(My dear people, it has been quite a while. So many things have been happening and preventing me from writing though, not that the desire was lacking. I believe and pray that you are more blessed than always and that this piece meets you well).
Very often I get entangled with the question of offence. I recently read a book by Kenneth Hagin in which he wrote on offence and how it hampers blessings in people’s lives. I got quite fascinated with the subject and decided to read up some more on it. I referred to the scriptures and the words of Christ on offence. He began to teach me the actual depths of offence and why it made no sense to hold on to grudges. Literally.
As I read and asked I understood the more. I saw how the one who holds on to a grudge only imprisons himself whereas his offender may even be unaware that anyone was angry at him. I understood that God forgives us so that we can equally forgive those who hurt us. I understood that offence hinders answers to prayers. I understood that offerings given to God from a heart harbouring offence are as good as wasted.
Anger is a natural emotion. It is normal to get angry. Different things get each of us angry. Anger can be good and anger can be bad. The question however is, what do you do with your anger?
Many children of God do not understand that they are not meant to “stay” angry. This is not to say that they are not to get angry, rather it is to say do not stay angry. Anger in that sense has been removed from your DNA. Vengeance is God’s.
The human heart was not created to harbour anger and offence. It was made to contain it only for a little while at a time. The benefits of letting go of anger are even reaped by the one who forgives. Forgiveness is very important to God and it is highly important that we know this.
The prayer of forgiveness is one that has conditions attached to it. We are forgiven that we may forgive. We are shown mercy that we may show mercy. The one whose life is marked with bitterness does not progress much.
It is so important that Christ instructs us to go and make amends with those we have offended before we bring gifts before God! It is two ways. We forgive. And we apologise where we are the offenders. A heart devoid of anger and bitterness is one that will receive abundant favour from God.
Recently I had to try to understand why I was getting angry quite easily. The more I tried the clearer it became. I was getting angry at the way people around me behaved especially on the road. Drivers care nothing for others in this city.
I like calm. No. I love calm. It is very important to me as a person. I find however that the only way I can maintain absolute calm is by being alone. But how is this possible in this life (or in any other life?)? You get the picture. So, everyday we go out and we interact with people. We share spaces and public utilities. And oh dear, people can be very unbelievably selfish!
So I was getting quite piqued and I slowed down to think. And I “remembered”, that humans will always be humans. It sounds simple.
The conversation below partly reflects my learning on why you and I as children of God should be slow to anger and why we should be quick to forgive people around us in general, friends and foes.
Abdul: When children behave like children does it offend you? I had a thought while driving this morning
Phebe: No. Not at all
Abdul: I had thoughts on dealing with offence. So children being children don’t offend you. Why then do unregenerate people offend us just by being who they are?
Phebe: Hmmmmmm……Maybe because they lack common sense
Abdul: Can they behave better than their innate nature? Could we behave better than we did before we met Christ? Common sense is part of it. But remember humans beings are like sheep. What I got from the thought is that for my own good and safety, since I don’t get offended by children I should not get offended by sinners being sinners. Because I’m supposed to understand since I was once a sinner. And since this is the only way many know how to behave I who understand should not stress myself. When people misbehave I should remember being a parent
Phebe: Thank God for wisdom
Abdul: Thank God
Phebe: The bible actually makes it clear that we are saved by grace and that we were all sinners before
Abdul: Romans 7. Paraphrased: “I want to do good but I find that I can’t. I do what I wish I would not do. But when it’s to do good my mind rejects it and I end up doing wrong” – Paul. This is the nature of some people. Romans 6 talks of being a slave to sin. You know sin is a master. A strong master! It commands the entire person so he does even what repulses him but he can’t stop doing it! Think addiction as an example. I hated many things I did in the past but I couldn’t stop. Slavery to sin. Now we are slaves of righteousness! Same Romans 6! That’s the difference between us and how we were before; them. So rather than judge them, we are to shine our light. After all if there is no darkness, how can light shine? All light will be lost within other light!
Phebe: Such wisdom. God bless you.
Abdul: Amen! And you!
It is my prayer that you are as blessed by this post as I was. God bless you.
Scripture references: Romans 6 and 7. Matthew 5:21-26. Ephesians 2. Ephesians 4:26 & 31-32.