About a year ago, I wrote a very honest post about my anger. Frustration toward others and toward God. It was a low time for me. I struggled against feelings of self-pity and feelings of being wronged. I choose the word “struggled” on purpose because I was struggling…struggling AGAINST those feelings. I knew I could not succumb to them. I could not allow myself to dwell there. To wallow in that anger. Anger may be a natural part of the grieving process. I realize it is an absolutely normal thing for people to feel in our situation. But the fact that it is normal is not a license to embrace it. Anger toward my situation- anger toward God says “I want control…my way is better…You, oh God, are doing it the wrong way.” Anger toward God carries with it undertones of pride. It reveals our weakness and our spiritual nearsightedness. So, should we bury the feelings? Hide them? No. We should take it to God. We should cry out to Him, confessing it, pleading for a clean heart, a renewed spirit. Coddling our anger leads to bitterness and a hardened heart.
That post I wrote a year ago was not about venting my anger. It was not a post written to reveal a case for how I had been wronged. I wrote to confess my anger. I wrote it because I wanted to speak truth about the way we are dealing with and stumbling through this illness. Can I tell you what I’ve discovered? Confessing it to you is what brought me out of it. Confessing it was the end of my months-long battle. The emotion of anger has not since hit me with the same intensity nor the same constancy. In the book of James, God tells us to confess our sins to one another and to lift one another up in prayer (James 5:16a). I have realized over this last year that when I confess my sin to another person, it brings that sin to light in all its ugliness. When I keep a sin to myself, how easily I can explain it, justify it, give it a little spit polish. I can make it look pretty good in my mind…But when I display that hideous, little creature to the eyes of others, when I bring him out into the light, his grotesqueness is revealed, and I find myself repulsed. Not only that, but others can bring me before the Lord in my struggle.
Multiple times since then, when I begin to observe a wrongful attitude or a habitual line of thinking that is not pleasing to God, I lay it out in the open before someone I love and trust. By doing this, I gain accountability and I prevent myself from trying to make sin less heinous than the rebellion it actually is. Let us keep an honest confession before the Lord, knowing that He is faithful to forgive us, and let us surround ourselves with godly, trustworthy people to whom we can share our struggles and our failures. How freeing to cast the hidden darkness out into the light and there find both forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and overwhelming hope!