Battling Bitterness and Anger

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Originally written in 2011 for a class assignment at LUsheep

For many years I battled anger and bitterness over situations in my life. I wrestled with God over whether things were “fair” or not. I frequently wanted to complain. I wanted to see God get even with people on my behalf (Piously I knew that vengeance belong to the Lord) and I even dwelt on ways that God might accomplish my vengeance. I harbored much displaced anger; lashing out at those I loved the most. God convicted me of my sin through two verses in Ephesians. The verses are Ephesians 4:31-32. As I was teaching my little ones verse 32, “Be ye kind” I felt the need to look up the verse in context. As I read these verses I realized that I was incapable of being kind without throwing out all the bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice that welled up in my heart and spewed out of my mouth and through my actions. Not only must I put these terrible things away but I must actively replace them with good things: kindness, empathy, forgiveness. The last part of the verse was an indictment to me. My motivation for doing these things is not so I will be happy but because Christ bore the ultimate unfairness so that God could forgive my wicked soul. How could I hold myself to be better than God and declare my right to be unforgiving and decide what is fair and what is not? At the time, I did not feel like repenting over my sin. In a heart to heart conversation with God I told Him how I felt and that I knew it offended Him. I also related to Him that I didn’t know how to repent over this issue and was incapable of doing so.

I learned that this was the place I needed to be. Repentance isn’t just feeling bad about the wrong in my heart. It is agreeing with God about my condition and understanding I am powerless to change myself. Through repentance God has taken my anger issues and has controlled them for me. Only when I allow myself to be caught up in the situation and not the Savior do I have issues with anger any more. This change of disposition did not happen over night. Each time I felt anger growing the Holy Spirit would  speak to me through the scripture. Asking for forgiveness and a new thought pattern has to be immediate. I still practice quoting these verses on a regular basis and teach them to my children at school. They have changed my life and the lives of my children.  “Great is Thy faithfulness!”

 

 

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