Friday, February 12, 2010

Beating Bitterness

I have experienced the impact of bitterness in my life and to tell you the truth -- I hate it. Bitterness is the result of a deep seated anger towards someone over something done in the past that has not been forgiven.
It is very dangerous.

The Bible warns us to be careful so that a root of bitterness doesn't spring up defiling many (ref: Hebrews 12:15) You see, bitterness doesn't just affect you, it affects everyone you come into contact with and taints all your conversation and actions. That should be warning enough to forgive yet so many people struggle to forgive.

You know what I mean. How many times has someone wronged you, or taken advantage of you and you think, I've forgiven them so many times! Lord how much do I have to take???

Then I remember an old song about 70 x 7. It is all about how many times Jesus said we should forgive someone in one day. (Matthew 18:22) The hard part for me is trying to tell if they have repented. We must give them the benefit of the doubt and forgive.

Hard to do, I know. You know how the world says, do it to me once, shame on you. Do it to me twice, shame on me -- for letting you do it to me. So what do you do when the person has done it to you five times? Even 20 times? Forgive so you might be sons/daughters of the Most High God.

I remember telling the Lord once, "I can't trust this person," as if that would be excuse enough to not forgive.

You know what Holy Spirit told me? He said, "You can trust me." That shut down that line of defense.

So we must trust Holy Spirit to look after us and believe the promise that all things will work together for our good, to those who love and serve the Lord." (Rom. 8:28)

I think that a lack of forgiveness, which leads to bitterness, is because we don't really trust that God can and will turn the situation around for us. If we really trusted that God could and would turn it around for us, so that we would eventually win, it would make forgiving a lot easier.

Well God's turned around other situations for me so that I come out smelling like roses, so since God can't lie and He doesn't change, I know He will do what His word says. (Titus 1:2, Malachi 3:6)

Time to go bless some people that have hurt me. Let's say this out loud, "Lord, forgive them, they don't know what they are doing. Bless them, help them come to the light of Your love. I release anyone that I might have anything against, in Jesus name. Now I'm going to watch you work Lord and You show me how you are going to turn this into a blessing for me. Amen!"