Aren’t you tired of being mad all the time? It’s such a weary way to live. Aren’t you tired of holding onto that grudge you’ve held so long?
Your anger may be valid – you may indeed have been wronged, abandoned or abused. Or, the anger may be wrongly placed – you may think someone set out to hurt you but, in fact, it was a misunderstanding or you heard something repeated about you that was never said in the first place. Or, your anger may suppressed anger – this is the anger you’ve never dealt with. You never had the conversation to resolve it. You never got it out into the open. Instead, you stuffed it and it has smoldered in your heart.
Unresolved anger burns slowly until it erupts. It wreaks havoc on the person who carries it all those years and when it finally comes out, it can do great damage to all those on the receiving end of it.
God’s Word warns us about carrying anger …
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” James 1:19-21
Perhaps you’re holding on, so you can avenge the wrong. Imagine how powerful it would be to release the mission of righting every wrong. What if you instead trusted God, let Him handle all the details and you believed in forgiveness and extended forgiveness? When that happens, we are free.
Your flesh fights this…
“They really did me wrong”
“They really did abandon me”
“They threw it in my face”
Yes, that may be true but in order to deal with our anger, we must turn to face our own sin. We go to the Cross. The Cross is where you take this unresolved anger that is burning your up. At the Cross, we must face our own imperfection. When you’re locked into your anger, your flesh will refuse to see your own weakness and instead turns your attention to another’s weakness.
At the Cross, we are confronted with an ugly and beautiful truth at the same time. At the Cross, I see how God resolved His righteous anger towards me. First of all, He was angry with me. Forget the other person who hurt me, I have no righteousness of my own to present…
“They really did me wrong” – yeah, but long ago and many times, I wronged God.
“They really did abandon me” – yeah, but I abandoned God and turned to other idols.
“They threw it in my face” – yeah, but I frequently threw it in God’s face.
That truth is ugly. But it is also beautiful. Even though I spit in His face, turned to other idols and constantly rebelled against Him, God still pursued me and pursued me all the way to the death of His Son upon the Cross.
Ponder this. Who are you angry with? Your Father? Mother? Your older brother who belittled you? A coach who humiliated you? A boss who lied to you? An ex-wife or ex-girlfriend who betrayed you? What grudge are you holding onto?
Aren’t you tired of carrying this?