by Jane C. Myers
As a Christian, it is hard to share faults, but actually as someone said, “We are not perfect, just forgiven”. As I strive to draw closer to God to hear from Him, He is showing me things more clearly that I need to get rid of. I am an emotional person but emotions need to be expressed in the right way
I realize that I have anger that is just under the surface. I am easy going and nice, maybe too nice, so that I don’t let things that bother me out enough. Then they fester and sometimes come out in the wrong way.
I know that I shouldn’t have anger, or that I should deal with it since it is an emotion, and let go of it. You need to deal with it, not just push it down. Anger, if not dealt with the right was, can lead to either depression, bitterness, or more serious things.
But how do you deal with it? The first thing is to find out what causes the anger.. Sometimes it takes some digging to get below the surface to find out the causes.
Sometimes we think we have dealt with something and it comes back up. Sometimes it is new things that come on top of other things you thought you dealt with. I have forgiven certain people and then they show up again doing things that cause me to get angry all over again. In my case it was based on past things that this person had done then taken liberties to do other things that might have seemed harmless but were an affront to me.
I was going to just share without sharing who or what but guess it doesn’t make that much sense without explaining: My ex- husband left me when my children were 5&1/2 and 3 yrs old. He never was a father really after that- taking the kids out for a few hours here and there and then not at all for years. He was living a life definitely without God, living with a woman (there’s more to that but won’t go into it here) and drinking, etc.
Then comes the news that he has committed his life back to God. And now 20 yrs later he wants to have a relationship with his daughter and son. Thing is- my daughter is a missionary who is only home for a short time each year and each moment is precious with her. And my son is here but my ex doesn’t try hard enough to reach him. He expects to be there for his time schedule. I could go on… and my family reaches out to him. I have been the one to do everything and now that my children are grown, he has come back to God.
Anyway, it has been extremely hard to get over the anger when he tries to act like everything is fine now. I was unemployed a couple times and struggled to keep things going for years and now… So, it has become resentment, and is hard to “get over” especially since also the Church is not there for me.
Here is where I have to look directly at Jesus and see that He does love me and these things are for a reason. And that just as He died for my sin, He also died for my ex’s sin. Jesus’ Grace is for ALL people if we accept it. I may be acting as the “Elder brother”, but Jesus loves the elder brother just as much as He loves the Prodigal. I need forgiveness for my attitude as well as to forgive the one who has wronged me. What Jesus does in his heart is between him and Jesus; what Jesus does in my heart is between me and Jesus.
The one who comes back has missed out on all the years he was gone. I have had Jesus with me all these years even when I had trouble seeing Him. His Love is with me always. Now, I can forgive and can let go of the anger and resentment, because of His great Love for me.
Just as in this case, many times we get angry because we feel we aren’t getting what we deserve for what things we have done. We do good things and they aren’t appreciated. But the Bible says that “all our righteousness is as filthy rags”. Whatever we do will never compare to what He has done for us and what He is doing through us. And He was put to death even though He did marvelous things. (That may be simplifying it but it is true.) And whether people recognize what we have done or not, it is God who sees.
The main thing is, why are we doing good deeds? It should be not to please men anyway, but to please God. And He is already pleased with us. As our Father He loves everything we do for Him or try to do for Him. Whether we give “a cup of cold water in His name” or risk our lives to save another’s life, it is all for Him. So what does it really matter if we get the recognition here from men? It is from God we need to hear, “Welcome home thou good and faithful servant.”
Another reason we get angry is because of fear down under, fear that we won’t get notice or we won’t get something we want. Or fear that we will lose something. We may feel this “something” is natural and not something far out, like a million dollars, but rather, people in our lives, or to have money enough to survive. And when we do feel we have lost something or someone, we get angry. I do feel I have lost some special people in my life and that hurts. We think we will be miserable.
So, it is fear of loss underneath the anger. Fear also is not from God. It is not based on trust in God, that He will provide either people or things. It is not trusting that He has the best answer for us. If we feel that we are losing things and people or life doesn’t make sense, instead of getting angry at God, we/I should try to leave the situations in His Hands and leave them there. We must look to the unseen rather than the seen, that His ways are higher than ours. Someday we will understand it all.
I am still having difficulties with anger. I don’t always really trust God, but am trying. I think that one of the biggest things to help me at least is to focus and refocus on God’s love for me- I don’t have to worry about what happens with anyone else. He loves me the way I am. I am trying…That’s what it’s about, trying, maybe failing and falling, but getting back up again. And lots and lots of prayer. and teaching and/or studying. With each trial, we grow closer to God and are a witness to others.