Anger and unforgiveness

Scientific discoveries tell us that a trapped rattlesnake can become so aggressive and angry that it will bite itself. We could apply this to our lives too. 

When we get angry with someone, we are actually, in effect, inflicting more harm on ourselves than on those who we want to vent our anger upon. We end up spending sleepless nights, feelings of revenge and plans to react in aggression take the toll upon ourselves.

There is an old Chinese proverb that reads “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow”.

Saint Paul in his letter to the Christian community in Colossia advises, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14).  

Apostle James exhorts “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God,” (James 1:19-20).

Evangelist Billy Graham accounted that of most of the patients he visited in hospitals, many were struggling with anger and unforgiveness.  

He said, “ If these patients chose to forgive, they would recover and be discharged from the hospital”.

Anger is one of the most devastating emotions. It can lead to health complications and also a fracture in relationships.
With life on the fast-lane, tendencies to get angry are on the rise.

There can be anger between spouses, between parents and children, between friends and office colleagues and even anger over our own selves.

Acclaimed singer Marvin Gaye’s life ended in a tragedy on April 1, 1983. His own father shot him to death. Many months later, Gaye’s close friend, author David Ritz wrote Gaye’s biography titled ‘Divided Soul’.

He wrote, ‘Gaye was indeed a divided soul. He was part artist and part entertainer, part sinner and part saint, part macho man and part gentle man.’ Ritz also wrote on how Gaye’s childhood was tormented by cruelty inflicted upon him by his father. This had a terrible effect on his life.

Ritz said, “He really believed in Jesus a lot, but he could never apply the teaching of Jesus’ forgiveness to his own father.  In the end, it destroyed them both.”

Jesus teaches so vividly about the vanity of our worship when we carry hatred and unforgiveness in our heart. “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Mathew 5:23-24).

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