Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you,
not seven times but seventy-seven times.”
Because we are told —
Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.
In other words, the reasons for not hating another, but instead forgiving those who have wronged against us, are both practical and just:
- Practicality: Wrath, anger, hate, and vengefulness are sins (“hateful things”) and God remembers our sins “in detail”.
- Fairness: Do to others what you would have others do unto you. How can we expect God to forgive us, if we refuse to forgive others?
Here are other practical reasons to eschew anger, hatred, and vengefulness:
- Those emotions affect our judgment. To quote Godfather 3: “Never hate your enemies — it affects your judgment”.
- Anger and hostility (hate) make us more prone to heart attacks. Research found that healthy people who are often angry or hostile are 19% more likely than calmer people to get heart disease; and among people with heart disease, those who usually feel angry or hostile fare worse than others. Emotions of anger, hatred and vengefulness ramp up our “fight or flight” response, sending stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which speed up our heart rate and breathing, tighten blood vessels, and raise blood pressure, in order that we can run for our life or fight an enemy. But if this happens often, it causes wear and tear on our artery walls. (WebMD)
May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,