Day 5: Fast to Forgiveness

Read: James 1:19-21

I was angry for a long time. My anger was desperate filled my every thought. When I was young, I was sexually abused. I suppressed the experience for so long that when I finally opened up, I became filled with hate. I was angry at how much they hurt me. I was angry at how much it impacted me. I was angry at the way it felt when I told my mother and saw her tears. She didn’t deserve to feel guilty; the person who did this did.

The anger consumed me. They were long out of my life, so my anger was only hurting myself and those who loved me. I was bitter and broken as I held on to my victimhood and fell into a deep, dark depression. I needed to let go of my anger and forgive for my own sake.

James 1:19-21 says, “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. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

People are going to hurt us. They will fail us and let us down. Every person is a fallen creature and a sinner. God commands us to forgive one another. Through forgiveness, we release our heart from the tight grip of anger and show the grace God has given us as we display it to others. God isn’t calling us to let people walk all over us, but He is telling us to be compassionate towards others. This is not because they deserve it, but because God has shown us compassion when we absolutely did not deserve it. We should go to God asking Him to teach us meekness and to help us not to let anger consume us.

God desires us to stand firm in three ways when trials with others come our way. He asks we be quick to listen to others and try to understand their point of view. He asks we be slow to speak. We cannot take back the words. It’s easy to say things we don’t mean in a moment of pure emotion. We say things that hurt and destroy relationships, yet God is telling us to take a step back, breathe, and think through our word choice towards each other. Lastly, God commands us to be slow to anger. The phrase “slow to anger” is found numerous times throughout the Bible.  Anger is consuming, whether it is over being cut off in traffic, a friend lying to us, a co-worker’s snarky comment, a professor who grades harshly, or a hurt that is so bad it seems impossible to forgive. God calls us to not go straight into anger, but straight to Him.

Think of one person you need to forgive. Take time to ask for God’s help to let go of any anger towards that person, then take time to praise God for forgiving you for all you have done. Consider even seeking forgiveness from that person. Ask them to forgive you for not being quick to hear, slow to speak, or slow to anger.

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