“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Do you realize that it is so hard to forgive and move past the bitterness and hatred? In fact, sometimes, some negative emotion comes to life when we see or meet the one wronged us. It makes us irritable to those with whom we relate on a daily basis. We rarely remember that GOD showed us mercy and continues to do so on a daily basis. We forget that just as we were hurt so do we hurt others without intending to but also intentionally sometimes. We also forget that by holding on to anger and bitterness we hold on to a life of misery.
Today, I came across a certain post, on Facebook, which talked about love. It boasted of some very nice words and I instantly ‘shared it’ on my Timeline. Now, as I read what other people had commented, I came across a certain man who had been very hurt by one woman. He was very explicit in describing what she did to him and, in just a few seconds, I knew about the love life of a total stranger! The bitterness that he felt was so strong that I pitied him. It was obvious that he was still hurting. His post and a couple of others who had been hurt as well seemed out of place among many others who ‘oohhhed and ahhed’ about the beautiful words in the message.
I did not only pity him but I was very amused. In fact, I laughed as I read more of his comments. It was funny because it was so out of place.
It seemed as if the day had been designed for hurting men because, later on, I happened to be riding on the typical Ugandan taxi when I noticed something similar with the driver. Now, you will know what I am talking about if you have ever taken a ride on the Ugandan taxi if I say that it was not easy getting out of the Old taxi park. You see, a taxi parked right in front of us as we made our way out of the park and getting it to move was a trick. The driver was not shy in the choice of words that he used to express his dissatisfaction and I smiled to myself even as I prayed for GOD to sort it out. Eventually, the way was cleared and we began to exit once more. Nonetheless, I noticed that the driver went about cussing every other driver that he met on the way and I realized that there was something wrong with him. It did not make matters easier when I noticed that he did not have a conductor. Maybe, no one could stand him!
Now, these two incidents were similar in a way that both men were very angry and very bitter. It was evident, in the second scenario, that the taxi driver was either bitter about something that had happened sometime in his life or was just wired that way. In fact, when I later got a glimpse of him I was shocked to realize that he was not too old to be that surly.
How often do we let one person or one circumstance determine the way we act and relate with others? It is hardly surprising that, sometimes, the person who made us angry, cheated on us, or treated us in a bad way, does not even remember what he or she did – he or she moved on and left us in the ‘same place’. We become so irritable that no one can stand us anymore! In fact, we judge everyone else according to that one person and write off the entire world based on that!
We should free ourselves and move on. We should learn to ‘forgive them for they know not what they are doing’! When we ‘release’ those who hurt us, we release ourselves to love again and to appreciate love again. We learn to live again!
Dear GOD, I acknowledge that I am irritable sometimes. I know that it is because I am still very angry at (......) for what he or she did to me. That person wronged me in a way that I had never thought I could be wronged by the one that I loved and did so much for – I felt betrayed. I found it hard to forgive that person then and I still find it hard to forgive him or her now. Please help me. Give me the mercy that you had for me when you sent your Son to die for me on the Cross. I know that you still have the same mercy because your mercy endures forever! Give me the grace to show that person the same mercy that you continue showing me every day. I now give you my heart so that you can clean it of all anger, bitterness, and lack of mercy. I thank you, LORD, because you have done it. In JESUS’ mighty name, I have prayed, amen.