Joy Thieves – Part 3 {Anger and Resentment}

Eph 4 26

So, here’s a question. What are your pet peeves? You know, those things that get right under your skin, every single time, without fail?

Either your mind is racing because you can’t decide which one to settle on first, or maybe you have one major irritation that gets you all riled up every single time. I’m sure that we can all think of something.

And sometimes those things aren’t inherently wrong.

Is your pet peeve to do with social justice? Or rather, social injustice?

Or issues of equality and respect?

Or homelessness, distribution of wealth, human trafficking…

We can go on and on with things that get to us that, if we’re honest, someone needs to get riled up about.

Those things that stir us to action – that cause us to defend the poor and weak, stick up for the helpless, work towards changing society for the better…

But today I’m not talking about those things, because out of the flames of this kind of anger can come our passion to make positive changes that influence everyone involved for the better.

But not all anger is like this.

Some anger is built on issues that do not lead us down any path that is helpful, meaningful or fruitful.

Some anger digs deep into our hearts and starts to rot and decay. Nothing comes from it that helps anyone. In fact, it’s another joy thief. In it comes, no knocking and waiting, and curdles away inside you.

We live in an angry world. A world so full of stressors and triggers, the smallest things can set us off.

Someone’s bad driving. That colleague – how did they get the job again? A family member’s forgetfulness. Your spouse’s bad habits. Your kids messing up a room you just tidied…

It is so easy to become irritable and bad tempered when things seem to spiral out of control. And out of that lack of control, in marches a triumphant joy thief – Anger.

At the root of anger is often a situation that we did not have control of. Someone hurts you, someone annoys you, someone upsets you, someone irritates you.

And let’s be honest, they’re not always small things. The small things can curdle and fester, but sometimes, there are the bigger things in life that deeply affect us and we’re left feeling lost, small, out of control, and downright angry.

But Anger brings his friend. An unwelcome friend who uses your misplaced anger to darken your days a little more: Resentment.

And they both breathe lies that will isolate you, trap you and make sure you wind up feeling pretty miserable. Anger tells you that you have been wronged, and Resentment tells you that someone got one up on you. Yep, there’s nothing like being kicked while you’re down. And both of them will distort they way you view the world, help you harbour unforgiveness in abundance and spoil your walk with God.

Are you struggling with this today? Has Anger crept in and stolen your joy? Has Resentment jumped alongside you and tarnished your relationships with other people and with the Lord?

Let’s get them out!

James 1:19-20 says this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

No good thing can come of our anger. It does not help you.

Mark 11:25 says this: whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Anger and Resentment are different to other joy thieves because they have so often come from what someone else has done. Sometimes from people we love and care about, and people we trust.  But remember that God knew that when He gave us these words to read. He knows how you have been hurt and how you have been betrayed. He knows how you have been used, broken, saddened, let down…and He knows that Anger and Resentment only bear rotten fruit.

Whatever someone else has done, take heart today. God saw everything, and He knows that your joy has been stolen. He has a better way for you to live, but you have to choose it. Talk to Him today, give Anger and Resentment a kick out of the door and ask Him to help you forgive and let go. He is able!

Grace and Love

Helen x



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