Okay, so I’m gonna get “gut-honest” here because I woke up this morning and it seems the Lord wants me to be vulnerable about some serious stuff. Here’s the Scripture He put on my heart this morning to share about.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
Okay, this is not an easy one for me, because you see, I was that “root of bitterness” springing up that caused trouble. I was a grumbler and a complainer. I was a fault-finding, unhappy, miserable Christian at times and I’m sure I defiled people with my attitude. I, of course, didn’t see it that way at the time. Who would ever want to be that way on purpose. God has brought me through much confession, repentance and transformation since then, but I dare not forget what it was that led me to be in that place of bitterness. Summed up in one word, PRIDE, yup, ugly old pride. I lived the first part of my life with the attitude of “my way or the highway,” or to be really honest, I thought my way was the highway, and that everyone else should be traveling on that road. Ouch! it stings to remember that person, because you see, by the grace of God, and through His transforming love, I am not that person anymore. But I do need to
Proverbs 4:23 “Watch over my heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”
You see, this bitterness thing was sneaky. It didn’t start out as bitterness, o no, it was just a rumbling at first, a twinge of hurt, an offense from another. And I held that offense in my heart, and it grew and I was offended more, and it grew. Over and over, again and again, offense, offense, offense. But the real culprit, was my own unforgiveness.
21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22
I was not forgiving others as Christ had forgiven me, and it turned into a big ball of bitterness. That bitterness opened the door for more ugly things to enter into my heart, and before I knew it, I had become a root of bitterness.
So guard your hearts, my beloved ones, and do not let unforgiveness or a spirit of grumbling reside there. The cost is too high, the price, too steep, and the slope, o so very slippery.
Precious God, thank you for your loving corrections, thank you for Jesus, who makes the forgiveness of my sins possible. Teach me to forgive others as freely as He forgives me. Seventy times seven, right, but if we are counting, Lord, is it really forgiveness? I love you, God, my teacher, my savior, my friend. Guide us all to guard our hearts and open them up to your corrections, your teachings, your encouragements and your love
Amen and Amen