I have a friend who is chronically homeless. He isn’t homeless because he can’t find work, in fact, he lived with us for about a year and he had at least five jobs during that time. He would get a job and work about two or three weeks then he would have an explosion of anger and get fired or just walk off the job.
Here is a man whose life is controlled by anger. You know what the crazy thing is? He is angry at his father that he hasn’t even seen in about 30 years. He doesn’t even know if his father is dead or alive, but he is still angry with him.
He has kept careful record in his mind of the bad things his father did to him. His most commonly repeated story is the time his father locked him out of the house for three days in the winter. He not only tells that story to whoever will listen but it is a tape which plays over and over in his mind.
I have talked with him many times about forgiving his father and moving on with his life, but he won’t even consider it. Not only did this man’s father control his youth, now, from the grave, he controls his senior years.
David writes, “In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” He is talking about getting a hold of our thought life. When we are in our bed we should examine our heart to see what kind of thoughts have gotten put there throughout the day.
Do you spend time thinking about the wrongs others have done to you? Do you think about things you wish would happen to them? Maybe you even think what you would do to them if you were sure no one would ever find out.
This passage is calling us to consider the things that have made us angry and wash them out of our heart through prayer and forgiveness. The other person may never acknowledge your forgiveness but at least you will get a good nights sleep.
Prayer: Lord, help me to not allow angry thoughts to dominate my thinking. Give me the grace to forgive and let go. Amen.
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