The next step to spiritual healing is taking an honest look at the turkey you have stored in the refrigerator. When you put it in there, it was fresh and tasty. Now it looks green and shiny and offends your sniffer. Stored anger does that to your spiritual and physical health. It becomes bitterness to your heart. Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV) says, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness without which no one will see the Lord: looking carfully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defiled.”
Take a look at your anger. Have you been storing it in your heart for more than a day? If so, it is becoming spoiled like the turkey. Ephesians 4:26 reminds us, “‘Be angry, and do not sin.’ Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Old anger is like spoiled turkey. Both pollute the body. We can try to hold it down, but then we get sicker. We can let it explode all over everyone, but then we hurt people and feel guilty. There is another answer – God’s answer – forgiveness. Many people say they want to forgive, but just can’t. The next blog will give you a way to get rid of the anger without hurting anyone.
There is a stench in your refrigerator and you want to get rid of it, but there is a problem. The refrigerator door is closed. As long as the door is closed, you can’t get the remove the spoiled turkey. You don’t smell it, so you can pretend it isn’t there. That is just like anger. Anger is a secondary emotion that keeps us from looking deeper to find the lie that is causing the problem. As long as the anger is there, we can keep the door closed on the real problem and pretend it doesn’t exist. It keeps us trapped and controlled by the person we perceive to have caused our anger. That person isn’t hurt by the anger, we are. Our behavior may hurt the person, but not our angry emotion. If we take that one step further, we find that it leads to a more serious problem: it gives control to Satan. The Bible is clear about this:
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, not give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27
Have you ever opened the refrigerator door and found a disgusting smell? Then you searched through everything until you found a small container of chicken or broccoli hiding way in the back. Until you clean it out, you will be overcome by the stench. Life can be like that, too. As children we see the world through literal glasses. When a child hears the classic Christian song, Gladly the Cross I’d Bear, he or she pictures Gladly, the cross-eyed bear. We tend to interpret present events in light of past experiences, even from early childhood, the time in our lives when we were developing our core beliefs. Some have a pleasant aroma, but some are nauseous. Too often the facts don’t change these sometimes stinking beliefs, because they are not only in the mind, they are also in the spirit.
In Ephesians 4:23-24 NKJ, the Bible says, “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, … that you may put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Verse 25 demonstrates the importance of truth: “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth to his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.”