Saturday, March 19, 2016

Shedding the Weight of Bitterness

This short devo is from The Christian Pulse and such a great reminder that I wanted to share it with you. All too recently I've been here--allowing bitterness to take root without my truly acknowledging it--or repenting of it. It's always a good idea to keep short accounts with God--and others. Don't let things simmer...the pot always and only gets hotter.

Vacation Declaration

Posted: 18 Mar 2016 01:11 PM PDT

By Cindy Martin –
How much unforgiveness are you carrying? 
On a recent family vacation, during a time of casual conversation, our 13 year old daughter made the following spontaneous declaration, “I tried holding a grudge once, but it was too much work.” The manner in which she expressed herself caused us all to chuckle enthusiastically. Revealing her deep desire for meaningful relationships, she followed up by saying, “I just wanted to talk with my friend”.
While her little pronouncement has brought me much amusement, it has also challenged me to reflect on the high cost of unforgiveness. Hebrews 12:15 reads, “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many” (NLT). We learn in this verse that by withholding forgiveness, we are depriving others and ourselves of God’s grace. It also reminds us that the choice not to forgive results in many unexpected and destructive happenings in our life. While forgiveness leads to peace, unforgiveness leads to misery and our misery poisons those around us. Many of us have experienced the harsh stinging words or attitude of someone else’s misery. Perhaps, we’ve been the ones extending misery instead of grace.

Forgiveness is not forgetting, denying, approving of or excusing another person’s actions. Rather it is an active choice to be a conduit of God’s grace. Refusing to forgive is choosing to stay tied to someone in a link that is sometimes stronger than steel. God’s work of grace in our hearts to extend forgiveness is the only pathway to release. When we choose to forgive, we are untying ourselves, freeing ourselves from an often suffocating weight in our lives.
Matthew 6:15 explains another way we feel the weight of unforgiveness in our lives, “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (NLT). Whether it’s the weight of being tied to another person (or persons) or the heaviness of our own unforgiven sin, my daughter was right, “it is too much work.” The load is overwhelming and the loss of intimacy in our relationship with our heavenly Father stifles His work in and through us. God never intended it to be this way. He modelled ultimate mercy and pardon so that we could enjoy the life giving lightness and freedom that forgiveness brings.
Prayer: Lord, please show me if there is any unforgiveness in my life that is weighing me down. If there is, I ask You to do a work of grace in my heart. Help me to choose to follow Your example of mercy and forgiveness.
Verse: “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT).

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New, New, New!
The sequel to PULSE is here!

It takes faith to be resilient.

Now that an EMP has sent the United States into a seeming Dark Age, society has fallen apart at the seams. Andrea, Lexie and Sarah must survive despite the loss of technology, electricity, and worse, the threats of marauders and lawless opportunists. The appearance of FEMA camps might be reassuring except that the military seem determined to force civilians to enter them.

Is the US government also a threat?

And can the country recover from the loss of technology before everyone--and everything--is destroyed?

1 comment:

chappydebbie said...

I learned this lesson a long time ago. It is so important to matter who that person is. I held on to so much hurt at one point in my life and once I forgave the person who hurt me, it was such a load off of my heart, mind, body and soul.