I couldn’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent playing Angry Birds. When it first came out I played the game nonstop. I’ve also been playing Angry Birds: Star Wars quite a bit since it came out last year. I’ve spent a lot of time playing the game but I haven’t beaten all of the levels, mostly because I won’t move on unless I get three stars. It’s a little obsessive compulsive but I don’t want to stop.
Imagine how short the game would be, though, if it was called Forgiving Birds instead of Angry Birds.
The birds are so angry because the pigs have stolen all of their eggs. Instead of talking things out with the pigs, instead of trying to resolve their differences, instead of forgiving the pigs and moving on, the birds launch a full-scale assault comprised of suicide missions.
The birds can’t let go of their anger.
The birds can’t move on.
The birds can’t forgive.
And while our inability to forgive others may not lead us to go crashing into a brick wall, it may cause just as much destruction as we see in the game.
Ephesians 4:26-27 says:
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
When we hold onto our anger it becomes like a festering wound. Instead of healing and moving beyond our hurt, we keep feeding it until it starts to impact other areas of our lives. When we hold onto our anger it can’t stay contained to one person, it starts to leak out and affect other relationships.
Also, when we hold onto our anger, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. Like a bird who can only think about getting those pigs, we can only think about the person who hurt us. We invest all of our energy into holding onto that grudge and maintaining our anger. When we do that, we don’t have any energy left to invest in God; we can’t see what God is doing because we’re too focused on our anger.
The only way to move beyond that kind of distracting, unhealthy anger is to go through a process of forgiveness. We need to let go of the anger and move past the hurt someone else has caused us.
Forgiveness doesn’t make for a very good game, but it makes for a much better life.
What helps you forgive others and move beyond anger?