Last Sunday Sonja’s message was on LOVE IS NOT EASILY ANGERED. She articulated seven types of anger that often lie hidden beneath the surface of our lives;
- Distorted Anger
Unresolved anger is like acid that will damage us as much or more than those it is poured on. Sometimes we speak of what is submerged under the surface of our lives, what lies hidden from everybody else (and often from ourselves). When we gather for worship and dig in the Word we begin to plunge beneath the surface. This is the beginning of wisdom, the journey of faith, the way to real spiritual growth: taking the plunge beneath the surface.
What does the Holy Spirit show you about what lies beneath the surface of your life? Are there some wrongs that need some forgiving or some old wounds that need some healing? Is there unresolved anger? So what do we need to do with anger? We need to gather at the Cross of Jesus Christ. At the cross we discover mercy! God’s mercy to ourselves and God’s mercy to the other. God is there, underneath each one of us, always cognizant of all that is hidden. God loves, God has mercy, God heals.
At the cross our forgiveness is paid in full! For me and for the other! Paul says “forgive each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) What is Paul’s point? Those who have been forgiven much are able to love and forgive much! So the secret of living this life of kindness and forgiveness is realizing the grace and mercy of God to us in Jesus Christ. And if you haven’t realized the greatness of this grace, I can tell you, you can’t do what the Bible says. In that area of deepest wounding and hurt in this life, there has to be more than someone telling you to ‘stop being bitter and start being kind and forgiving.’ There has to be more! There has to be an overwhelming experience of the forgiveness and love of God in your life. When you have been supernaturally touched by the Holy Spirit, cleansed of all your sin, experienced the love and forgiveness of Jesus you are set free to give your love and forgiveness to all persons.
When the missionaries in northern Alaska were translating the Bible into the language of the Eskimos, they discovered there was not word for forgiveness. After much patient listening they discovered a word that means ‘not being able to think about it anymore.’ That word was used throughout the translation to represent forgiveness, because God’s promise is “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34) In Corinthians Paul tells us that “love keeps no record of wrongs.”
Paul uses the normal word here for bookkeeping. Love does not keep a journal of wrongs. It doesn’t write down each injury done and keep the account open to be settled someday. Love keeps no record of wrongs. It does not dwell on past evil or wrongs. It destroys past mistakes. It does not grieve the Holy Spirit by holding on to past hurts and wrongs and living in bitterness (Ephesians 4:30-32). Love has a short memory when it is ill-treated and violated. Who am I keeping a book on? Are there some ledgers that I need to toss in the fireplace? What memories do I need to be healed from?
At worship this Sunday we will have an opportunity to offer to the Lord all the ‘record of wrongs’ that we hold on to! Pray that many will be released from anything that hinders their journey with Jesus!