Sunday, 14 November 2010
10:45:02 PM (GMT)
I've said it before and I'll always say it again. You are not here by mistake, you
are here by design.
The root of bitterness is harboring hurt.
Maybe someone took something away from you, maybe someone died, maybe someone
abandoned or attacked you. You can be bitter with anyone. Towards a friend, family
member, enemy, towards yourself, or towards God for allowing something to happen. I
personally have said things like "They have no right to do that to me! After all
I've done just for them! They just don't get how far out of my way I go for them!"
The seed of bitterness can so quickly be dropped into our lives and can grow even
more quickly. Others have wronged you, and more will wrong you. You can be very
justified in feeling hurt. People will do terrible things to you without even
knowing it. It happens to everyone, you're not alone at all.
But. And there's always a but. What makes us different from others is not
what happens to us, for everyone knows hardship, what makes us different is how we
react to it. That is what separates us from others.
The tough truth is that you are owned by the person you are bitter towards. They
exercise power and control over you, do they not? Even if they don't know it, you
are manipulated by your bitterness.
Bitterness is a poison, a bile, a toxin. Get enough of it and you too will become
poison. I'm sure we've all been around especially bitter individuals who hold onto
many hurts and being with them is not enjoyable. Unless you're bitter too, maybe.
The one solution is forgiveness.
Ephesians 4:31-32 says, and its important "31 Get rid of all bitterness,
rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and
compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave
Colossians 3:12-13 "12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against
someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Another point I've made before. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE FORGIVEN. Not you, not me,
not the rapist in prison or the drug dealer on the streets, not my pastor nor the
pope himself deserves forgiveness. There is nothing we can do to earn forgiveness,
it is God's gift to everyone. So who are we to deny forgiving anyone of anything?
If the God of everything can see in your soul all of the sin of your life and say "I
love you so, so much, and I want to be with you always" then who are you to say you
won't forgive someone else? Or yourself.
No one deserves it, that is why it is such a blessed gift to give to one another.
God's love and forgiveness is unconditional.
I've heard it said, and I've said it myself. "I will forgive them them if they ask."
NO! It doesn't work that way. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person
asking or earning, its all about you. Bitterness is drinking the poison and waiting
for the person who hurt you to die!
This might be an eye opener to some people, as it was for me. You never found God.
God is the one who restlessly pursued you.
Matthew 5:44-45 "44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who
persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his
sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the
Forgivers value relationships and value people. They want what is best for others
above all else. Not to punish someone but to help them. Even if they "deserve" it.
Just as we all deserve hell, as we've all earned it. but God's says "I don't care
what you deserve, I want what is best for you, and that is to be with me."
What is best for us, by definition, will make us the most joyful overall.
Forgiveness is not forgetting. It is remembering and choosing to forgive.
Forgiveness may not change any consequences. If a cop forgives you for speeding, you
still get a ticket.
Forgiveness does not equal trust, and for very good reasons. If your son is out late
and comes home drunk you're welcomed to forgive him, but that doesn't mean you're
going to trust him with the keys to the car again any time soon. That's discipline.
It hurts, but its done with love because to love is to seek what is best for
Hebrews 12:5-6 “5My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not
lose heart when he rebukes you, 6because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and
he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” To be disciplined is a good thing.
To withhold forgiveness only hurts yourself. Drinking the poison and waiting for
that person to die.
To not forgive is to sin.
To forgive is a sign of a forgiven life.
Whenever I pray either I end it with this or this is sometimes all I can say. "God
it is your will I seek. May what you wish to happen, happen. Not what I want, not
what he or she wants, but what you want." Its not about me, its about Him. Its not
about you, its about Him.
We never better demonstrate a likeness of Christ than when we forgive.
I'm not trying to belittle or diminish hurts. Yes we hurt and yes its terrible and
people can be thoughtless and cruel and so very selfish. We're all put into these
situations at least sometimes. We have little control over that. But what we do
have control over is how we react. To be bitter or to forgive.
I ask that as you speak to and listen to God that you remind yourself that His will
be done, not yours and not anyone else's. For He loves you and wants the very best
for you. What great arrogance it is for anyone to say they know better than our
To anyone who reads this. If I know you then there's a great chance we've hurt one
another. Particularly those I've known for a while. I wholeheartedly forgive you,