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Archive for the ‘Bitterness’ Category

I believe that the beginning of the New Year would be a great time to begin the healing process.  Forgiveness is the first step.  It is not easy but it is so worth the effort.  If you are struggling with unforgiveness, maybe this little article will help get you on the right track.  Please don’t live this year in the Prison of Unforgiveness.  Break free from the bonds and soar like an eagle. 

 

What’s standing between you and forgiveness? Recent scholarly research confirms what many already know—that forgiving others is a valuable gift for ourselves. Research shows that when we forgive, we have less stress, anger, and other psychosomatic symptoms like headaches, upset stomachs, and so on.I know many of us carry very deep wounds from the past, and can barely imagine forgiving those who have wronged us. It may take time, but I challenge you to commit yourself to forgiving them.

Maybe there’s a strained relationship with a child, a parent, a sibling or “friend”.  Do you own some of the blame for the way things are? Maybe it’s time to ask for some forgiveness. Imagine how powerful an exchange like that would be!

Here are some steps to forgiveness from the researchers:

First, we need to change our expectations of others. Instead of having “rules” for how they behave, we should have “preferences.” After all, we can’t control how others act. Maybe you’ll never have a perfect relationship with your dad—or your teenager–or your sibling. But you can probably accept them a little more for who they are and—from there—build a good relationship.

Second, we need to try to see the other person’s perspective. Maybe your dad never got what he needed from his father. His wound may have made him incapable of providing what you needed. Maybe your daughter is under a lot of stress with all she’s dealing with at school. Considering the other person’s perspective can make a big difference.

The third step is to move from blaming to acceptance, and then move on. Moving on may mean building a new, better relationship. Often, that’s what forgiveness brings. But also realize that your forgiveness doesn’t depend on them. If they don’t respond or even if they reject you, you have still forgiven, released the hurt feelings, and committed to go on with life in a positive way. What a burden that can lift!

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Also,  to my friends that have somehow gotten away from the Lord…You have been on my mind the past couple of days.  God and the church are waiting with open arms for you to come back.  We miss you.  We love you.  I think that the song I co-wrote with my brother, Keith, sums it up quite well:

Come On Home

Verse 1

I saw that look in your eye, that far away dream, of days gone by you were so happy and free.  And I knew you remembered the good times we had, serving Jesus every day through good and the bad…

Chorus

And nothing’s changed as far as we’re concerned.  We love you now just like we did back then.  So, Come on Home where you belong.  You’ve been away for much to long.  And Jesus wants to take you back again.

Verse 2

You see, I know how you feel, ’cause I’ve walked that road so far from home, afraid and alone.  Oh, but I see the Father, with His arms open wide, longing just to hold you again by His side…

 

music and lyrics by: Ronda Hurst and Keith Layne

© Nelon Music Group

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Ephesians 4:30-32

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 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 you. (NIV)

I have been thinking lately, what makes people bitter about life? Was it a word ill spoken? Was it an untimely death of a loved one? Was it an unfaithful spouse? What is it that makes people go through life tasting sand with each bite of food they take? What is it that makes bitter people not see the beauty in each day or the joy in the laughter of children? Why would someone want to live a life so distraught and unhappy? We all know that when we are bitter that the person we are bitter toward owns us. They own our every thought and sometimes our actions. Is it worth that? I don’t think so. I would rather take that hurt or wound to the altar in prayer and leave it there. Lay that person on the altar and let God take care of it. He can do a much better job than I. I know it may sound simplistic and almost flippant…”well, just take it to the altar and leave it there”. No! It is not simple. Having to lay those things down and not pick them up again is no simple task when you have truly been offended or hurt in a deep manner. By not picking them up again I mean, not continuing to talk about it on a consistent basis. Here is a good “test”…can you hear that person’s name or talk about them without that old feeling of bitterness coming back up in your throat? Can you go through an hour, a day without thinking of that person? How long has it been since you thought of the wrong that was done to you? You know, we all have a chance in life to become bitter. How will we deal with it? I hope I choose to continue to take it to the Lord in prayer. I often say to people to keep washing it out through prayer. Sometimes it takes more than one or two prayer meetings. We may have to do it many times before we can feel totally free of the bitterness. But if that is what it takes then so be it. I don’t want to live my life centered around a hurt done to me by someone. There is no easy remedy for bitterness other than what we find in the Word. Psalm 119:165 says, Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them. That is a very stout scripture when you really stop to think about it. …and NOTHING shall offend them? How? By loving the law (word) of God. Is it really that simple? YES! “Those in whom this holy love reigns, will not perplex themselves with needless scruples, or take offence at their brethren. We must make heart work of it, or we make nothing of it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary) If we love the law of the Lord it is easy to forgive. Fill yourself with His Word. Give yourself to God in prayer. Take a look back at the scripture at the beginning of this post. I believe that part of the answer to getting rid of bitterness (v.31) is found in verse 32…”Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” When we take the focus from off ourself and begin to do good to others it is easier to “get rid of bitterness”. Try giving yourself away today. Please do not allow bitterness to take the joy out of living.

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