Anger, Bitterness, and Forgiveness
I recently had the opportunity to preach at the local Episcopal Church English service. This is the third time I have had the honor and privilege of doing so – something I enjoy doing but always feel completely unqualified to do.
I spoke about anger, bitterness, and forgiveness. Isaiah 53:4-12 and Ephesians 4:25-32 served as my main texts. I had the pleasure of involving several of my friends by having them read short verses throughout my preaching. Though most people were reluctant initially to read because of fear of public speaking, or fear of not pronouncing things well in English, with some coaching and coxing all asked agreed in the end and were excited about participating. Even Gaby Masso read a verse and did a fantastic job!
It was a very personal topic and very convicting. I probably learned more about myself and my tendencies through this sermon preparation than I could ever hope to teach others. I have a habit of letting other peoples’ anger and bitterness invoke anger and bitterness within me! I have to work hard and be very conscious of my feelings in this area in an effort to not give the Devil a stronghold in my life. I’ve seen many angry and bitter people, and when I look in the mirror, I don’t want to be one of them!
I am honored and privileged to play a small part in what God is doing in Mundri. I am very thankful for how God has been leading me and teaching me, though the lessons are not always easy. Despite the multitude of blessings, there are a couple things that are not so great about my life here, and I am currently trying to wade through those issues and change the things in which I have control over. Throughout this process, I am ever reminded that God is in control, and his plans are not always our plans, but his plans are so much better.
When I think of the forgiveness that God has shown me, not because I am worthy, but because of his mercy, it is easier for me to forgive others. Jesus bore God’s wrath and anger on my behalf when he hung on the cross – he thought not of himself, but of me.
From the depths of my despair I call to you, Lord. Hear my cry, O Lord; listen to my call for help! If you kept a record of our sins, who could escape being condemned? But you forgive us, so that we should stand in awe of you.