Have you ever been surprised by anger over something you thought you were no longer angry about? That is exactly what happened to me and over, of all things, a red toaster.
It started with a bridal registry. I was looking for a wedding gift and discovered a toaster still available for purchase from the long “wish list” the bride and groom had created at a local department store. The toaster was not in stock and had to be special ordered. When it arrived I received an e-mail saying it was ready for pick-up so I drove to town to retrieve it. The toaster was not ready for pick-up. It was nowhere to be found. After conversations with various people in various departments holding varying levels of authority, the original order was cancelled, my credit card reimbursed and the toaster reordered. Shortly thereafter another e-mail arrived and this time the toaster was indeed ready for pick-up.
The wedding coincided with the first day of our annual family gathering at Myrtle Beach, SC. Our plan was to attend the wedding, skip the reception, leave the toaster on the gift table and have some sand between our toes before the sun set.
We followed our GPS and arrived at the church with nearly half an hour to spare and waited for other guest to arrive. When the time printed in black and white came and went without so much as a crack in the church door we started making calls and ultimately reached the caterer who informed us the groom had received orders to deploy and, “Didn’t anyone tell you? The wedding has been cancelled.”
We watched the sun set over Route 17 but arrived in time for a still warm burger and a fireworks display before we unpacked the car. I left the toaster in trunk. Weeks passed with no word of the whereabouts of the groom. The gift bag was wrinkling, the tissue paper sagging and I decided the time had come for it to be returned.
The evening before my planned sojourn to town I placed the toaster on the back seat of the car. The following morning my sweet husband drove to the gas station to fill the car and while there, who should appear but the father of the absentee groom? Thinking the meeting serendipitous and wanting to spare me the time and hassle of returning the toaster, Bill gave it to the groom’s father.
When I noticed the bag was gone, Bill explained and I had a mini hissy-fit. “You did what? After they completely stood us up, made us late to the beach and have never explained why or how they forgot to inform us, you gave them the toaster? That toaster was a wedding gift. There has never been a wedding. Therefore there is no wedding gift. Now the bride will have to return it, along with all the other wedding gifts they received. Really? Why did you do that?”
Bill looked at me and said in typical male fashion, “I don’t know. It was there, he was there and when we started talking it seemed like the thing to do. What’s the big deal? I thought you were over this.
Guilty as charged. I was not over it and right then and there the Lord spoke to me and showed me how, though I had said the words, “I forgive” deep down inside I was still angry.
I recalled hearing Joyce Meyer share a similar story in her book, Power Thoughts, opened my copy and re-read the section on not being easily offended and forgiveness. http://bit.ly/1FeoXPH. Here are three things she suggests doing when you discover you are still angry over something about which you thought you were over and done with.
Just paying “lip service” to forgiveness is not enough.
- Admit you are still angry.
- Ask God to forgive you for jut paying “lip service” to forgiveness.
- By the power of the Holy Spirit living within you, let go of the anger that is hindering your relationship with God. “If you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. “Matthew 6:14-15
Don’t let the red toasters of life break your relationship with God or rob you of your peace and joy. Instead, choose not to be easily offended and quick to forgive.