Manure Occureth…How Ya Gonna Handle It?

Bitterness

Regardless of the catalyst…all of us have had to deal with feelings of bitterness.  A marriage that failed, infidelity that collapsed a relationship, a trust destroyed, a violation,  an intentional offense…or in my case, someone literally trying to kill me…resulting in life altering consequences for their actions against me…

Heb 12:15 (msg version) Says, Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.

Another translation refers to the weeds of bitter discontent as “The Root of Bitterness”…

Both of these examples talk about bitterness taking “root” in our lives and ultimately having the ability to reproduce itself until the entire “garden” of our life is over run and choked out by the weeds of the bitterness…

Don’t we have a right to be angry?  Don’t we have a right to feel bitter?  From our perspective, “we didn’t deserve it”, Yet, here we are having to traverse a course that we did not choose for ourselves!  It was directly the result of another’s decisions or transgression against us and yet we are left with the weight of their decision as it continues to effect us long after the offense was committed.  And bitterness is the natural response to our feelings of betrayal!  Right?!

Just because it is the “natural” or perhaps more pictorially expressed “fleshly” response to the offense does not mean it is the ONLY option…

The bible tells us that we can “be angry” but “sin not”… How does that happen?  I believe ultimately, it is solely by choice… I believe that we CHOOSE not to allow bitterness in to take root in our lives.  And we make that choice DAILY!

The very day that two young men attempted to take my life, I determined that I would not allow bitterness to set in!  Was I angry?  YES!  And as time wore on and the “Wages” of their sin became more apparent, it was all the more difficult for me to “walk in love” or as Luke 6:28 says…”Blessing those who have cursed me”… The actions of these two young men cost me a career that I had worked hard to build… I busted my butt to move up the ladder QUICKLY!  I was a good cop, I was Officer of the Year and on the SWAT team in 3 years, I was a Detective Sergeant in 4 years…I was offered opportunities from State agencies that many wait an entire career to never see… and in one fell swoop, it was all taken away…

Have I had days when I wished I could have “more” retribution or a taste of revenge…?  Yeah, I’ve certainly had those “natural” feelings… but I have not allowed myself to dwell on the negative emotion that allows bitterness to take root and, for the most part, I’ve been victorious over it.  BUT it doesn’t and wouldn’t take long for me to fall into that pit if I allowed myself to do so…

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to “guard our hearts, for out of it flows the wellspring of life”… and ultimately, that’s what I am doing when I refuse to allow myself to become bitter…

At times, I have had to MAKE myself pray for them… I will admit that my prayer is not usually, “God bless them and make them prosper”… but more of a “God, minister to their lives and help them to be free from the bondage of sin that caused them to try to harm me”…Or “God I pray that you would do whatever it takes to help them to turn their lives around so that they never do to another person what they have done to me”… and in that, I am giving it to God… I don’t hate them… I don’t want bad for them… I hope that they will change… and if they don’t, God will be the one who judges them…Not me…

I actually went as far as to buy bibles for the both of them… I was able to give one to one of them already… and when he received it, he wept…

I will say that operating in that capacity does not come naturally…it went against EVERYTHING that my flesh wanted to do… but there is a place where you can function, that God’s character trumps your own and you have the strength to do what is “right” because it is “right” regardless of how your flesh opposes it!

Ultimately, I realize that bitterness would destroy and take from me, far more than their actions did… I refuse to allow them or the devil to steal any more than they already have unlawfully taken from me… God will restore what was stolen… and I will remain postured for blessing by refusing to allow bitterness to dominate my life…

It’s a choice…A daily choice… The bible says choose you THIS DAY whom you will serve…like I said, it’s a choice…It’s YOUR choice!

If you can dig it say “word!”

Here’s a few more applicable scriptures…

Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice

Isa 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.

Php 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 4:7And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

1 Comment

  1. Sonya Lloyd

    Love your Blog, it a great tool to help me thru the day and also a great bible study for my children.

    Reply

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