Have you ever heard that song that goes, "WAR, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again!"? If you haven’t, check it out. It will be stuck in your head all day. Replace the word “war” with “drama” and you can see where this is headed. Drama is good for absolutely nothing. I'm not talking about drama as in a performance at a theater. I'm talking about the feuds between friends, high emotions, irrational behavior and thoughts kind of drama.
In college, I had a major falling out with one of my closest friends. When we first got to college, everything was great. But as the year progressed, we started hanging out with different circles of friends and it became clear that we wanted different things out of life. A couple uncomfortable situations lead to misunderstandings, which lead to an awful series of fights. Hurtful words were exchanged. Words that I will never be able to take back. We stopped talking. We would avoid each other on campus, and it forced some of our mutual friends from home to choose sides. I isolated myself. I chose to hold onto feeling hurt and angered by her actions, and all in all it was a pretty terrible couple of months. I finally took it upon myself to be the “bigger person” and send her a message on Facebook. The Facebook message turned into a face to face meeting, which was a day that I’ll never forget.
That was the day that I chose to let go of my anger, to seek reconciliation with a former dear friend, to recognize the ways that I had failed to love her, and for her to recognize the ways she had failed to love me. It was the day that I chose against isolation and chose love. It was not fun. There were plenty of tears and it hurt a lot. It's never easy to look back at a situation and recognize the ways that you had failed. After we talked, it was like a weight was lifted. Rebuilding our friendship wasn’t easy, but I am very glad that we did. I was able to live in freedom again, which is what ultimately happens when you choose love. Freedom.
Here is something to think about. When we hold onto hurt, when we hold grudges against others, when we hold onto anger and choose to not move on, it leads to isolation on so many levels. It isolates you, it isolates your friends, it isolates the person you are fighting against, and it’s not worth it. It even isolates you from the Lord, who is love Himself. Take it from someone who has seen a fair share of drama throughout the years. Take it from someone who has grown up with friends who isolated themselves as a result of holding onto things. Take it from someone who used to do this.
All of this being said, yes, people can and will hurt you. Yes, people sometimes suck, and it’s perfectly OK and warranted to say “adios” to someone who is not life giving. Yes, you are going to have fights because let’s face it, we live in a broken world full of screwed up people (myself included). But friends, it is never OK to allow anger or bitterness to take root in your heart. Why is it not OK? Take a look at what St. Paul says about it:
”And don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” // Ephesians 4:26-27
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to give the devil any means of gaining any entrance into my life. Ever. Anger is not of our creator. We have a God who is slow to anger and quick to forgive. A God who is always there to welcome back the 'prodigal son'. A God who sees us when we fall down and offers His hand to help us up again.
Life is precious. Life is a gift. Life is beautiful, and is meant to be lived. We hear it all the time, "life is short". Life is too short, when you really think about it. I want to spend my life loving like crazy. You and I don't have time or room for anger to be rooted in any part of our hearts. It's simply not worth it. I'd rather be made uncomfortable for a moment by confronting someone who has wronged me than allowing it to fester in my heart for a lifetime.
I don't know what kind of situation you're dealing with today, but I encourage you to choose love. It’s not always going to be an easy path, but it’s worth it.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you." // Ephesians 4: 31-32
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” // Romans 12:21