It happens! Someone says or does something that hurts you. You feel insignificant, unappreciated, and disrespected. And almost spontaneously, that pain morphs into anger. And this precise moment is a devil of an opportunity.
Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry and yet do not sin;”
How I respond to this devil of an opportunity determines whether or not the devil has an opportunity. Ephesians 4:27
If I hang on to my anger, I will use my words to tear down and destroy. I will create an uproar. I will slander. I will harbor ill will and secretly watch for a chance to get even. I will nurture and cherish my bitterness. I will stay front and center.
If I let go of my anger, I will use my words to build up and edify. I will create unity. I will speak well of the one who hurt me. I will forgive. I will be tender-hearted. I will put others front and center.
If you’ve been deeply hurt, you know how difficult it is to let the anger go; And the deeper the hurt, the harder it is to let go.
In the middle of the passage about anger is the following verse:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Ephesians 4:30
Forgiveness happens only when we say ‘Yes’ to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. When He says, “Let it go!”, say ‘Yes’. And keep saying ‘yes’. He will do through you what you are unable to do yourself.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
We are in a spiritual battle, not with the people around us, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness. So do not give the devil an opportunity. Instead, give God an opportunity to work in you. Trust Him to work this for your good. Ephesians 6:10-12, Romans 8:26-30