I heard a sermon a few weeks back -- about the causes of anger and releasing our expectations, even though they might be "good" expectations. Why?! Because most of us (including me!)hang on to those expectations like a lifeline. We so want them to be fact that we refuse to accept anything else. When expectations are unmet, we (mostly me!) react with anger. So, God's been working with me a lot in this area. Unfortunately, there are all kinds of people around me (primarily me!) who don't meet these expectations.
As I was discussing this one day with God -- the discussion was mostly my whining and complaining, I've got to admit -- I was telling Him that anger was much easier for me to deal with. And surely I can be angry without sinning, right?! The simple fact is that if I'm angry with someone, then I don't hurt. Instead, I'm on the offensive. My fleshly and normal goal is to lash out or to force them in to meeting my desires. But, if I let go of my expectations and don't allow myself to get angry, the hurt seeps in. Hmmmm. Hurt vs. anger. Grief vs. hostility. Honestly, I'd rather be the one not hurting.
At the same time, I know that God tells me not to keep myself as the focus. I need to let go of expectations. I need to release anger. And, if the hurt and grief come in to play (which they assuredly will), then I have the knowledge that I'm experiencing my Father's heart. That's what He does for me. How can I do any less for those people around me that I love?
There have been several opportunities to experience this lesson the last few weeks (dang it!!). There have been times when I've grieved and experienced hurt. There have been moments of deliberately "letting go" and allowing God to work through me. Has it been fun? Nope! Has it been worth it? Definitely so! The amazing thing is that those folks who have grieved me probably have no idea what is going on. They don't know the high standards that I've held them to that they didn't meet (said tongue in cheek!)... and honestly, they probably don't care! But, do they know I love them?! Assuredly so!! Do I know that all is well between God and me? Gratefully so!
Releasing anger ... letting go of expectations (even good ones!) ... and allowing the Father to love through me -- may I bring glory to Him!! Again, it's all just a part of Finding Me in Him!!