The Longer It Waits, The Harder It GetsMaybe there's a strained relationship in your life right now, and there have been too many sunsets and bad feelings toward someone. The problem is probably bigger than it used to be, but right now is the smallest it will ever be. This issue will never be easier to address than right now, no matter how hard that might seem to you. It's only going to get harder. It's only going to get more costly, and you'll only turn darker inside.

There's a good reason for this. It's like food remnants on dirty dishes. If you deal with them right away, they're soft and easy to remove. Just rinse the plate, and the food falls right off. If you wait, it turns hard so you have to scrape and work, and it's tough to remove it because it's stuck tight. Maybe that's why we call unresolved anger "hard feelings."

Anger turns hard very quickly, and that gives the devil an opportunity to enter a marriage, a parent-child relationship, a friendship, or a church. At the core of every marriage break-up there has probably been an issue that was once a small one, but it was not dealt with immediately. At the core of a broken parent-child relationship, a hurting friendship, or a divided church, there are people who didn't clean up their anger when it first appeared, when it was still small and relatively soft, so it's led to a terrible outcome. The devil got his foot in the door.

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." Here's the Biblical clock on strained relationships. That clock runs out at sundown every day. Remember those old westerns where the marshal might say, "You better be out of here by sundown." Well, that's what we're supposed to be saying to any anger, resentment, or conflict that comes up. "Get out of here by sundown."

Today is always your best opportunity to go to that person and do whatever it takes to repair things. Be willing to confront them to apologize and receive or give forgiveness if needed. Talk it through with them and pray together. You say, "Well, that's going to be tough." It won't be as tough as not doing it. You just cannot afford that hard spot in your heart that develops from the anger that you stuff inside. Don't let it grow instead of letting it go.

Anger and bitterness never stays the same size; they always grow. Remember the dirty dish. There is nothing to gain in waiting to resolve the problem, because the longer you wait, the harder it gets.

            

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Ron Hutchcraft Ministries
P.O. Box 400
Harrison, AR 72602-0400

(870) 741-3300
(877) 741-1200 (toll-free)
(870) 741-3400 (fax)

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