We’ve all gotten angry with someone at one time or another. When someone makes you angry, that person has a certain amount of control over you. You spend time with that emotion and those thoughts instead of other more pleasant thoughts and feelings. In a way, you trade the present for the past.
God says to forgive. How do we go from angry to forgiving?
Maybe you have tried physical exertion to get rid of your anger. Running up a flight of stairs brings some relief. You may not feel like punching something any more, but you’ll still be angry.
When you are angry, you must deal with three things – your response, your feelings and / or relationship with the other person, and your relationship with God.
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
First. Pause before you speak or react. You want to be sure that you do not sin in your anger. Learning to take a moment to think things out will help you to not do anything you will regret. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with that.
Second. Make things right as soon as you can with the other person. When you discuss and try to work things out, you will often find that your anger will subside. You will also uncover any false presumptions that contributed to the situation. That person may be just as angry with you. An apology can go a long way. Someone needs to be first. Why not you?
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Third. Your relationship with God may also be hindered when you are angry. In this passage, Jesus said to forgive and to make it right with your brother. Jesus speaks many times in the New Testament about forgiveness. If you are unforgiving, you are not walking in obedience.
Years ago, I was extremely angry with a relative. I turned on some Christian music and began to pray as I scraped wallpaper off the 2 small halls and below the chair rails in my kitchen. I think it took days for me to finish. I prayed, listened, and prayed some more. Somewhere along the way, I forgave my relative.
Today’s challenge is to ask yourself if you are angry with anyone. What do you need to do to make things right? Start by asking God to help you to forgive. Then ask God to show you where you may be at fault in the situation as well. Ask God to show you how to make things right. Pray until you find peace.
God said to forgive. He will enable you to do that as you ask sincerely.