One day in high school choir my friend and I were leaning back in our chairs not paying much attention to what the choir director was doing with the Altos and Sopranos and all of a sudden he came over to the tenor section and we snapped to. I leaned my chair forward and stood up, about a split second later my buddy did the same. And the leg of his chair went piercing through the top part of my foot.
I picked him up by his collar and was ready to pound him and I probably would have if the choir director hadn’t noticed first. Those who know me might be surprised at that story because I’m normally not like that normally not filled with such anger and rage, but the truth of the matter is each and every one of us can easily grow angry.
Sometimes it’s the result of an accident like that one, but at other times it’s when we’ve been hurt deeply by someone we know and love. Maybe someone who even did it on purpose and so we respond, and we feel justified in our response, in screaming at them or responding in anger.
God’s Word in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 31 and 32 he says this:
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.
God tells us in those situations that we are to be kind and compassionate, even forgiving each other, but how can we forgive how can we act in that way when someone has hurt us so deeply? Just as in Christ God forgave you.
If ever someone was justified in his anger certainly it was God. He had every right to be mad at us on account of our sins yet what has God done for us? In Christ, he has forgiven you. Now he invites us as we deal with each other to deal with each other and compassion, mercy, forgiving each other just as he has done for us.
This week when those moments when anger flares up inside of you invite you to remember the response of Christ. May his kindness and compassion and forgiveness motivate your response. Amen.