Christian

BITTERNESS: This Heart Condition Is Worse Than You Think

I was eavesdropping on a conversation recently (couldn’t help it – I was at the hair salon!) Anyway, one lady was complaining about her husband and another woman. The stylist listened attentively and threw in an occassional “Ohhh!” or “No!!” The complaining lady was really angry (and I could see why!)

I couldn’t stop thinking about what I overheard because it related to the subject of today’s post. When we’ve been deeply hurt and can’t forgive, it will lead to bitterness of heart.

The problem with bitterness is that, even though your anger and resentment may be justified, it will destroy you. Stephen Diamond, Ph.D.,  describes bitterness as “a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment,” and deservedly regards it as “one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions.”

He says, ” if we repeatedly ruminate over how we’ve been victimized, our “nursing” our wrongs may eventually come to define some essential part of who we are. Take hold of our very personality. And so we’ll end up becoming victims not so much of anyone else but, principally, of ourselves.”

Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Since a root is the hidden part of a plant or tree, we can think of a bitter root as being the hidden source of bitterness. What is the seed from which that bitter root sprouts in our heart? It’s that tiny speck of unforgiveness, that tiny speck of indignation that we allow to remain in our hearts. It’s that tiny speck of resentment that we justify in our mind.

Let’s call this tree Bitterness. The function of it’s roots are the same as other roots. Roots can keep a tree in place for hundreds of years and nothing can move it . Winds and storms won’t dislodge it!

Secondly, the roots nourish the tree to make sure it keeps growing stronger and stronger.

And lastly, roots can cause trouble when they grow where they aren’t wanted – like when they invade water pipes or sewer systems.

Is it any wonder that God used the analogy of roots when warning us about bitterness? But where He gives a warning, he provides an answer.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:1 NIV

As we humbly come to Him, seeking His way and His will, God will provide the grace to forgive and let go. Many times, the injustice we must forgive cannot be forgiven in our own strength, but God’s grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And what is the opposite of bitterness? Contentment, Happiness, Sweetness! That is God’s plan for you.

“Grace be with you all.” (2 Timothy 4:22 NIV)

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog  

Christian

So You’re Angry

One morning, God stopped me in the middle of something (I thought) was very important and gave me a lesson in discipline. This is what happened:

I was studying my Bible to prepare a lesson for the Women’s Bible Study when the phone rang. The church secretary informed me that the room I had reserved for the Bible Study would not be available because someone else needed it.

What?! Are you kidding me? So what? 

(Little did I know, the Lord was getting ready to take me down a completely different path than the one I was on.)

It was hard to continue preparing my Bible lesson when I so angry. I thought, They can’t just take my room! This is ridiculous! Who do they think they are? That’s not fair!

I knew my attitude was wrong, but I couldn’t help it. I felt justified.

Then a Scripture came to my mind.

“Above all else, guard your heart,” came the still small voice. (Proverbs 4:23)

Honestly, I didn’t really want to, but I listened. Then another Scripture came to my mind. “Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought.” (Romans 12:3) and “Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10)

Then, God said to me, “Forgive”.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15)

As an act of my will, I forgave. But I still felt really annoyed. Then the Lord brought another Scripture to my mind. “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up.” Hebrews 12:15

To forgive is a decision, but I knew that if I kept rehearsing this over and over in my mind, bitterness would take root. I needed God’s grace.

Thank God we can “Come boldly to the throne of grace … and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

What is our time of need? It is when we are too weak to do something in our own strength. The Lord told Paul, “My grace is sufficient, …. for my power is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9

Hebrews 13:9 says, “It is good to be strengthened by God’s grace.”

Oh how we need to rely on God’s grace to serve Him!

“Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” Hebrews 12:28 KJV

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8

God was teaching me that I can easily justify a  selfish attitude. But if I want others to see the love of God through me, I must walk in His ways.

It wasn’t the circumstances in question that were important. The real issue was – would I guard my heart? He taught me to rely on Him because His grace is sufficient.

If you need God’s grace today, go boldly to the Throne of Grace.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

All Scripture references are from the NIV unless otherwise noted.