Have you ever been angry with someone and that anger festered until you were on the verge of hate? Have you heard people say: “I can never forgive him/her”, “If they apologize I may be able to forgive.” How long and what harm is done to us when we hold on to unresolved anger. Many people have unresolved anger. It may be a friend that has betrayed you, an employer, or someone that abused you. You CAN forgive people when you are angry; however, is it that simple?
Some years ago I was angry with my supervisor on an issue I believed that demonstrated her lack of support and felt wronged. I was angry for some time. This anger festered and I realized it started to affect my work performance. One Sunday while we were having Communion the Pastor told us if we had unresolved issues with someone, first go to them and resolve the issues. I did just that. I discussed how I felt with my supervisor, we talked about the entire issue, she explained her position and actually apologized for giving me the feeling that she was not supportive. We resolved those issues and my anger was dealt with. I had past anger and just forgave the person I had anger with and it did not seem to satisfy me as much. However, when I confront those that transgress against me we enter into a conversation that offers reconciliation. This is supported by an article I read and offered, “forgiveness is solo while reconciliation is a joint venture.”
Anger is a roadblock to forgiveness and without forgiveness there can be no reconciliation. Dr Robert Jeffress, FBC Dallas has stated, “No decision is more difficult or more crucial than choosing to forgive those who wrong us. Forgiving others is one of the marks of a true disciple of Christ.” Anger is like a cancer that will destroy us if we don’t forgive! Anger also affects our relationships with others, especially when we slander and gossip about those who have offended us. Have you ever experience this? It is very difficult to resolve a friend’s anger issues with someone else.
Psychology Today has said, “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.” Think about that for just a moment. You are a prisoner of your anger and when you resolve the anger you are set free. If we are in need to forgive someone we must also attempt reconciliation. Forgiveness and reconciliation can lead to a stronger bond than previously existed. The longer anger is left unresolved the more harm it creates.
(Proverbs 29:22). Anger does not resolve sin, but incites sin — and multiplies it.
Real reconciliation means complete and authentic acceptance of one another. If you have unresolved anger issues reach out and reconcile those differences. Jesus’ sacrifice when he died for our sins is the ultimate reconciliation. We need to follow His example and follow His teachings and love our neighbor as ourselves and reconcile any anger we are holding onto.