The Gift of Awareness
“In your anger do not sin”:
Do not let the sun go down on your anger
and do not give the devil a foothold.
EPHESIANS 4:26-27 (NIV)
Most counselors agree that suppressing anger ultimately does nothing to
eliminate it. Suppressed anger resembles moss living in the damp, dark,
corner of the basement. You may not see it, but it is spreading. It does
not go away on its own. So, even though suppression is a choice, let’s
agree that it is not a desirable one.
Les Carter, Ph.D., Frank Minirth, M.D. The Anger Workbook
Reflecting back now, Dave’s shoulder replacement surgery was such a gift for him and me. For him he was pain free for the first time in 20 years and for me it was the beginning of the healing of my wounded heart. Fortunately, before the surgery, I took a risk and shared my fears with Dave, our children and our closest friends. Dave becoming aware of my fears caused him to be upset at first but it was not the anger that I expected and prepared myself for.
His response was the complete opposite– I was surprised by his response. He was kind and considerate of my feelings and the weight of the responsibility that normally weighed heavily upon me. Dave called our closest friends to walk alongside the both of us – giving me breaks from the 24/7 care – holding him accountable for his emotional stability. After the surgery, when his care began, he went out of his way to make sure that I was okay. He was appreciative of my care, he had grace for me and laughed with me when my clumsy hands messed up.
I was in awe of the change that God had done in his heart but it caused me to become aware that I had not changed the way I responded to him – I was stuck in old patterns and feelings. I didn’t like the words that came out of my mouth or the sarcastic tone. I became aware of the moss that had grown in the damp dark corner of my heart. I became aware of the foothold I had given Satan. I desperately needed the Holy Spirit to show me the roots of those old patterns so that He could heal and change my heart too …
When I kept silent my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
On the journey with you,