Ok. So someone hurts your feelings. Or steals your parking spot. Maybe they are late to your event or didn’t RSVP. You’re angry.
Or…someone molested you, killed a relative, stole your creative work, broke their marriage vows, abandoned you. You’re REALLY angry.
You just can’t lay hurts like that down and call everything happy. You may want to. You may try. But it never magically goes away. I’m writing this post because letting go of anger is more than just trusting God to be just. It’s about looking at something that actually happened. That something that happened is as real and as horrible as what happened to you. That something can save those of us who are REALLY angry. In fact it saves us TWICE.
When we have been hurt, deeply hurt, we cry. Elementary. The tears heal and they let others know we suffer. Something else is born in us, too, though you might not believe it. A cry for justice. You can deny it but it’s true. It’s actually not a bad thing in itself. It shows that what was lost has intrinsic value. That cry is a kind of anger. Here’s the clincher. Your need for justice has been satisfied. You didn’t even have to fill out a report, call a lawyer, or attend a court date. No jury deliberations necessary. God knew every wrong that would happen to you and kept a record. And He exacted justice. About two thousand years ago.
You can have a front row seat to that event. In fact, you probably should take one. If you have a deep hurt it’s the next thing you should do after reading this post. Go somewhere by yourself and take that hurt to an ugly hill with three crosses on it. On one cross is an innocent man. He’s been nailed there and left to die. His name is Jesus. You can imagine a crucifixion. Stay long enough until you realize that God exacted justice for your hurt on Him. I don’t know how long you will need to see Jesus writhing there before you realize that He took your perpetrator’s punishment in full. It will happen though. At that point you will have been saved from your cry for justice. Each time the anger comes back take it to the cross and you will realize it again. But it will take less time.
Be sure to do one more thing before you leave the cross. Stay there long enough to realize how many of your actions Christ suffered over. You’ve hurt others and offended God with your sin. Accept that He took that punishment for you, and let Him be Lord of your life. At that point you have been saved TWICE. Once from anger and once from your own unrighteousness.
What a Savior!
If you want to know more about this awesome God who loves you this much you can send me a reply or simply visit my church’s website at www.clovisevfree.org. We have great pastors and elders who would love to talk to you. (And some great sermons to hear, too.)
Anger is a complicated emotion. I didn’t get a degree in psychology but I have been a human for 39 years. In my experience…it’s complicated. Letting go of it is even more of a puzzle. I think that there is a very logical reason for this…anger is very logical. And because our anger towards a situation can be reasonable, at first glance, it seems irrational to let it go.
“What about justice?”
“They need to be taught a lesson.”
“They were wrong.”
“Somebody needs to know.”
These are just some of the thoughts that fuel the enmity we hold against our offenders. We shouldn’t deny these feelings and desires. Being made in the image of God, we want justice, as He does. What we must do is submit these situations to our Father in heaven, who asks us to leave judgment to Him. If we deny our hurts or need for justice we are doing something futile, like trying to hold a beach ball under the water. It can’t be done without exerting constant energy which wears us down in body and spirit. I think the only true hope for dealing with our anger is to acknowledge the wrong and then take God at His marvelous word.
He will repay. He will teach. He will correct. He knows. He can do it well. And He loves us exquisitely in the meantime.
“You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies.” Psalm 23 (emphasis added)
Supreme Court Justice Ginsberg sent chills down the spines of many Americans when she recently advocated abortion to control “populations we don’t want too many of.” She laments the lack of federal funding for abortions because this limits the access of poor women to abortion…of which whose children she apparently doesn’t want “too many”. I stuggled with my thesaurus to find a descriptive word for someone with such a view of themselves and their fellow man. Bigot? I’m not sure. Elitist? Definately…but that doesn’t go far enough. Elitists consider themselves better than others but those who advocate the death of people they don’t value are in an altogether different category. What do we call Hitler, klansmen, Stalin, anti-Semities? We know them more by name…their infamy is so great. They stand alone, iconic symbols of the depths of cruelty attainable by man. They remind us that the sane and educated can commit insane atrocities when they forget that there is a Lord and He tells us how to treat each other. As stated in Leviticus 19 the Creator of every man says, “15“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor… and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.”
Chief Justice Ginsberg, in her court, where there should be no injustice, wants deference to the great. By advocating abortions to control undesirable populations she “stands against the life of [her] neighbor.” It’s time to reason frankly with one another and to speak plainly. No one is better than anyone else. All human beings, rich or poor, smart or delayed, beautiful or deformed, have value because their Creator says they are made in His image. We are commanded not to oppress our neighbors or to stand against their lives.
Justice Ginsberg is elderly and has cancer, but she is still valuable to God and to me. I will value her life even if when her disease makes her confused, unattractive, and burdensome. She needs to do the same for her fellow man. If this is all a nightmarish misunderstanding of her views toward the subject of abortion and certain “populations”, I hope she won’t hesitate to clarify her stance. It would be a relief to many.
God sees the strife of the nations. The Bible is replete with passages that talk of His concern for the oppressed. It is totally within His power to call up leaders who can accomplish His plan and do it well, without falling prey to the vices of ambition. Let us pray fervently for places like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, etc…anywhere we see people hungering for freedom or striving to protect it. Let’s anticipate and watch for God’s answer and rejoice when we see it!
I Samuel 12
6Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the LORD who raised up Moses and Aaron, and who brought your fathers up from the land of Egypt.”
“ 23Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way.” (Samuel)
Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger….
What a thought! God had ordained, decided ahead of time, to use the new generations to do His work in sharing His truth and love with the world. There will always be new minds and hearts ready and able to do a work of good in the world. How awesome! Evil will never go unchecked 🙂