“In your anger do not sin” Ephesians 4:26
I’m so thankful God doesn’t tell us not to get angry, b/c there are sho’nuff some things in this life to make you mad.
But I’ve seen once again (repeatedly) this week that He also won’t give us any excuse, no matter how valid we think our reasons are, for holding onto unforgiveness.
If you saw the footage of the family of the man in Cleveland offering forgiveness to their precious loved one’s killer, like me, you may have been reminded that we’re called to a level of forgiveness that can seem insane – incomprehensible – something beyond what’s possible for natural man.
Yes, I’m thankful God doesn’t tell us we can never feel hurt or angry. But He also comes to us right in the middle of searing, scorching hot pain and says, “Yeah, I know what they did was wrong. I know they have no excuse. I know it hurts like crazy. But don’t let their wrong actions cause you to become just as wrong in your response. Forgive. Walk in Love. Don’t return insult for insult or injury for injury. Entrust yourself and everything to Me. If there’s any vengeance to be doled out, that’s My job. Yes, at times you must confront the wrong – but in the right spirit.”
Can you feel the flesh being crucified? Sometimes I want to say, seriously God? How can You require this level of forgiveness? Don’t I have every right to at least think badly of them … even if You won’t let me act on those feelings?
But then He reminds us we’re only being called to forgive as we’ve been forgiven (Mt 18:21-35, Mt 6:14-15, Mk 11:25-26, Col 3;13). And while maybe we could have gotten away with harboring hidden internal sin under the OT external code of law, the royal law of Christ penetrates internally all the way to the heart. Jesus gave us a Higher Standard – one that only HE can help us live. So… God, please help us do this right, b/c we sure can’t do it without You.
“Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin” ~ Ephesians 4:26
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” I Peter 3:9
“When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]; but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly.” I Peter 2:23
“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13