Forgiving the Unapologetic

Hello everyone! It definitely is 1:30 am on this lovely Tuesday morning. I just finished studying for exams and thought hey, let’s blog. I always have my best ideas when normal people are asleep. SO as I have mentioned on one or maybe more than one of my blogs, I have a group of wonderful friends who I do Bible study with, and we just did our last lesson in the book Seven Daily Sins by Jared C. Wilson (which I highly recommend, by the way). It’s based on the seven deadly sins, which are pride, greed, envy, lust, gluttony, sloth, and wrath. Wrath was this week. Every single lesson has hit me pretty hard, I’ll admit, but this lesson pretty much nailed me in the face. I think part of the reason why it really hit where it hurt was because I had no idea I struggled with wrath at all, really. That’s really scary to think about because it’s one thing to have a struggle and know that it’s a struggle, but being in sin and not even being aware that it really is a sin is totally mind-blowing when you realize what you’re doing. The same realization hit when we studied sloth, because I honestly never thought of my laziness or procrastination (which probably most of you know I’m really great at) as a sin.

First of all, wrath is not really the same thing as anger. It is not a sin to be angry. Jesus himself got angry when he strolled up to the church and found everybody trying to make it into a business instead of a place of worship. It is okay for us to be angry about spiritual things; if we never got angry, Christians would just stand passively by and watch the world turn the wrong direction. It even says in Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin, Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Basically, it’s how you deal with that anger. In Proverbs 29:11 it says “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.” It’s how we react to the anger inside of us that determines if we sin. Wrath is really just self-centered anger.

Isn’t it interesting how every single sin leads right back to selfishness? I mean, I never have given wrath much thought, because I honestly do not get angry that often, but I guess in the back of my mind I always thought it was justifiable in most cases- someone wronged someone else, and the person who is angry is really just a victim of someone else’s sin. I was very wrong about that. You see, when we are angry, we feel like we have been wronged and we want to get even. By being angry, we are basically saying that we don’t trust God to handle the situation properly, so we are going to take matters into our own hands. Romans 12:19 says “Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord.” I know what you’re thinking. WHAT you just said that wrath was a sin and God can’t sin and life is a lie and what is going on here goodbye forever miss perpetual happy FRAUD but chill out and let me explain myself. I was thinking the same thing, but in the lesson it explained that if wrath is self-centered anger, isn’t it okay for God to have self-centered anger? He’s God.

Anyways. Even if you are angry with someone and you don’t do anything crazy like try to get revenge or even tell them that you’re mad at all- it’s still a sin to have wrath inside of you. This is when I realized that I had such an issue with wrath. When someone really really hurts me, I don’t normally flip out on them and start their house on fire. I just carry around a resentment and bitterness in my heart towards them. I didn’t even realize really that I had all the wrath inside of me that I did, but once I realized that I had to catch my breath and pray for God to help me forgive. Because guys, truth is, if you keep this wrath inside of you, all you are doing is hurting yourself. The person you’re angry at isn’t being affected, justice isn’t somehow being served. Yeah, maybe they did really wrong you and maybe they aren’t even sorry about it, but regardless, they are feeling no pain by the fact that you are angry. That’s all on you.

I never have a problem forgiving people that apologize. Everybody makes mistakes right? I know I do. But the thing is, some people really aren’t sorry. That’s where I found my problem lies- having anger and resentment towards people who never told me they were sorry. Why should I forgive them if they haven’t even asked for it? They don’t care, why should I even try to get rid of my bitterness towards them? Selfishness is the root of all of these thoughts. Imagine if Jesus was hanging out one day before the big moment asking himself “Why should I die for these people? Why should I forgive them? They’re about to nail me to the cross and I’m about to die for their sins? No thanks I’m out of here.” Of course He didn’t do that. Instead, He said as these people crucify him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Now you tell me that someone doesn’t deserve your forgiveness. Maybe they really don’t, but we sure as heck didn’t deserve His. Being Christians means to strive to be like Christ, and Christ died for those who sinned against Him. He died for them. He died for us.

So long story short, I got rid of a whole lot of anger that was deep inside of my heart after reading this lesson. Admittedly, some of it is still there although I wish it wasn’t, and I’m praying that the Lord takes that away. But guys, there really is no upside to wrath. Life is so much happier when you replace your anger with thankfulness that you get to practice being like Jesus by being put in testing situations like being wronged by someone who doesn’t feel bad about it. It just gives you a whole new perspective when you think of it like that- How can I be like Jesus instead of How can I get even.

Hey, I love all of you so much and just thanks so much for all of you who actually read this! I have a whole 16 subscribers now… I guess this is what it feels like to be famous. I’m trying not to let it get to my head. 😉 But really, thanks to all of you who regularly read. You da best.

With love,

Claire

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