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Living in community means forgiving each other’s anger | Worship

 

August 16, 2017



For many human beings, anger is not an uncommon emotion.

You may recognize the feelings of intense displeasure that arise inside of you, or someone else, that may be caused by a specific situation or another individual’s words or actions.

How do we handle those feelings of antagonism that rise up quickly or as a result of a series of events? Those feelings that threatened to rob you of your peace, making room for the mind to recall other instances when you have felt irritated by the same person’s words or actions, and perhaps giving way to other emotions, such as disappointment and distrust?

The Word of God seems to recognize some of the joys and challenges of life in community. The Bible has a lot to say about anger; the following are a couple of examples. Jesus’ first followers in the book of Acts chose to live in close community and share everything. Resources were distributed according to those who needed them the most (Acts 4:32).

Some discord occurs when someone in the community decides not to give all, but part of his possessions for the benefit of those in need (5:1-2). Anger doesn’t just affect the person or people involved. Anger can have a snowball affect, risking other relationships in the community.

Human emotions play an important role in how we treat others. In the height of our emotions most human beings, including myself, forget what we share, our common humanity.

Even the Christian community in Ephesus was reminded, “So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another (Ephesians 4:25).” Most human beings have more in common than differences.

The next part acknowledges the feelings of irritation one might feel toward another. “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger (4:26).” What matters though, is how we humans deal with those emotions when they rise up inside of us.

Ultimately, the author of the book to the Ephesians advises the faith community, “…and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you (4:32).” This is part of life in community, someone will wrong us and we will wrong someone.

And when we do, most often asking or granting forgiveness leaves room for reconciliation, peace, expressions of love and restoration of community.

Arhiana Shek is a mission developer and pastor at Faith Lutheran Church, a Lutheran church serving Latinos of Snohomish County. The church is at 6708 Cady Road in Everett.

 

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