By REV. TIMOTHY L. MELTON, PASTEUR
CHEROKEE PENTECOSTAL CHURCH
Read Proverbs 25:28
We each must learn to best deal with the volatile emotion of anger that can arise only in our daily life together on this Earth. Frictions occur with each person, especially when we do not leave enough space to sometimes exist between us. The best way to ensure a peaceful world is to recognize that borders are really a necessary element.
The limits set are for our own protection and that of our family, and are not intended or designed to “imprison” or infringe upon anyone. They allow each of us to have beneficial control over circumstances and responsibilities. We must learn to set limits and take responsibility for ruling over our own minds and flesh.
Anger is rarely, if ever, helpful and can be more harmful to yourself and to others. Read Psalm 37: 8 and Proverbs 22:24. Anger is also very contagious. Also, ladies, look at Proverbs 21:19. We are also given Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin. May the sun not set on anger.
Once this path has been walked, there is only the grace of forgiveness, which can be sought first, by asking for it, both from the offended person and from the one who committed the offense. Then forgiveness should also be asked of God, by the offended and the offended.
Read Matthew 18: 21-35
As Christians, Christ told us that we must forgive others, even before they ask for forgiveness. Being pure and holy, forgiveness frees everyone from their debts. Allowing anger and keeping unpardonous hold only those who do not forgive as a prisoner. Not to be forgiven or forgiven leads to the development of a cynical nature. The saddest thing but true is that when we accuse someone of being ruthless it can become a tool of the enemy.
Follow Jesus’ example of his compassion for all mankind by forgiving everyone. It speaks to hearts when done in this way, to free everyone from blame and is our example of an ability to truly forgive. To control anger, we must learn to be in self-control with the courage and desire to forgive. Expressions of anger are not acceptable, as anger immediately begins to take hold in our thinking. It can take you prisoner and hold you back, and the person who may have offended you may not even realize that they have offended you. It hardly ever affects whoever you go crazy against and they quickly forget.
Everyone has heard of the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys. No one ultimately even remembered what sparked the feud and was too embarrassed to admit it. They had no words and looked like fools.
Some people who hold on to their anger only become happy when they seem miserable. Filling with bitterness and being ruthless leads them to a cynical view, which can eventually cause one person to turn around and eventually blame an entire race of people.
We do not have the right not to forgive, because it becomes the enemy’s tool. I have seen people fighting for church seats or for pieces of chicken at a church party. They can be victimized twice which can ruin their entire life. We should all learn to forgive immediately and open the doors of these “prisons”, let them go and let them go, so that we never have to maintain these prisons. Let them go!
Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness. Do it forever. You can always start asking the “Lord to bless their little pea-picking hearts,” even before they start asking for forgiveness. Who do we think we are? We have been forgiven for all or for our sins, and we cannot forgive something that was only a little offensive?
Mark 11:25 adds that we literally cannot enter His Presence without forgiveness, we would be in breach. Ephesians 4:32. Preemptive strike is all about being kind and tender. Matthew 6:15. Not to forgive is a sin. Forgiveness sets us free. “We forgive you and love you,” the people of that Charleston church would say to this murderer. They knew they would no longer be victims if they forgave him.
James 5:16 says that if we cannot forgive we cannot be healed. Luke 6:27 says that if you turn against each other, it binds the hands of the Lord. We must love our enemies, love those who hate you, be kind. Colossians 3:13. Accept each other, forgive them on purpose. Psalm 103: 10-14, Proverbs 10:12