Step Two in Forgiving Others: Admit
In forgiving others, after we have acknowledged the pain and hurt done to us, we then admit that we are angry toward or resent the person who wounded us.
When wounded, we react to protect ourselves. Sometimes we lash out in a fit of anger. Sometimes we withdraw behind a wall of resentment. Sometimes we do both.
We admit that we are unlike Jesus. “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).
We examine our hearts.
• “Do I want to get even with this person?”
• “Do I hold onto a desire, however subtle, to punish that person?”
• “Do I want that person to know all the ways they’ve hurt me? Tell them how they’ve made me feel? Let them realize all the problems they’ve created?”
That’s anger and resentment.
Admitting anger and resentment is like saying: “Yes, I resent that. I’m angry about it. Yes, I’m holding a grudge against that person.”
We also surrender the idea that we have to let that person know how we feel. We let go of the notion that we need to straighten that person out. We relinquish the desire to get even. We give up the right to tell that person off.
That’s God’s department, not ours, for the Scripture says, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).
Hail forms when tiny ice crystals get caught in the updraft of a thunderstorm. As these ice crystals get pulled higher up into the storm, they grow. When they get too heavy, they start falling, and they continue growing larger as they fall through the clouds to the ground.
Like hail, updrafts of hurt feelings, anger, resentment, and bitterness can grow larger and heavier in a thunderstorm. Wrongful emotions can spill out in harmful ways, harsh attitudes, and hurtful words. Following the path to forgive will put an end to the storm within.
Action Step: Admit that you are angry toward or resent the person who has wounded you.
~ Pastor Dave