Remove Your Armor.
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I was angry, incredibly angry. My dramatic side would describe it as “consumed by anger.” So I did what I know I’m supposed to do, I took it to Jesus. I prayed about my anger and those who had wronged me. I asked the Lord to make them change. He told me to forgive them.
That was not what I wanted to hear. I did not want to forgive them. I was afraid if I simply forgave them that they would continue their offensive habits toward me. If I did not approach them with my anger how would they know what they did was hurtful? What would be their incentive to change their behavior? Couldn’t I just wait to forgive them until after they were sorry?
“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
Matthew 18:21-22 New American Standard Bible
God’s answer to me was clear. I was to forgive them and I was to forgive them immediately. I felt like a child who just tattled on someone and was told to stop tattling. Yes what they were doing was wrong, but I was wrong in clinging to my anger while demanding that God fix them.
I’m pretty sure this picture represents what I looked like when I first brought my anger to God. His demand that I forgive was the same as telling me to take off all that armor before I approached the wrongdoers. I wanted that armor on because it made me feel safer. Unfortunately, I could not dress like a warrior to engage those who hurt me and expect them not to become defensive. Forgiving them meant removing the armor and trusting God to protect me from further harm. He is my strong and mighty warrior so that I don’t have to be one.
Are you approaching others dressed for battle? Consider removing your heavy armor and allowing God to fight for you. I assure you it is easier to let Him carry that load.
Text Copyright Richelle Hecker
Photo Copyright Doug Brauner