Covid Rage and Resentments
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31
Though I can argue and debate, with Covid-19, I’ve grown quite weary of it. There was a time though, a few months back, when it seemed everyone wanted to fight about the topic. I’d have people approach me at the grocery store, wanting to air their grievances with the CDC, the government, and medicine in general. As a physician, I apparently represented everything that frustrated them and so, they saw me as an opportunity to express their bitterness over vaccines and mandates.
I began getting a little angry in return. With each confrontation, my lists of resentments began to grow. After each encounter, I’d find myself ruminating about how ridiculous the other person was being. By indulging in the anger, I began to let others control my thoughts and darken my mood. Pretty quickly, I learned I had to let it go or risk being consumed by it.
That is what anger does. It consumes us as we allow others to control our thoughts and emotions. This post really isn’t about Covid-19 of course. It’s about our anger. In today’s passage, Paul taught that we must let go of all bitterness, wrath, and malice. He didn’t say that we must only let go of unreasonable anger. He didn’t give us a pass for our rage if we were justified. He insisted that we must let go of all of it.
We may, in fact, often be justified in our bitterness and resentment. Others have wronged us. Now, because we believe our cause is righteous, we refuse to let the offense go. In clinging to it though, even if we know we’re right, we allow that other person to own space in our head. We allow them to control our thoughts, darken our mood, and divert us from the direction we ultimately want our lives to go. While we cling desperately to our right to be angry, it destroys us from the inside – even when we’re justified.
As followers of Christ, we must daily abandon ourselves to follow him. The path he desires for us doesn’t allow time or energy for our resentments and bitterness. Those things always distract us from the life for which we were made. If we desire to know life, joy, and peace, we must let go of those things that steal our life, joy, and peace. We must daily work on our resentments, letting them go – even when we’re justified.