If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Righteous Anger

I had a conversation with a friend that has literally walked along side our family in all of this madness. My friend has an understanding of everything my family has been through. She knows me. She knows my heart. I can talk with her openly about my thoughts and struggles. After our conversation I feel like I have a better understanding of where I am at and how forgiveness fits in.

I feel like I had some sort of a breakthrough this week.

I appreciate that forgiveness takes time. I can appreciate that forgiveness is between myself and God. I understand that forgiveness is required by God. I understand that I am a sinner and that I was forgiven by God. But I tangibly struggle with the idea of forgiveness. If I still feel pain, if I still want justice, if I still get physically ill when specific individuals are mentioned, how can that be forgiveness?

In my conversation with my friend, something particularly resonated with me: the thought that yes, without a doubt, I need to work out the whole forgiveness issue with God. But the negative feelings that I have--the thoughts that come to mind when I consider what happened to our family, the thoughts about what Patrick did, the thoughts that come to mind when I realize Eddie is still in hiding, and the thoughts about all the other individuals that we loved and trusted that were involved in the betrayal--those feelings are righteous anger.

That righteous anger has a purpose. I think I'm learning to be OK with that.

1 comment:

sherie said...

yeah for righteous anger. Thanks for posting this and helping me get a handle on it.

my small group is doing a 40 minute study on forgiveness. :(
one the things it taught is if you get an upset stomach when you think of someone or go to great measures to avoid someone on the street - then you have not forgiven them. My response was you can forgive people and still not want to see them, or be their friend. You might even dislike them. It doesn't mean you harbor unforgiveness - necessarily. Yeah, if someone at church hurt your feelings and you are avoiding them then yeah - deal with it. But when there are bigger issues and you ARE dealing with them every day - then it could be ok to avoid someone. It could be righteous anger and the pursuit of justice is NEVER wrong. sherie