Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Forgiveness

Anger is a compelling feeling to which many take action upon. It nearly consumes you. The emotional reaction affects your verbal or physical response. It’s a negative emotion, to which a lot of people give into. In fact, a lot of studies show that people, who get angry often, usually are at greater risks for high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. This emotion isn’t only dangerous for other people around you; it’s dangerous for you as well.

I’m no stranger when it comes to popping my own cork. I tend to lash out with words, or sometimes, as my sisters will say, I have a “poison pen”. If one of my sisters upsets me in some way, I’ll send them a very powerful and angry email. These are first responses. I usually never wait for the second response, which is a calmer approach to it all. They always say to wait 24 hours before you respond to something while being angry.

Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. ~Psalm 4:4

It’s so hard to not respond to something or someone who has angered or upset you. If we wait long enough, we’ll probably forget about why we were angry. (Which is part of the reason why I react so much!) But, in the bigger scope of things, it’s “wiser” to take that risk of “forgetting”, and wait it out. Usually, I see the entire argument or conflict in a different light. Sometimes, I wonder how I even got angry at such a trivial thing.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger. ~Proverbs 15:1

The other day, (which is in my previous post), when I finally popped my cork at my father, I could have changed that whole situation by calming him down with a gentle answer. I want to say that he got me at a very bad time----but that’s no excuse. I want to say that it has been a hell of a week for me, but again, that’s pointing the blame on something else.

People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs. ~Proverbs 19:11

Even though my father was wrong about his accusations, I should have been calmer and more understanding to why he thought it was me who didn’t lock the main doors. I should have been more empathetic to his concerns. His concerns were valid. By lashing out at his wrongful accusations, I was basically telling him that his worries about people walking into the building were silly or irrational, which made him angrier.

Action/reaction.

Even with our significant other, we seem to sometimes possess the one thing that stirs up anger: jealousy.

A relaxed attitude lengthens life; jealousy rots it away. ~Proverbs 14:30

Of course, in Corinthians, it states that “love” is not jealous. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has had that tinge of jealousy throughout their course of their relationship. It’s normal, but if you let it consume you, it’ll rot out the entire relationship. I have a close friend of mine who is in the music business. She has a Myspace account, to which she has over 1,000 people listed as her “friends”. Now of course, most of those people who are listed as “friends” are fans. They leave weird comments and sometimes very intimate ones. My friend’s partner obsesses over the website and gets upset whenever someone makes a sexual innuendo or gesture, showing that it “may” be more than a friendship. Everybody on those types of websites puts out these glittery little sexy comments- which mean absolutely nothing. It’s basically people who want to be seen or they want comments back on their own page. It’s nothing other than that. Her partner needs to take those comments with a grain of salt, since her girlfriend is out there in the public eye. If her partner cannot handle the volume of people that will approach her or doesn’t trust her, then the relationship will soon fade out unfortunately. Jealousy rots.

It’s harder to make amends with an offended friend than to capture a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with iron bars. ~Proverbs 18:19

Even in intimate relationships, arguments are going to be inevitable. It’s those arguments that you cannot repair; the ones that have offended one or both parties. You can always forgive, but like I always say, it’s so hard to forget! We’re human and we hold on to old wounds and scars. If we pick at them, they’ll resurface, making it a fresh new wound. It takes an awful lot to repair a damaged relationship. Sometimes, it’s best to go separate ways, but if you’re strong enough, you can look past the human flaws that we naturally have and make a new beginning. That’s up to the person who has been offended though. If you keep resentment in your heart, the relationship will always suffer. Let it go. Give it up to God and pray for strength and courage.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~Matthew 6:14-15

How can we expect to hold a grudge when God has given us mercy? We’re supposed to be more like Christ and forgive those who have wronged us. My mother always says that I’m quick with my temper, but also quick to forgive. I have a lot of work to do regarding my response to things, but all in all, my forgiveness is never ending.

Peter asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied, “Seventy times seven!” ~Matthew 18:21-22

God’s forgiveness is limitless. He wants us to be the same---the best we can, and to forgive those who offend us. If we’re not able to do this, we’ll never heal from the battle we were up against. It’ll fester in our hearts, eventually making us cold and bitter to those around us. We become numb to those who are trying their best to please us. We’ll lack trust for anyone who comes across our path. I know this all too well, because I was stuck in this same predicament. I still have to work on my trust issues. I’ve been hurt a lot in the past, which made me realize that I wasn’t letting go of it all. By letting it all go, I’ve managed to rebuild my trust up for those who truly deserve it.

You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. ~Colossians 3:13

21 comments:

Enemy of the Republic said...

Thank you for this. I need to forgive in huge piles. Some I have done and some needs the grace of God. Odd that you would write this when it is so on my mind--yet I feel confident that God will help me. You are always a joy to read.

channelofhealing said...

Hi Deb... forgiveness or forgiving someone or even yourself is something that only God's grace can carry you through it,
I have always had this approach to anger... I ask myself anytime that am angry... will I still feel this way tommorow or next? and if am not sure how I would feel I leave it to God but if am sure I will still be angry or feel hurt about the situation, I will go straight and pray to God and report the matter to Him for he is the only advocate i have so i let him judge me and the situation and if am wrong i repent and if the other person is wrong well at least am happy am not carrying a guilty concience around.
It all boils down to loving one another with all your heart and being able to forgive when offended
Godbless Deb

jkcookie said...

This was wonderful! And so true.
Rage runs in my family. Alcohol doesnt help either when it's involved. Ive tried everything I possibly can to keep my kid from witnessing it.
Awesome blog, Deb.

~Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Deb said...

Enemy: Thank you! I hope it helped. It helped me, since I still suffer with these issues myself. I tend to fall back on stuff I truly believe in, because I’m human…we all are. Hope you’re doing well!

Channelofhealing: I forgot to even touch upon that topic- to forgive yourself. That’s so important! Sometimes these issues are so trivial, and you’re right, ‘will this matter tomorrow’? Thank you so much for your input! I truly appreciate it!

Jkcooklie: Yeah, I find that when alcohol is involved, tempers seem to flare up more irrational than ever. It’s a shame that children have to witness it from adults. I’m sure you do a great job of protecting them. Thanks for stopping by and sharing that!

Art said...

Amen! Thank you Deb. I needed this - I am guilty too!

~Deb said...

Thanks, Art!

Margie said...

So very glad I came by to visit you again Deb!
I needed a break from all the packing and cleaning house before my big trip.

Your words always carry so much meaning!
Thanks my friend!
You are a truly beautiful person with the love of God in your heart!
God bless you, always!

I'll be back from Nova Scotia Sept 6th, and will try and have a new post up shortly after my return.

See you soon!
Take good care of yourself!
((((HUGS)))

Margie

~Deb said...

Thank you so much, Margie. As I go through my own struggles with these issues, it helps me to read the bible, especially proverbs to see what anger can do, as well as not forgiving someone for their wrongs.

I hope you have a great time in Nova Scotia! I hear there's a lot of delicious salmon and seafood up there! Take some photos so I can see what it's like!

Have a safe trip! Talk to you soon!

thewishfulwriter said...

ahhh..anger. i am really working on this. and patience. working on that too.

I know i can have an acidic tone when i get frustrated or angry and that tone has caused problems for me in the past- particularly at home.

I've been challenged to really examine myself and why I react the way I do. If I'm honest, a lot of it has to do with my need to control my surroundings. I hate that answer. but it's an honest one.

When I cant control it, I get angry or frustrated and all my words come out sideways.

I'm working on letting that go...NOT controlling. Breathing through the frustrating moments.

Your post is excellent. Thank you for the scriptures. I've made note of them.

Yoga Gal said...

Enjoyed reading your insights on "forgiveness"! Forgiveness is a grace.

Dan said...

Anger is so insidious, isn't it? It saps us of positive energy, leaves negative energy and eats away at our soul.

One strategy I use to deal with it is to ask myself, when encountering a person or situation that angers me, what is this person or situation trying to teach me.

When there is no conflict, there is almost nothing to learn. When I am angry, I can learn so much.

yrautca said...

wow this is deep stuff. i usually dont find myself out of words but i am out of depth here.

Catch said...

As I grow older, it takes me so much longer to get angry. And grudges are a thing of the past. I am finally becoming the person I wish I had always been. More understanding, more caring, less judgemental....maybe it comes with age. My faith has helped me through so much of it...I cant imagine how you get through any of it if you have no faith.

~Dawn C said...

I read one time that the answer to a long and happy relationship is to pick 10 things you don't like about them and then put those on the automatic forgiveness list

I always forget what my ten are, so that makes forgiving very easy... {wink!}

Larry said...

Good post and I used to struggle with unforgiveness and my life was miserable in so many ways.

Once I finally let all the bitterness go and really forgive and forget, things became much brighter and has lasted.

DaBich said...

I've found that if I bring patience into play, I find it easier to master my anger. And boy, do I have a temper! lol
I am SLOWLY learning patience as the years go by.
I loved this post. Keep up the good work, Deb :)

~Deb said...

Thewishfulwriter: Anger and patience are the two things I struggle with myself. I think it’s just our human nature when the things around us are so stressful. Your need to control your surroundings has a lot to do with it. I find that whenever I let the control slip away, I’m happiest. When I get more anxiety, I try to regain that control back, which brings frustration if I don’t succeed. Thank you so much for opening up on my page! I really appreciate your honesty and openness.

Yoga gal: Thank you! Forgiveness IS grace!

Dan: It definitely does eats away at our souls. I wish I could sit there asking what who and what is trying to teach me, but my lack of patience kicks in and I become stubborn. I’m working on that one! You’re fortunate to accept the fact that problems are for learning- it’s so true! Thanks, Dan!

Yrautca: I’m sure that’s not the case… Thanks for stopping by!

Catch: Faith and having been through it all, from experience shows wisdom. I admire that about you, because I wish I could get to that level, but I’m just not there…”yet”. Faith is the one things that makes me stop and think… Thanks, Catch!

Dawn: When you said to pick the 10, I already had them listed! (ha) You’re absolutely right. Genuine forgiveness is completely forgetting. I love it! Thank you, Dawn!

Larry: It really does tear you up inside, doesn’t it? I’m glad that you’ve learned to let it go and realize it’s unhealthy. Thanks for stopping by!

Dabich: I know, patience has a lot to do with learning and growing, which I have a lot of that to do right now. I’m learning a lot by what all of you are telling me, which is why I write these types of post. I like to see how everyone else handles forgiveness or the lack thereof, and what they struggle with. It shows that we’re all human and that we all have these types of struggles. Thanks for sharing with me!

You guys are truly a blessing! :)

tkkerouac said...

Great post, and I think you are right about forgiving someone, but if you know this person to be forever trying to cause problems in your life with lies and creating negative attention for themselves,
then its best to forgive but not continue a relationship, to remain civil because you can't change other peoples characters.

Franco said...

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Bye

Franco

Michael O said...

Deb,
I love your new banner. It is so cool. My life still continues to be complicated. The Romania trip with my daughter was awesome.

Forgiveness is the air we breathe as Christians. Very liberating. It remains a very revolutionary concept, however,and one that takes all of the God in us to walk in.

Abba's,
Michael O