Just Hurting Yourself
July 13, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:30-32 NKJV.
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. - Mark 11:25 NKJV.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” - Romans 12:18-20 NKJV.
Jeanne Mundango Manunga threatened to do harm hundreds of times by sending threatening text messages to…herself. Manunga falsely claimed the threatening messages were from her former boyfriend and his sister-in-law. She started sending the messages after the relationship ended with the boyfriend back in 2008.
Manunga has been convicted of three felony charges of false imprisonment by fraud or deceit. She also was convicted of two misdemeanor charges of making a false police report. Jeanne Manunga may have only made up the threats to harm her, but she did succeed in hurting herself through her deceitful, lying, hate filled actions. She is now under three years of probation supervision, and must pay close to $50,000 in restitution. Ouch! That must hurt!
Actually, Jeanne not only hurt herself, but she did hurt her boyfriend and his sister-in-law as well. It is unknown if she has any children or if her parents are living; however, if they are, the actions of Jeanne harmed them too, bringing emotional pain into their lives.
The actions of Jeanne may have flowed out of anger, which generated the desire for revenge. Most of us have been angry at one time or another and we quickly release that anger through forgiveness. Some people are unable to immediately forgive and they hang onto their anger.
Anger when not released becomes like a little pet that they give additional emotional food to from time to time, and with this happening, they bring increasing levels of pain into their lives. This pain results in adverse effects to their physical health and emotional health. Physically, chronic anger can increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels; the immune system becomes impaired and appears to make a person more susceptible to disease including cancer. Emotionally, chronic anger is devastating and can result in the emotional responses of remorse, guilt, embarrassment, and shame.
The harmful effects of anger do not stop with the angry person, but extends to their children, and to all of their family members. It also can affect the quality of work in their employment, and as they lash out at others around them cause additional pain to their fellow workers. Of course, we know that this kind of anger can create greater havoc in the form of: road rage, child abuse, spousal abuse, assaults on others, and sometimes even murder.
How can you forgive when you have been terribly wronged by someone else? Only through the power of God. Confess to God your inability to forgive in your own strength, and ask Him to give you His strength to forgive (Philippians 4:13). God says, “Vengeance is Mine.” God will take care of what needs to be done in the other person's life. If you refuse to forgive this only allows them to hurt you, and the others in your life that you care about more and more.
From my own experience, I know that when I have made the conscious decision to forgive, and ask for God's help to do it, I feel as though I have been released from a great burden. Let your anger go, and move forward in life, growing stronger with each step you take with your Lord and your God.