Maybe there's something you're afraid to say, or someone you're afraid to love, or somewhere you're afraid to go. It's gonna hurt because it matters. – John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Surely we can’t avoid anger, but how can we avoid explosive arguments? For those of us who want to stop stuffing our hurts so we don’t have to carry them around and we don’t have to worry about dumping them onto someone we love, there is sound advice in 1 Corinthians 13:5b –
[Love] is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (emphasis mine)
The surefire way to keep from dumping your gunnysack is to never fill it in the first place. Don’t collect the hurts to begin with. You don’t have to worry about exploding if you aren’t storing.
Later in that same letter, Paul writes:
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child (13:11). (emphasis mine)
That word reason is the same word that’s translated as “record of wrongs” above. It’s an accounting term, and it literally means to take a ledger and keep track.
Paul is telling us that mature love doesn’t keep a tally of how people have done love incorrectly. Kids keep track of unfairness and hurts and wrongs.
When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. (13:11)
If you want to stop dumping your hurts during explosive arguments, then you’ve got to stop storing those hurts. Stop keeping track of the many ways you’ve been hurt. You can’t dump potatoes when the gunnysack is empty.
Are you going to feel angry within the realm of relationship? Absolutely. It’s an unavoidable emotion. But even in your anger and hurt, there is a way to keep from storing a gunnysack of potatoes that needs to be dumped. I will share it with you tomorrow!
Forgiving God, it is Your grace that gives me what I do not deserve. Your mercy keeps from me what I do deserve. I don’t want to be a person who stores records of others’ wrongs, waiting for the moment to remind them of what they deserve. So I ask You to fill my relationships with Your grace and mercy. I can’t do this on my own. You must make this change in me. I lay my anger before You now. Replace it with Your forgiveness and love. Amen
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