Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill
Has your spouse ever made you really angry? Maybe he forgot to take out the trash for the third week in a row. Maybe he broke a promise to you that you were really counting on. Perhaps he made an important decision without conferring with you first. Perhaps the reason for your anger was pretty menial….but he caught you at a bad time.
Friend, I’d be lying if I said I never get angry with my husband. I do. Often. Sometimes I get really angry about really stupid things.
My hubby and I have this age-old tradition where no matter how busy our day has been, no matter what we have done that day, we set a time at the end of the night to watch one of our favourite Netflix series. We usually grab a little snack and just spend our last moments of the day relaxing together. Sounds nice, right? Well, if I’m being honest, on the really long, hard, stressful days….the sound of my hubby’s chewing makes me really angry. What’s worse than the chewing is the swallowing of that mouthful of snack. It seems agonizingly loud, friends. And it makes me really angry.
We all get angry. Sometimes we get angry for reasons that feel legit and justified. Other times, like my hubby’s chewing and swallowing, our reasoning is slightly off kilter.
There are two things that God has been working on my heart about regarding forgiveness.
1. Ask for it.
When we react in anger foolishly (like the example I shared about my hubby) it is our responsibility to ask for forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If we simply ask for forgiveness, God will continue to be faithful in keeping no record of our wrongs and forgiving us of our sins. Forget your pride, friend. Asking for forgiveness is SO important.
2. The other half of sorry.
There is more than just that flood of satisfaction when someone who has treated you wrongly apologizes. We have just as much responsibility when someone asks for our forgiveness; we must actually forgive them. How often do we walk away from an apology with bitterness still enveloping our hearts? If I’m still being honest…..I do it far too often. Our flesh is incapable of shrugging off hurt and bitter feelings. However, the Holy Spirit can and will help us with that as long as we ask Him to. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)
So friend, is there an area of your heart that God has given a little nudge after reading this post today? Do you need to improve on asking for forgiveness when you find yourself reacting in anger unnecessarily or does God desire you to improve on your ability to extend forgiveness? May I pray for you? “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25 NIV)
Father God, thank You so much for Your forgiveness and the healing, peace and joy that comes from the truth that You have indeed washed us white as snow. Jesus, I pray for my sisters who also struggle with asking for and extending forgiveness. I pray that Your Holy Spirit will encompass us with each opportunity that arises where we are able to utilize these powerful words: I am sorry or I forgive you. Bless each heart that reads this post today. In Jesus name, Amen.