Anger and Forgiveness
“You make me angry!” What causes you to be angry? Your spouse when she responds a certain way? The driver in front of you?
We all get angry. When a wrong has been done, you should be angry. Often people want help with how to respond when there is a wrong.
First-ask: Is this actually a wrong done against me? This is important because sometimes you and I get angry at things that are not necessarily wrong or sinful. You might have snapped at your wife, not because of what she did, but because you came home stressed out about work.
If you have been wronged, how do you respond? You might yell, walk away, be quick to speak and slow to listen.
When God has been wronged, how does He respond? If you have sinned against God with the same thing, 53 times, then the 54th time God says, “I forgive you”. Notice, God does not say I forgive you “Again,” as if he is still bitter from the last time you did the same thing.
Matthew 18:21,22 states, “Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Hebrews 8:12 states, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more”.
So what does God do? He remembers the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your good behavior and sobriety does not make God say, “I forgive you.” Just like your husband or wife’s good behavior does not lead you to forgive him or her. God remembers the Gospel (instead of your sin) by saying that your wrong towards your spouse is deserving of death and your good behavior for trying to make up for it is not enough. God does not shame you, saying you must pay for the wrong you did. Jesus has paid for you.
Questions to consider:
Do I feel bad for being angry or do I feel bad for how I responded when I was wronged?
What situations do I tend to feel wronged but are not actual wrongs against me?