"If you are angry, don't sin by nursing your grudge. Don't let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly; for when you are angry you give a mighty foothold to the devil."1
In June of 1987 workers on a building site in London hit a cast iron pipe when using a pile driver. After digging out the buried pipe—and dropping it—they realized it looked suspiciously like a bomb.
It was! It turned out to be a 2,200 pound bomb from World War II—one of the largest the Germans used during the blitz which killed 15,000 Londoners. The area was evacuated and a bomb disposal unit took 18 hours to disarm it.
Unresolved buried emotions such as anger, hatred, unforgiving atttude, resentment, shame, guilt, and grief can be like buried bombs and can be easily triggered and detonated. No wonder Paul advised us to never sleep on our anger and Peter said to get rid of such feelings. To do this we need to get them out in the open and defuse them by expressing them in a safe place ... in a creative way ... to a trusted friend or counselor ... or write them out as David often did in the Psalms. The important thing is to get them out and off our chest and not bottle them up inside.
To heal negative emotions we need to feel them. To resolve them we need to relive them. That is, we need to bring back painful memories from past hurtful experiences to conscious memory so we can get them out in the open where they can be expressed and resolved. Bottling up feelings, like burying old bombs, is a very dangerous course to follow.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You for Your Word, the Bible, which gives practical instructions for creative and healthy living. Please help me to follow Your instructions and face any buried negative emotional "bombs" in my life, and help me to resolve them creatively so I won't explode onto other people. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Ephesians 4:26 (TLB), [NLT].
NOTE: See the article, "Getting in Touch with Your Feelings," at: http://tinyurl.com/3jceny