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.
St. Paul offers a better way to finding peace despite the circumstances of our relationships in his 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,
And when you are the only one still holding onto it...
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!?! ARE you kidding me!! YOU Mean to tell me ... 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.
Don't Become the Monkey with an Orange
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. We are not only showing them Christ's more perfect way but also keeping right with God and we can surely get some enjoyment from that!
All rights reserved, Allison Gingras 2017
Column first appeared as a guest blog on MelissaKirk.org
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