25th May 2023

  Brant Hansen writes about

The Epidemic of Anger and ...

The One Thing That Works

There are hundreds of local "rage rooms"
around the country, (America) due to what many news
outlets call our "epidemic of anger."

The ANARCHY Package costs $100 a person.
It includes 30 glass items, and 5 pieces of electronic equipment.

And - this is complimentary - a baseball bat to help you smash them!

"What can we do about our anger?"
There's something the experts rarely mention, as if it doesn't exist.

Sure, they'll mention maybe trying to relax with some music, or
doing yoga, or maybe breathing deeply and counting to ten,
in addition to considering plunking down some cash to break stuff...
but they're silent on another option.

And it's tragic because it's the only thing that actually works.

It's called forgiveness.

Forgiveness, of course, is the way of Jesus.
It's not a side issue.
It's not optional, either.
If I'm to follow Him, I have no choice.

Forgiveness means deciding to give up my right to anger,
whether I feel it's justified or not.
I don't forgive other people because they deserve forgiveness.
I forgive because I didn't deserve it.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

But if you do not forgive others their sins,
your Father will not forgive your sins. -
Matthew 6:14-15 NIV

I can't wait until someone apologises;
they may never do it.
They may never see the damage they've done.
They may never be sorry.
But I don't do it for them.
Forgiveness is my sacrificial gift to God.

I do it because I need to be obedient.
I do it because I'm so thankful for what He's done for me.

Forgiveness is an act of worship.
but there's still another reason, and it's one I'm continuing
to learn about as I put this into practice:
I do it because the Jesus way of life makes for a much, much better life.

Forgiveness is the way to have something that so few in our culture
actually have, but so many desperately want:


Forgiveness is freedom.

Recently, I appeared on "Good Morning America" to talk about
this possible approach to what's become a national mental health issue.
One of the interviewers had a very understandable reaction to the whole topic:
"But forgiveness is just so hard!"

He's totally right.
Forgiveness is hard. But you know what's harder?

Living a life of unforgiveness.

Jesus' way of living is more restful.
Everything He tells us is for our own good.
If we practice His way of living, we'll carry a lighter load.
He knows this.
He wants this for us. God is good that way.

There's another natural, understandable objection,
and a question I'm often asked:
"Does forgiveness mean I have to stay in relationship with
people no matter what?"

The answer is no.
But you know what?
If you don't forgive, you will be staying in relationship with them -
in your head - for the rest of your life.

Forgiveness is freedom.

Jesus really is a genius.
The way of life He's giving us isn't just refreshing and freeing.
It's just plain healthy!

Research shows us consistently that chronic anger can lead to
high blood pressure, headaches, serious digestion problems,
heart issues, and even skin disorders.

It's a better way of living, this Way of Jesus.
We shouldn't be surprised.

Forgiveness is not impractical.
Letting go of anger is not impractical.
Jesus is not impractical.

In fact, He's the most practical person who's ever lived.
He knows how we work.
He knows how we fall apart, too, and what corrodes and ruins us.

I guess we shouldn't be surprised that He knows how we can thrive,
physically, spiritually, and psychologically.
After all, He made us.

Written for Devotionals Daily by Brant Hansen,
author of Unoffendable.

Ready to Dig Deeper?

Some insist they'll absolutely never forgive because it seems like
it lets the offender off the hook.
But, the trust is that God commands us to forgive because
it's what's best not just for them, but for us!

It turns out giving up your "right" to be offended can be one of
the most freeing, healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing,
stress-relieving, encouraging things you can do.

We're not entitled to get offended or stay angry.
The idea of our own "righteous anger" is a myth.
It is the number one problem in our societies today and,
as Dallas Willard says,
Christians have not been taught out of it.

But what if Christians were the most unoffendable people on the planet?

Written for Devotionals Daily by Brant Hansen,
author of Unoffendable.