, it can become poisonous to the mind and to the heart and can cause illness to the body. Again, I did not say we shouldn’t have anger. The problem is when it is not dealt with appropriately.
Forgiveness brings healing. It removes the place you give to the devil to continue tormenting you with thoughts. Yet, I have heard people say numerous times “Well, God knows my heart and he understands why I’m upset and how I feel”. Yes, he does know your heart and this is what He has to say in His Word:
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)
If anyone has a reason to be angry, it would be Jesus. After everything He has done for us and everything He has gone through for us, we still turn away from Him and do the things He tells us not to do. Yet, when we come back to Him, confess our sins and repent, He is more than willing to forgive us and accept us back. This is how He wants us to be with others…to love and forgive one another.
Ephesians 4:32 – 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
How do we stop being angry and forgive those who hurt us?
- Confess your anger to the Lord and surrender it to Him. Ask Him to take your anger and replace it with peace and self-control (both fruits of the Spirit). Do this daily until your anger is gone.
- Ask Jesus to help you to forgive the one you are angry with and then pray for that person daily until you are able to forgive them fully, asking Jesus to fill your heart with forgiveness. This does not mean “I can forgive but I will not forget”, which many seem to say. That is not true forgiveness as we see in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that talks about love – 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Jesus death and resurrection is a time when we reflect upon the sacrifice He made for us in order for us to be saved and spend eternity with Him. Time is getting short and there is no time to say “I’ll do it tomorrow.” The time is now. If you have any anger and unforgiveness in your heart, surrender it to Jesus and ask Him to replace it with love and forgiveness, and be healed. He has been waiting for this moment and wants nothing separating you from Him.