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October 2018

WHAT TO DO WITH ANGER, HURT, AND GRUDGES

Have you ever had someone say angry, hurtful words to you?  I have, and most, if not all of you reading this, have as well.  Some of us have been very hurt to the point where we end up going to a therapist to get help, while others of us have just ‘shoved’ it down inside where it festered for days, months, and even years.

Doctors tell us that unresolved anger will lead to anxiety and depression.

The anger and hurt that I am speaking about is when we have a disagreement with a family member, a friend, someone in our workplace, or someone in our church.

Here in America at the moment there is a lot of anger concerning politics and resulting national problems. Actually this anger over politics seems to be global which reminds me of the text in Revelation 11:18  “And the nations were angry...” but that is for another time.

But for the time being let us deal with personal problems.

The following verses are a few that I have gleaned from the greatest therapy book of all time, the Bible which is full of counsel about how we can best deal with people who bother us!  These verses also teach us to examine ourselves to make sure that we aren’t bothering others!

Firstly, in Ephesians 4:26, Paul says that it’s okay to get angry sometimes; at injustice etc, but not to stay angry.  He says; “Be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”

While there is plenty to get angry at in the world today, those of us who love God need to take heed of the following verses.

Ephesians 4:29—32
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and ANGER, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, FORGIVING each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Mark 11:25
“When you pray, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in Heaven may forgive you your sins.”----signed, Jesus.

(It is not always easy to forgive, and this is when we need to ask God for grace to do so.  “Ask and it shall be given...”)

Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times.”

And Jesus said unto him, “I say not unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven.”

(I don’t think Jesus was telling us to be ‘door mats’, allowing people to continually walk over us, especially if it’s family, church, or work place problems.  As Christians, we need to forgive, but we don’t need to be buddy buddies.  Even if they don’t ask forgiveness, in Mark 11:25, Jesus says forgive anyway.  God knows that this is the best thing to do for our spiritual, mental, and physical health.)

As I write this and think about the words of Jesus when He told Peter to “forgive seventy times seven”, it suddenly dawns on me how glad and thankful I am that Jesus said that because of the many times a day that I need His forgiveness!  None of us are perfect, and at the end of each day we need to ask God to forgive our unintentional and intentional sins.  Praise God that He will forgive more than seventy times seven!

Psalm 145:8
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and RICH in LOVE!”

Colossians 3:12
“God’s chosen people, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

(Some people see the above qualities as weakness, but it takes a quite strength to reply to anger with kindness and patience.)

Proverbs 16:32
“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.”

Proverbs 11: 25
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

May God help us to be kind, forgiving, compassionate, and patient people who live lives that bless others.

Beverley Carter

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