Over the years I have had a number of coworkers who grew angry about something had done to them. I can understand being upset, yes, even angry when I am hurt by someone else. The level of anger I am speaking of however, is the kind where it becomes like another article of clothing the person wears every day. The glaring eyes, pursed lips, cold cordiality, and whatever non-verbal means are necessary to express their anger and disapproval. The angry person even going to extreme lengths to show how happy and kind they are with others, just to try to drill home the contrast.
Married couples are often told to, “Not let the sun go down on their anger.” It isn’t just husbands and wives who should be reminded of this, it is a life lesson that everyone needs to learn.
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold . . . 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. 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, (Ephesians 4:26-27, 29, 30-31, NIV).
Paul certainly knew the importance of not allowing anger to take root. Resolving issues that cause pain and misunderstanding between people; husbands and wives, siblings, friends, and even coworkers, allows for problems to not fester. Anger grows into bitterness and when bitterness takes hold, it’s very difficult to pull it out and get the whole root system.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “Holding a grudge against someone is like taking rat poison and waiting for the other guy to die.” If someone is angry with me, but doesn’t come to me and seek to restore the relationship, then I cannot address the issue. The anger is only going to continue to make the other person more upset, more cranky, and less likely to forgive. I will sleep fine, enjoy my day, and not be the worse for the situation. Not because I am dismissing the problem, but most likely because I don’t know what it is to fix it.
Anger, when allowed to grow unchecked becomes a dam holding back the grace and mercy that could be flowing freely between them. This is not the way that Christ calls us to be toward each other. We are to resolve our issues quickly, let go of the desire to cause the other person pain, and instead restore and rebuilt the community that was lost.
Best Beloved, I do not know what is in your heart today. I do know carrying over things from last week, last year, and even the last fifteen years, is only breaking your spirit. Release it. Forgiving the other person isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It’s knowing that in the long run, God is in charge, He will take care of you. He will take care of the other person, too.
Clear out the bitterness that is rotting in your soul and allow the sweetness of mercy and grace to flow in you again. It’s time.
Blessings to you in 2020,