Overcoming Anger

depressed

In our walk with God, there comes a pivotal moment where you have to decide.  Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy and move on with my life?  The times I’ve been in those situations.  I’ve always found that it’s better just to move on.  Why? Here are the problems with trying to show people you’re right. One, if they’re honest, they will eventually admit it without your help, and it’s often better to let God show people how wrong they were, or are.  He does a much better job, and he does it in love in a way that will not destroy the person.

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

Often when we’re right about something, we have the wrong attitude and disposition about it and probably don’t need to tackle the problem anyway.  So let it ride.  As the old folks used to say “God got the record”. So let it go, and live your life and leave the problem in Christ’s hands.  Two, the scripture says (as stated above) that it’s foolish to let anger hang around for a long time.  Don’t let it “rest” in your spirit. It’s too distracting to the important things in life–you, your family, children, financial progress and most importantly, to seeking, and working on the will of God for your own life.  How can God use a vessel that is filled with poison?

Based on the two points above, I’ve learned to move on.   When I wrote my book, I had a whole chapter that I eliminated because it just sounded too angry and I was trying to  heal people not hurt.  But it was a chapter that I keep around because it was years of frustration pouring out about treatment that I had received in church at the hands of people that said they were filled with the spirit of God.   Although I still want to write about that, I realized those lessons could be learned best in another book for another time.

One thing God is never into, and that is living a lie.  If you are angry and you’re pretending it isn’t there, it won’t get you any points in spirituality and you won’t grow spiritually. God wants you to deal with the anger by talking to him. The best therapy I’ve ever found is prayer.

More than once in my spiritual walk, I’ve had to repent or admit personal failings just to keep the peace, without the other person admiting their wrongs.  At different times in my walk with God, ministers that didn’t care for me (I don’t know why I would be of so much interest) have tried to use their influence to destroy my ministry or make it irrelevant.  Now, before you go saying that I’ve gotten paranoid, consider the following.

Years ago, my first Pastor and I got along great. I was preaching and he new I had that gift and I would just keep laboring.  But when he got married for a second time,  all of a sudden, I was the worst saint in the world.  His wife kept pointing her finger at me as being disrepectful; all of a sudden I was hauled into meetings with him and my fellow ministers, some of whom were jealous of the freedom I was given to preach anyway, and just waiting to put a chink in my armour and told that I was guilty of several trumped up charges and to had othe charater issues etc.  So I was cast to the side for years after that.  I could have gotten bitter and walked away but God told me to keep doing what he called me to do.  I was talked about, literally laughed at, and couldn’t say anything against the people that had cooked this up, because they were in authority. Anyway, how do you tell a man that his wife is hurting his ministry and isolating him.  I wasn’t looking for vengence as much as vindication.  Here I was, working hard for God, giving my time and talents to him for no other reason than that I loved God, and I get blind-sided by jealously.  Didn’t see that one coming.  It was as if his wife decided, “I can’t have any other female in my husband’s space” or any other female with influence in the congregation,  so I have to get him to see her and any other woman in the  ministry in another light.  She was certainly successful.

I wanted to stay sweet on the inside.  No one seemed to care.  At the time, I couldn’t talk to a soul about it.  So I talked to God.  God helped me to get over it, and leave it with Him and I told God,”Lord, I know you called med to preach, tell me what to do from here. I’ve lost my Pastor’s favor through no fault of mine.”  God told me to keep my heart right and wait.

In the process of time, since I lived near them, she called me one day.  She needed help.  (One thing you have to remember is that people that do dirt to other people often loose no sleep at all, and justify their actions.You are wasting time trying to make them see it).  So anyway, she calls me because she needed help getting in and out of bed. She said she had terrible back pain in her lower back and didn’t know how, or why it was hurting so bad.  I came over and rubbed her back and helped her in and out of bed and talked with her to keep her mind off the pain.  I asked the Pastor how long he wanted me to stay with her.  She and I actually had a good conversations while I took care of her.  As I write this now, my mind goes back to feeling no anger, no bitterness and God having taken all of those bad feelings away.  That phone call helped me prove to myself that I had walked on water (risen above the situation) and survived.  Unfortunately, and sadly, she passed away within a few weeks of that phone call.  This is the second wife my Pastor had that passed away.

I had individuals tell me later that she talked about me (and so many others) so badly, and was ruining his ministry more than what I even knew, but what can you do when someone’s in love.

So, after a year or two had come and gone, and the Pastor’s health had gotten worse,  and not only me, but other people who were “aspiring” for the ministry were getting doors closed to them, God told me to make a particular move.  The situation was sad, not just for me but others.  The Pastor was sick and had lost influence over his younger minisers. Most of them followed him in name only.  They didn’t quite see things the same as the Pastor. People who had already been acknowledged privately by the ministry and prayed over were suddenly ignored and had to start from scratch as if they were never acknowledged in their callings. Strange influences were going on.

One day, God told me “call him and ask for a meeting”.  He consented to that.  I asked him, ” Pastor, before your wife passed, you asked me to come and meet with the ministers because you felt that I had the gift of preaching and wanted me to learn more…” I proceeded to recount to him the negative picture that was painted of me, and asked him did he still felt that picture was true, and if not, did he see anything in my life that would prevent me from meeting with the ministers again.  I continued to reminded him of the good relationship we had and his encouragement to me years before.  He said, ” I don’t see any reason why couldn’t (meet with the ministers)”.  I was able then to continue my ministry.  I wasn’t really, fully accepted by some of the minsiters he left behind, but I have learned to put my call in God’s hands.

This type of situtation has happened to me more than once in my walk with God, and each incident has prepared me for the next.  I just hope each time to react better. But I’ve learned to stay on top and keep looking up.

To stay above the situtation, you cannot walk around telling everybody how angry you are. Also, you have to be careful  reminiscing with people who are caught under the same problems.  Their affirmations can make you even angrier and make it harder to let go.  As a follower of Christ, you have to say like Jesus “father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” and move on.  You can’t truly pray unless you forgive, and you can’t forgive anyone unless you pray.

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