Not Just Another Forgiveness Teaching

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Anger isn't bad.

It's what we do with that anger that can be very bad. Feeling a justified emotion is not a sin, but acting bitterly, unkindly, rudely and punitively is.

God doesn't say, "Don't get angry." God says, "Don't sin in your anger."

It isn't a bad emotion, it's a valid emotion God gave us to signal that something is wrong... that something needs to be dealt with.

God gets angry... and I am made in His image.

What about the Old Testament?  God has some righteous anger at Israel... it's justified and often acted upon but always with the purpose of drawing His people back to Him. Responding to my anger with the purpose of just simply punishing is wrong, but taking my anger to God and asking Him to give me wise ways to deal with it... that's good.

I have read back through my blogs, and I don't see that I'm sinning in my anger at my ex-husband. I admit I have anger towards him at times... again, human. But I truly am trying to not sin in my anger.

The amazing thing is that God uses my anger to draw me closer to Him. He's cool that way. He uses everything in our lives—if we will let Him—to draw us closer to Him. He sanctifies us in the most amazing ways.

So despite what some people say or think, I do think I'm in a good place. I'm forgiven and I'm learning to continually forgive... so far I think I'm on step 659... :)

Father, guard us against being prideful, bitter and angry. Soften our hearts, "renew a right spirit" within us, and give us compassion for our ex-spouses (Psalm 51:10). Please help us be like Christ. It seems impossible at times, but You tell us that we "can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens" us (Philippians 4:13), and we ask that You would give us strength to forgive 70×7 times because forgiveness gives us the ability to move forward and enables us to be used by You. God, help us give our children the gift of a forgiving, loving parent. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Sue Birdseye is an author and single mom of five kids that range from 4-years-old to 17-years-old. Her book, When Happily Ever After Shatters (Tyndale House) is in bookstores. This is adapted from her blog, uptomytoes.com.

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