An apology can be sincere or laced with poison! Canadians take great pride in being polite. If an eyebrow lifts and is directed our way, we apologize. If someone bumps into our shopping cart, that’s right, we apologize. Apparently, we go through this ritual 7-8 times daily, so that’s a lot of “begging-your-pardon” going on. While these little “I’m sorries” seem innocent enough, are they? Surely underneath all this politeness, there is a little resentment? After all, who bumped into who? Can you remember a time when you waited patiently for an apology, and when it finally arrived, it felt like another blow to your already bruised heart? If they are merely lip-service, they feel more like a slap in the face. Adding insult to injury. Especially the “I’m sorry but…” ones. Scripture warns us that, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” Ephesians 4:26. What seems like a simple case of Good Guy/Bad Guy, isn’t simple at all. God teaches us about reconciliation and healing. Anger and bitterness are Satan’s tools. “The worst resentment that anybody can have is one you feel justified to keep.”- Louis Gossett, Jr. The so-called innocent Good Guy or Gal can also easily evolve into an offender if left to fester. Going to bed angry and waking up angrier sets the perfect stage for sin to creep into the lives of the entire family! A hardened heart that refuses to forgive eventually dies spiritually. As for the offender, without asking for forgiveness, they will carry the cross of regret and guilt, wherever they go. Enid Blyton writes, “Remorse is a terrible thing to bear … one of the worst of all punishments in this life. To wish undone something you have done, to wish you could look back on kindness to someone you love, instead of on unkindness – that is a very terrible thing.”
Love. “It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:5-7.
When we love and forgive one another the way God taught us to; it brings peace and salvation. No matter how sweet bitterness tastes going down, it is pure poison to the heart. We can choose to drink it or not. We can want to forgive or stay angry. Is it time to apologize to God for holding onto anger with a defiant heart. Remember He forgives us more than 7-8 times every day!
Therefore, “… Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, Ephesians 4:26.