A lot of what Selwyn says today is important, therefore I’ll repeat some of what he says.
He mentions that one of the main reasons why some people stop seeking, a relationship with Jesus, is the unwillingness to forgive.
I think it is basically a pride issue – those people who find it hard to forgive, are usually those who have not surrendered themselves, entirely to God. Often, they fail to recognise the great price Christ paid, on their behalf, to set them eternally free from the affects of their sins. It, also usually goes hand-in-hand, with a view that they are basically good people; and, what Christ did for them, was just to wash the dirt from their feet. They are not like the rapists and murderers of this world – they are saying, in effect, that they don’t need the same level of forgiveness, as the ‘truly evil people’ of this world. Consequently, pride still rules their lives, and they find it very hard to forgive personal hurts and insults. Do you agree?
Selwyn then discusses some of the improper ways of handling anger and resentment. “One wrong method is to try to suppress the negative feelings – to attempt to forget them and pretend we don’t have them. Suppressing resentment does not get rid of it but allows it to work havoc at a much deeper and more dangerous level.”
” … Some Christians, realising the uselessness of burying things in the subconscious, take the opposite approach and chew on negative emotions. … Resentment that are mulled over or chewed upon will spill over into all of one’s mental and emotional attitudes.”
The verses set for reading and meditation contain some important advice, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 4:17-32 (NLT): “With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
God will help you through prayer to renew your thoughts and attitudes, if you let Him. In addition, there are certain changes to our behaviour, which we can initiate that will facilitate our renewal. For example, don’t go to bed with an angry heart – ‘ … “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. …’
Do something about your anger, if circumstances prevents you from dealing personally with the issue – turn it over to God in prayer, before the sun has set. It needs you to actively seek, with God’s help, this outcome.
Take steps to rid your language of any signs of anger, bitterness, rage, and harsh words – start, by making a conscious effort not to swear. If it’s difficult – then persistently pray for God’s help – every single time you fail. You will find that the Holy Spirit will change your attitude and enable ‘your words to be an encouragement to those who hear them’.
You know that God will respond to your prayers in His perfect way – because He loves you.