Wrath and Reconciliation

Willow Creek | November 2, 2021

This past weekend, Pastor Shawn continued The Monsters Within with a message called “Wrath & Reconciliation.” Shawn explained how wrath is a bitter root that tries to plant itself in our hearts. But wrath doesn’t start as wrath. It begins as bitterness, which then leads to anger. When anger sits and is fueled with more and more bitterness, it turns into the brutal and relentless monster of wrath. But there is an antidote to keep this monster caged and in check: forgiveness. 


It sounds simple enough, but forgiveness is something easy to say and hard to practice. All we have to do is look outside our doors. The world is an unforgiving place; it’s quick to cancel and slow to reconcile. In this day and age, one sin in the wrong arena is enough to banish someone forever. As Christians, though, we’re called to a higher standard. 


In Ephesians, we’re told to forgive as we’ve been forgiven. This world has its standard for ruling, but God has His. As Christians, we’re just as guilty as anyone else. The Bible says if we hate, that’s as bad as murder, and if we look lustfully, that’s as bad as adultery. When someone has wronged us, that person needs our forgiveness, just like we’re in constant, desperate need of God’s.


As Christians, let’s be known by our grace because of the grace we’ve been given. If anyone on this earth should be quick to forgive, it should be us.


When we forgive, we’re not excusing the wrong; instead, we’re throwing a bucket of ice-cold grace over the fire of bitterness, anger, and wrath that wants so desperately to rage in our hearts. 


It’s not always easy to forgive. In fact, at times, it might seem impossible to do so. How do you forgive the cheating spouse, lying partner, or vengeful neighbor? Remember, we’re not approving their behavior, but we’re releasing control of the pain in our hearts that wants to retaliate. 


Hurting people hurt others. When we let wrath fester, it’s bound to overflow out of us and touch others. We need to stop that cycle of hurt and flood our hearts with forgiveness–God’s amazing grace. 


Although that person might not deserve our forgiveness, we don’t deserve God’s. Let’s be quick to forgive, slow to anger, and passionately ask God to expand our hearts and that we might trust in His ultimate judgment.


To read more about forgiveness and God’s amazing grace, click here.