Debouldering

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Dear Faith Family, 

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil, (Ephesians 4:26-27). 

I WAIVE AND RELEASE THE RELEASED PARTIES FROM MY DEATH AND ANY INJURY, ILLNESS, LOSS, DAMAGE, EXPENSE, ACTION, CLAIM, AND LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF ANY USE OF THE FACILITIES, THE PARTICIPATION IN ANY OF THE EVENTS, OR THE ENGAGEMENT IN ANY OF THE ACTIVITIES. 

Ok.  A guy walks into a gym.  His mom and dad are with him.  Just inside the door at the front desk, mom and dad are directed to the computers to sign waivers wishing their lives away.  And yes, the above was the first point, of many, on the waiver!  And yes, it was in all caps and bold!  And yes, we signed! 

After signing away our lives, we reapproached the front desk.  There we were fitted with some nifty little specialty shoes.  “And, they’re off!”  We were surrounded by walls.  On the walls were projections (little places for your hands and feet to dwell) that, at least in theory, enabled someone to ascend the wall.  We were “bouldering”! Or not. 

Each “rock” (they were manmade plastic projections) served as a place for hands and feet to take up dwelling.  Manmade dwelling places, spaces of occupancy, footholds.  Now that’s an interesting thought.  The Bible says to give no opportunity to the devil.  Don’t give him any space.  Don’t create for him any footholds. 

Wow!  Every time our anger goes unchecked and unresolved, we’re making another space, another foothold.  But, how do we resolve it?  It would seem that Paul answered that question in Ephesians 4.  F-O-R-G-I-V-E-N-E-S-S. 

I know what some of you are thinking.  Forgive the other person.  Right?  Anger gets resolved when we forgive each other.  Right?  Well, certainly that is part of the process of resolving anger.  But, resolution begins with the last six words in Ephesians 4:32: as God in Christ forgave you. 

We can’t give away what we don’t have.  So, experience the forgiveness of God in Christ first.  Something pegging your “guilt” meter?  Struggling with shame?  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:9).  Experience the forgiveness of God in Christ. 

Then, forgive one another.  Because of the magnitude of God’s forgiveness, we have no right to hold anything against each other.  Pour a bucket of forgiveness on your anger.  Someone on your radar?  Someone do you wrong?  Stop holding it against them.  Forgive them.  Wait, did I just hear another rock fall off the wall?  Like, there was a foothold right here just a minute ago and now it’s gone! 

Passing it on, 
Pastor Karl