In an interview with Psychology Today, a secular therapist based in New York City suggests that struggles we are having with cow0rkers may be a result of unresolved issues with our family.
Maria Baratta said that certain actions of coworkers may be subconsciously reminding you of the behavior of family members and triggering your negative reaction.
According to Baratta the key to dealing with this is to recognize what is happening as this is the first step of dealing with your negative reactions.
However, Jesus went one step further.
One day, Peter asked Christ how many times does a person need to forgive his brother and sister, and threw out a number of seven times?
This suggests some family issue had popped up or at the very least a memory of an earlier incident. I suspect Peter thought he was being magnanimous when he suggested seven times (Matthew 18:21), because the Jewish rabbis taught that a person didn’t need to forgive more than three times and often cited Amos 1:3-13 as the basis for this belief.
Peter was more than doubling this requirement.
But Jesus replied that even seven times wasn’t enough and we needed to forgive seventy times seven. Most scholars state that Jesus was essentially saying to we need to forgive and continually keep forgiving, citing the difficulty of keeping track of the number of times you have forgiven a person. And this also may require forgiving someone multiple times for the same incident.
Jesus them immediately tells a parable of the slave who had squandered the equivalent of $10 million of his master wealth (Matthew 18:21-35). In ancient times, it was not uncommon for slaves to manage the financial affairs of their master.
When the master called for an accounting, the slave was unable to come up with the money. Enraged, the master ordered the slave and his family thrown in jail. However, when the slave pleaded for mercy, the master relented and completely forgave the debt.
But then the story takes a turn. You don’t lose $10 million because everything went right. Undoubtedly the slave lent money to friends, invested in businesses and people were not paying back their debts.
People had taken advantage of the slave.
So the slave went out to collect his money and found a man who owned him 100 denarii. A denarii was about a day’s wage for a laborer (Matthew 2:20), so based on the US minimum wage this is about $4,000US. However, this is not an exact science, because if you base it on purchasing power or how much bread you could buy with a 100 denarii, it works out to about $2,000US.
But despite whatever number you use, it was pittance compared to the $10 million the slave lost.
And we read what happens next:
8 But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ (Matthew 18:28 NASV)
Notice that the slave was exploding in anger and was actually choking the person who owed 100 denarii. In other words, the slave had his hands wrapped around this person’s neck. When the man asked for forgiveness and additional time to repay his debt, the slave ignored his pleas and through this man in a debtor’s prison.
But the explosive overreaction by the slave tells us one thing. He was not punishing this man for the 100 denarii, but for the millions of dollars that others had ripped off. He was dumping his $10 million debt on a man who only owed 100 denarii.
And this is exactly what happens when we have wounds in our heart. We punish others for things that happened to us sometime years earlier, because hurting people, hurt people.
So if you are triggered by others around you, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the root of this anger and then forgive the root cause because Jesus wants to heal your emotions:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;(Luke 4:18 New King James)
The compound word “brokenhearted” refers to a crushed or damaged heart and the Greek word for heart “kardia” refers to our thoughts and feelings. Jesus wants to heal your damaged emotions and set you free from your past.
To start this road to healing, we must first admit the problem and then start the process of forgiving those who hurt you.