April 27, Ephesians 4:27
Ephesians: and do not make room for the devil.
It looks like we're going to keep going with Ephesians. In the past few days, we've talked about the truth being in Jesus, clothing ourselves with the new self, being truthful with ourselves and our neighbors, and not getting angry, or at least not letting anger get the best of us. Today we will finish the thought about anger.
We all know there is evil in the world. Today's verse tells us how close it is, how close we are to contributing to it. The verse gives us a strong map of what not to do. I don't think any of us would willingly choose to go to the dark side, yet when we express anger and or hold onto it, it will eat us up. Anger is based in fear and the devil feeds on fear. That is another reason why we need to forgive.
Forgiveness relieves us of the burden of holding onto any lingering ill thoughts or feelings. It's also a shield against the devil. There's nothing that drives the wrongdoer/devil more nuts than forgiveness.
Once, I experienced someone who truly made my skin crawl. He exuded evil. I witnessed the long-lasting, deep damage he did to my loved ones. I was angry, and part of me wanted to harm him. The other part went to church, and it so happened they had open confession, so I went. I confessed my reluctance to forgive and said that I didn't know how to forgive that person for all he had done. The kind priest said that, in fact, I needed to forgive. He said, "It will be hard, and it will seem impossible, but you must, if for no other reason than it will drive that guy nuts. Forgiveness is a gift for us, not for the other person."
Years later, I ran into that person, and there was no anger, no ill feelings. I didn't feel the need to have any conversation. I felt nothing. I had moved on, free of the burden of anger, shielded by the gift of forgiveness.
Yesterday I read the quote from Allen Hunt of Dynamic Catholic:
"Remarkably, the Lord made you in His very own image. That means your life is sacred. It has value. You have been made by love and with love. It is hard to believe, but you look a lot like God."
I believe if we begin to see the truth in Allen Hunt's quote, we will begin to see God in everyone.
Today, let us not fear; let us live boldly, knowing that our life is sacred, that we look a lot like God, and that everyone else looks a lot like God as well.