This week in Prasso, I have been studying "Freedom from Anger." Now, the past few months, I have had alot of emphasis on anger, bitterness, forgiveness, and breaking down strongholds. I felt like I had moved past the anger thing. I guess I was wrong. Again. Just when I think God is done teaching me about something, he reminds me that will never done learning about his truths. In the study Monday, I revisited Job. I was again amazed at the way that God showed Himself to Job. In Job 42:5,6 Job finally repented and said that he had "heard of God" but now he was really seeing Him. I want to really see God.
In order to really see God, I must view anger the way that he does and deal with it the way He deals with anger. The Prasso lesson on Tuesday talked about how we often sin in our anger when we have anger over our rights being violated. I can see how this can be a problem in my life. I am seeing that even though I make a decision to forgive, I must continually agree with God about that decision, and watch that I don't develop anger and bitterness. This is especially true when I am forgiving someone who continues to hurt me. This is also made more difficult when I can see pain in my children.
I am learning about "rights." But God tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. This means that we are not our own. I am bought with a price. So when my "rights" are violated, and I am hurt, it is really the Holy Spirit that is hurt. I could insist that the pain is mine, but in Romans 12:1, God asks that we sacrifice our bodies for Him, and that this is reasonable.
I Peter 3:9 teaches that if we bless those who do evil to us, instead of doing evil back, we will be blessed. Ephesians 4:29 reminds us that our speech should be edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers. So I guess "getting even is out." Romans 12:19 tells us that we should not seek revenge, but leave vengeance to Him, he PROMISES to repay those who do evil to us. The next verse I read was the one that really struck me. Proverbs 24:17-18 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth; Lest the Lord see it, and it displeases Him, and he turneth away his wrath from him. This verse tells me that if I am trying to "get even" with someone, or if I even take pleasure in his trials, then God will turn his wrath away.
Do I want to get in the way of God dealing with someone who is hurting me?? Absolutely not! My reactions and actions toward one that is causing me pain should be loving, forgiving. Romans 12:20-21 teaches us that we should give food and drink to an enemy who is hungry and thirsty. This will "heap coals" on his head.
I got tripped up with Ephesians 4:32. It mentions being tenderhearted. I wanted to say "No God, I can't be tenderhearted, I am just getting to the place where my heart doesn't break every second of every day." How can I be tenderhearted and still protect my heart? God doesn't want me to build up a wall of defense around my heart. If I don't choose to continually forgive, and I try to protect my heart with human coping mechanisms, I will be right back where I started from, and have strongholds of bitterness in my heart.
Even if it hurts, I want to deal with anger and bitterness God's way, every day. God sees that hurt, he has a jar with all my tears. He also has a jar with all the tears of my daughters. I believe that God is working in the life of that person who hurts me. Even if I don't get to see what he is doing, by faith, I know that He is at work. God will be glorified. I believe that God is working in my life in this way to prepare me to deal with the pain that will accompany restoration.