I find that I have so much anger and resentment against a church member who has treated me badly. I can’t even pronounce his name, it upsets me that much. I have helped him countless times, going out of my way at great inconvenience to myself. But on one occasion, I couldn’t drop everything to help him when he called me. Since then he has been telling everybody how I refused to help. My reputation is ruined and I feel betrayed. I dont feel like helping anyone anymore. How can I get out of this terrible feeling?
Dear Church Leader,
Last week our grandchildren came to stay with us when their parents went away for a short holiday. The teenage boy and the six-year old girl got into a fight over computer games and the girl started wailing and sobbing so violently that she could not even relate what actually happened.
Trying to calm her I said, “Do you want me to help you stop crying?” She was so upset and angry that she ignored me and continued her tantrum. That afternoon, while we were taking a walk, I brought up the subject about what happened that morning. I told her I could teach her to use a secret weapon which will enable her to stop her distress immediately. She agreed to give it a try the next time.
Inevitably, the next morning there was another fight. I demonstrated the use of the secret weapon.
First, I declared in the Name of Jesus that the enemy has no power to hinder God’s working in her.1)1 Pet.5:8, 9 Then I asked her to say aloud, “Praise the Lord”. Ever so reluctantly she got the words out … first slowly and softly, then loudly and emphatically. I then told her to say, “I forgive my brother”, followed by “Jesus, please forgive me for being angry. Take away my anger”.
The moment those words were released, her dark sulky face became bright and radiant. She was surprised herself how it could happen so quickly. I explained how this secret weapon works. Praising the Lord brings in the presence of God for He dwells in the praises of His people. Releasing forgiveness frees her from anger and asking for forgiveness from God removes the barrier between her and God so His peace and joy can come into her heart. That day she discovered how powerful and wonderful this secret weapon was.
The next day she told me excitedly, “Last night for the first time I stopped twirling my hair!” For years she had this habit of twirling her hair into knots when she was about to sleep. It is painful and difficult to comb out the knots and her mother repeatedly warned her she will become bald if she didn’t stop this bad habit. That night after she released forgiveness to her brother, the twirling stopped. It was a side benefit of releasing forgiveness. It showed us how God can do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
She asked, “Can anybody use this secret weapon?” I said, “Of course. It is God’s gift to keep us happy no matter who offends us.”
Jesus predicted that “it is impossible that no offences should come” (Luke 17:1). The enemy therefore uses offences as bait to trap you. If you fall into his trap, he will destroy you. So dear Church Leader, do not remain offended. Remember, you do good not to earn the praise or gratitude of men but because you desire to serve Jesus your Master. In the course of your service, someone is bound to offend you.
So you can protect yourself with God’s secret weapon:
use the Name of Jesus to command the evil spiritual forces to leave, bring in God’s presence by praising Him, release forgiveness to the offender (Forgiving means you will let him go free without seeking revenge).
Then ask for forgiveness from God who is faithful and just to forgive you, thus reopening His channel of blessing to you.
Do you have an issue you need advice on? Write to Dear Goldie at firstname.lastname@example.org for her godly counsel. Selected questions may be featured in this column. If you leave an email address, you will have your question answered, whether it’s published or not.
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