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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Let Go of Anger

Updated: May 23


“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled” (Hebrews 12:15 ESV).

Why is it difficult to “keep short accounts?” Why do I continue to relive an injustice? 


Do you ever find yourself reliving an offense you’ve experienced? You want to move on, but like a “stuck record” or a never-ending loop, the ill treatment you experienced keeps replaying in your mind.


Recently, I replayed an undeserved treatment I experienced and verbalized it to my wife. The conversation continued to repeat itself—for days. We both had encountered pain from the action of others. Although the unfair treatment had occurred in the past, we struggled to “let it go.” 


I remember my wife saying: “Richard, this conversation needs to stop. It’s not helping us.” 

She was right. 


Reliving the experience was not going to change the result. Yet, somehow, I could not let it go. 


We agreed to take a sabbatical from that conversation. We worked hard to honor our commitment. Slowly and consistently, I found that the anger I had no longer held me captive. 


My thoughts were not hostage to that experience. I was free to focus on more important matters. My energy level increased, my creativity intensified, and my attitude became brighter—because I (we) chose to stop reliving and repeating the injustice. 


So, why do we choose to hang on to anger? 


When faced with injustice, we are inclined to judge (to set things right)! Have you heard people say things like, “Karma will get you,” or “I’ll give her a taste of her own medicine”?


When we experience unfairness, we want revenge. When we establish that an action, intentional or unintentional, is wrong, we want to set things right. We want judgment! 


However, an acute craving for justice also blocks empathy toward those who have wronged us.


Jesus commands us: 


“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28 ESV).


James reminds us:


“There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:12 ESV).


We can’t have it both ways. 


Reliving an injustice and rehearsing an offense received is to insist that I’m the judge. Choosing to “let go” is to determine health and life. 


The writer of Hebrews reminds us that the goal is to obtain God’s grace, not to seek revenge. God’s grace prevents a “root of bitterness” from growing in my life. God is the judge, not me. 


  • What resentment are you rehearsing? 

  • Is it time to let go of your anger? 

  • God’s grace awaits those who welcome God to be the Judge.  

  • Are you ready to “let go” of your anger and allow God to set things right?

 

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