Monday, January 27, 2014

On anger.

I was recently invited to submit a short story for an anthology. I didn't think I'd submit anything, since I don't usually write short stories. Still, the people who'd invited me were friends, so I didn't want to let them down.

I ended up writing this story about a ghost. I didn't have even a tiny idea where the story was going, but as I went on, I realized what the truth in the story was.

The ghost was trapped outside of existence by her anger. She couldn't live, and she couldn't move on.

Sounds a lot like real life, doesn't it?

I mean, so many of us cling to anger. Like my ghost character, we do it without realizing it. And that anger keeps us trapped in a vicious circle of resentment and bitterness.

We can't just live our lives if we have anger in our hearts, so if you are carrying some anger around, I pray that you can find a way to forgive the person who angered you.

It's a difficult thing, I know. People hurt us all the time. They damage us, and forgiving them means we have to just let go of all that.

Which is the point.

I'm not saying you shouldn't get angry. That's impossible. But as it says in Ephesians 4:26 (New American Standard Bible):

BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger.

See when we're angry, the temptation to sin is always there, because any way you can think of to hurt the person back is sin. 

The thing is that sin doesn't only damage the person you hurt. It gets you too. It's the same thing with the person who hurt you. They're not getting away as scot free as you'd think. 

As for the second part of the verse, not letting the sun go down on our anger, that's so important. Anger festers when it's kept buried in our hearts, and it poisons us every day we keep it there. So long after the initial act/situation hurt us, we keep hurting ourselves by holding on to our anger. 

Don't do it! It's much easier to lay your anger at our Father's feet and let Him handle it. His judgement is always fair, and handing over our anger frees us. 

I pray that if you are hurt, or if you've been carrying anger and resentment around for some time, that God will give you the strength you need to escape the vicious circle. 


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I read once that holding onto anger is like drinking a poison and expecting the other person to die...really makes a person think doesn't it?

Julie Luek said...

Usually never a beneficial emotion to nurture, but it needs time. I imagine that schedule varies with the person and situation. I like what Optimistic said.

Sherry Ellis said...

Anger is a poison - but sometimes it's hard to let go. Thanks for sharing this!

Brandon Ax said...

It is one the emotions that can easily consume you. I am lucky that 'letting go' comes easy to me, but even I have held on to anger sometimes. It is funny how often the strongest anger comes from being hurt.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I agree that anger can really get the best of you. Though it can be very difficult, it is better to forgive and move on. Congrats on the anthology, Misha!


Shannon Lawrence said...

I do tend to hold onto anger, and have trouble letting it go, even when I desperately need to. Had a bad situation last week that is still festering, so this is a timely statement. And congrats on being asked to submit!

The Warrior Muse

Mike Keyton said...

Good advice. Easier said than done. Gets easier with age.