Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
So you’re pushing your shopping cart down the isle, when you glance up, and there they are. It’s them. The people you want least to see; let alone have to speak to. After all, you’ve had an unspoken feud with them for as long as you can remember. Could have started with your parents, can’t really remember. Don’t even remember what it was really about, but it is real. You begin to rehears your responses to the verbal attacks that never come. Before long, your neck veins look like rhubarb, and your blood pressure is spiking. You quickly duck around the corner to the next isle, even though there is nothing there you want.
So what’s the cause of this? It is what the Bible calls, the root of bitterness as described in Heb. 12:15. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” Bitterness in the Biblical sense is – Failing to Forgive Completely. There are many palpable effects of bitterness in the medical realm, manifesting themselves as (or as the result of), Stress. Paul gives us the answer in Eph. 4:32, although as usual, we only apply it to others, and not ourselves. “Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” I kind of like the idea of forgiveness. What do you think Jesus means when he says things like: “And when you stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses”– Mark 11:25. Aught against Any means Anything against Anybody. He doesn’t say “when they apologize”, but rather forgive in order to be forgiven. Here’s a nugget for you. A bitter spirit Always does more damage to the vessel in which it is stored (you) than the object on which it is poured. It’s killing you. Everything in your life is viewed through the lens of bitterness. It is standing between you and your relationship with God. Don’t give your alleged enemy that kind of power over you.
Remember Joseph? He was beaten by his brothers, left for dead, then sold to slave traders, falsely accused by his master, imprisoned, and yet when he held the fate of his brothers in his very hand, he cried, forgave them and said: “you meant it for my hurt, but God meant it for my good”. Gen. 50:20. Forgiveness is more for your benefit than theirs, and it is a command of God. Turn it loose.