Thursday, September 27, 2012

Embers to Fire

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged” Esther 3:5.

We continue to peek into the life of an angry little man who felt entitled and enraged over the past.  He just couldn’t turn the corner when it came to his bitterness.  ‘The Hebrew word hamah (anger) is a very strong term referring to ‘an inner and emotional heat which rises and is fanned to varying degrees.’ Esther – It’s Tough Being a Woman, p. 65.

At some point along the way, we have all experienced anger in our inner self and witnessed it in others.  Neither is pretty and both are destructive.  Just like Haman, we look towards others and become angry that they didn’t respond or behave in a certain way.  We have predetermined expectations of what is right and wrong regardless of our inability to know what is going on in their heart or mind.  Anger doesn’t just happen – anger is the result of a past wound that was never forgiven.  It is an ember that stays dim but fans to a flame in an instant, eventually turning into a raging fire.

We can feel that inner rise of emotional heat when the ember has been doused by an accelerant.  We can sense when we have fanned the ember in others.  All anger must be surrendered at the same place we are afforded our own forgiveness – the cross.  We are not entitled to our anger and it will be a barrier between us and our fellowship with Jesus.  We have no justification for bitterness and will forfeit the very thing we refuse to give others – forgiveness on all levels in all things.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander…Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you’ Eph. 4:30-32.

We are called to action in our bitterness and anger according to Scripture.  Scripture instructs us to get rid of it by showing kindness and compassion based on the way God forgives us.  He does not withhold His kindness and forgiveness until we are perfect people.  He blesses His children even while we are still sinning against Him.  Our forgiveness towards others cannot be based on their past, present or future performance.  God gives us daily grace when we have done nothing to deserve it.

As Scripture states, by not taking action to get rid of our unresolved anger we run the risk of causing grief to God's Spirit.  Freedom from self is one of the most liberating freedoms we can ever experience.  I should know...I am still in the process of becoming liberated!

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