By Guest Author and Blogger, Allison Gingras
Anger, hurt, and bitterness taking you down the wrong path?
Unresolved anger or hurt feelings only leads to bitterness, and that never leads any place good. Unfortunately, there are opportunities to be hurt in every relationship we are willing to engage in.
Work, school, home (especially home) – every time we say yes to growing closer to a person (regardless of the degree); we also say yes to the possibility of being hurt. So, it is a risk that we must be willing to take to reap the rewards of having meaningful human contact.
A better way.
In the letter to the Ephesians, we are given tasks for acquiring peace within our hearts. Admittedly, these aren’t easy.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
He often reminds us that Christ’s ways take perseverance and involve trials, suffering, and sacrifice. How many of us have troubled hearts because of unresolved disagreements or stifled hurt feelings?
After months of stewing over the behavior of a relative; I finally got up the nerve to meet with them and hash things out. I went on and on – probably for 15 minutes or so; about an incident that had left me so dejected. When I finished; they looked baffled. They had absolutely NO RECOLLECTION of the exchange at all! What!?! I missed hours of sleep; this consumed my thoughts for months, and you don’t even REMEMBER IT! This fueled my anger even more, mostly at myself for being so foolish. I had allowed my feelings to imprison me and the situation to take over my life. How many blessings have I missed being locked in the past?
“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord. Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.‘” Romans 12:17-20 NLT
Hence, it is far healthier, spiritually and mentally, to give those events and emotions over to God. Still, we struggle, believing that letting go of the pain means letting the offender off the hook. Trust me. God hasn’t missed it, and His Word assures us that He will serve justice– not in our time or way but His.
Instead, pray for that person – not as I once did, “Dear God, change them” but with a true heart of one who has been shown mercy themselves. “Dear God, bring them every blessing and grace they need to live in accordance with your will.”
If nothing else, as we are reminded in the Word, our kindness will baffle them, and we can surely get some enjoyment from that!
Allison Gingras is the founder of Reconciled To You and host of A Seeking Heart on Breadbox Media weekdays at 10 a.m. ET. Allison blogs, writes, and speaks about living an everyday life of faith. She created the Words With daily devotional app series, Words with Jesus, and offers presentations on forgiveness, trust, and lessons from the Blessed Mother.