For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you
One day I was driving to pick up my daughter and I was furious about an offense from another person. I noticed that the sun was going down. “Oh, Lord,” I said, “I don’t think my anger is going to be settled before the sun sets!” This is based on Ephesians 4:26: “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
Some people take this verse literally to mean that they need to settle their anger before nightfall, and some interpret it as giving themselves a set period of time to work out the anger. I don’t have a philosophy on this one way or another except that I want to follow God’s word with all my heart in obedience. So I prayed and asked the Lord for direction and wisdom.
Immediately after my confession of feeling angry, the Holy Spirit began to deal with my heart about choosing forgiveness as an option. What He led me to see was that I needed to choose forgiveness out of obedience to His word and to forgive just as God has forgiven me.
Choosing forgiveness became an act of my will in respect to God’s commandment; however, my heart was still hurt and angry. I began to pray and confess that my heart wasn’t right even if my will was to do the right thing. I then chose to surrender my hurt feelings to the Lord and asked Him to change my heart as only He can.
It’s difficult to understand, but by the time I returned home, I wasn’t as angry. It’s not that the issue went away; it still had to be dealt with. However, the intensity of anger ceased and I was able to address my situation more calmly and under the influence of the Spirit.
Dear Lord, I need your Spirit to beckon me more often to choose forgiveness and release my broken heart to You for healing. Keep me tender and obedient to Your Word. Amen.
In His Service,
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