April 23, 2014
There is a saying I read somewhere that harboring anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Anger kills. It kills relationships, it kills joy, it kills peace, it sometimes even kills people. Anger is a horrible, venomous thing.
Certainly, there is plenty is this world to be angry about. People do horrendous things to one another for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes anger is justified, but more often than not, holding onto anger really hurts me so much more than it ever even bothers you. Often we may not even know we have angered (or hurt or judged) someone else (see the post from April 22nd), so they are walking around fine and dandy and we are the ones suffering.
There is someone I meet with who is harboring anger. It’s pitiful to watch their face and difficult to listen to their words as they talk about the wrongs done to them. While there is some legitimacy to their feeling as they do, they are the ones suffering so deeply. Their face is drawn, their body even bent with anger. And they have pushed away others not even connected to the events out of frustration. They can almost talk about nothing else, they are so consumed.
Believe me, I know it is difficult to forgive, especially when we perceive the other is not the least bit remorseful; when they act as if they have done nothing wrong. Truth is, they may not feel they have erred. But to watch what anger can do to the one holding on to it is painful. Oh, if we could only deeply understand we all are guilty (see Matthew 7.1-5) and forgive the other so that we can move on in joy.