I’m convinced one of Satan’s tools in the North American church is to influence believers to get angry at each other – and stay that way. He knows that we will never threaten his kingdom as long as we’re shooting each other in the back (Matt 6:14-15).
As you prepare for worship this weekend, take some time to answer these questions to see if you need to forgive someone.
- Has someone deeply hurt me or one of my family members? Many of us must answer “yes” to this question – which means that we also must (or have had to in the past) decide what we will do with our pain. Thus, we must ask the following questions, too. . . .
- Do I still get angry or anxious when I think about that person? The pain may be so recent that you’ve simply not fully worked through it yet, or it might be that you’re just holding on to it because you feel justified in doing so.
- If that person has already passed away, am I justifying my continued anger? “He or she’s gone, so what’s the big deal about dealing with my feelings now?” you think.
- Do I quietly hope that that person also hurts like I have? That’s a harsh question, I know, but I’ve known people who would only “forgive” after their offender also experienced some kind of similar pain.
- Would I help that person if he or she needed ministry? An unwillingness to serve a perceived enemy is an indication of a disobedient heart.
- Can I pray for that person? I don’t mean a “may God get you” prayer, of course. If that person is a non-believer, can you pray for him or her to be saved? If he or she is a believer, can you pray that God will use him or her for His glory?
- Would I be frustrated if God blesses that person? If you would dare wonder what God would be thinking if He blessed your enemy, your heart is out of tune with Him.
- Will I probably avoid that person at church this weekend? If so, you know you still have some forgiveness work to do.
- Am I willing for this post to confront me and convict me? What you do with this post will show you something about where you are. Increased anger is a sign that you need the Lord to keep working on your heart this weekend.
If you need to forgive somebody and would like us to pray for you, let us know.