If you are truly experiencing anger after “forgiving” someone, then you really haven’t forgiven them. The fact is if you are ready to forgive someone, the anger should have already been dealt with and then after you’ve forgiven them the anger shouldn’t return. To support this thought I will quote Ephesians 4:31-32: “Let all bitterness, wrath, ANGER, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (NKJV). Notice we are told to put away ANGER even before we forgive our brother or sister. Instead of anger, we should “be kind to one another, tenderhearted.” What will enable us to do this? Galatians 5:22-23 teaches us this is the “fruit of the Spirit.” Those verses say, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” We are exhorted in Ephesians 5:18: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” We MUST allow the Holy Spirit to control us, including our ANGER. If we yield our lives over to His control He will indeed replace that anger with kindness.

Now let’s talk about forgiveness. We saw in Ephesians 4:32 that we are to be “forgiving one another” and the apostle adds, “even as God in Christ forgive you.” We learn from this that God is our example in forgiving our brother. So, if we know what is involved in God forgiving us, we can then apply this to forgiving our brother. Let’s consider some scriptures dealing with God’s forgiveness of our sins.

Hebrews 10:17 declares, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” What a blessed truth this is! When God forgives the sinner who puts his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, He assures us He FORGETS OUR SINS! Now you may be thinking, “But God is all-knowing, so how could He forget them?” I believe the thought is He’ll “never bring them up again.” And if He will never remind us of our past sins, then we should apply this to our brother. If we truly forgive our brother, the sins they committed against us should never be brought up again, either to him, or in our own minds.

Isaiah 43:25 states, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” This verse repeats the thought that God won’t remember our sins but it adds the thought that God “blots out your transgressions.” In other words, OUR SINS ARE GONE as far as God is concerned. This is emphasized in Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Oh fellow believer, how precious is this thought! Our many sins have been completely REMOVED. The prophet Micah echoed this same truth in Micah 7:19: “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” God has BURIED our sins in the depth of the sea! One has said that because God has buried them in the sea, there should be a sign saying, “No fishing!” What God has buried should remain buried! As we saw earlier in Hebrews 10:17, they should never be brought up again.

These are challenging scriptures and I trust you will see that it is impossible to truly forgive someone and then be angry towards them. If you are, then you are not following God’s example of forgiveness, for when He forgives sins He forgets them; He blots them out; He removes them, and He buries them. (241.5) (DO)