Put Down the Taser
Read: Proverbs 30:33 & Psalm 146:1-10
Susan’s words hit their target like a police taser. I immediately felt the sharpness of what was said and as the words soaked in, the pain intensified. As she stared into my eyes, I could see the coldness, the indifference. I knew our relationship had become strained but I never suspected things had reached this level. Anger pulsed through every word, delivering maximum shock, but I did not want to give her the satisfaction of seeing my hurt. Although numb and wounded, my defenses began to kick in. I wanted to retaliate. “Two can play at this,” I said to myself, but as I was taking aim something inside stopped me. I just stared back, saddened and thinking about how, just four months ago, we were such good friends, sharing joys, and consoling one another's pain. How did we get to this point? Where did all the anger and resentment come from?
Proverbs 30:33 warns us about the consequences of anger: “For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.” We should never be surprised with the cause-and-effect relationships in our lives. God’s Word is ripe with the knowledge, guidance and warnings we need; but following God’s sage wisdom often seems like our last resort, when all else has failed.
I have heard that holding onto anger is like consuming poison and waiting for the other person to become sick. Harboring, growing and nourishing anger damages us more than others. Resisting the instinct to hold a grudge is impossible without a relationship with Christ. In contrast, Psalm 146 describes what happens when our hope is based on a relationship with God: “He upholds the cause of the oppressed ... sets prisoners free ... loves the righteous.” A growing relationship with Christ allows us to put down our tasers and speak words of forgiveness and encouragement instead.
Think about the relationships in your life. What grudge do you need to let go of? Who do you need to forgive today?
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