Recently someone approached me about the anger they felt towards someone who had done something unspeakably evil to a vulnerable person.
They expressed to me how as a Christian they were really struggling with forgiveness. The anger they felt towards this person in authority was something they were finding it hard to shake.
As I heard the stories I felt anger rise up within my heart. And frustration that someone who was meant to be a spiritual guide and leader would instead be found out committing acts which can only be described as evil.
I expressed that anger in such circumstances is a perfectly reasonable response, in fact a response anyone should have. The total selfish and depraved nature of such acts deserves nothing less.
But that leaves us in a quandary. Can and should we stay angry, leading to bitterness? While understandable, in the end such a journey only ends up harming us. People need to suffer the consequences of their actions. And we may never have fellowship with them again. But this does not mean their actions should continue to have control over us. Bitterness relegates us to be their prisoner. Letting the anger, grief and even pain go is part of the process of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not however pretending things can remain the same. Some actions have consequences which may never be fully resolved in this life.