"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." -Ephesians 4:30-32
This week we’re going to talk about becoming more relational. If you have had any relationships (and I’m sure you have), I am sure you have also been hurt by them. People inevitably let us down or disappoint us.
My initial reaction to hurt is to go on the emotional offensive. If I perceive a situation where a person could hurt me emotionally, anger tends to be my default reaction. Unfortunately, when I allow anger to control my interactions with others, the conflict in those relationships tends to intensify. However, when I release these emotions and give them to God, I find my interactions with others are relationship building rather than confrontational. The problem is, even though I know there will be a better outcome, it is difficult to give this anger and hurt to God because it makes me vulnerable. People can (and have) hurt me when I am vulnerable, so I instinctively try to avoid this level of authenticity. When I look back though, I find that I have hurt myself more often than people have hurt me. Holding onto unforgiveness has robbed me of more joy than others have taken from me. God reminds us of this in Ephesians 4:30-32, and adds that not only do we hurt ourselves but we grieve the Holy Spirit when we hold onto bitterness, rage, anger, slander, brawling or malice.
What is it that you are holding onto that you need to release so that you can become more relational?
Author: Carrie Hubert