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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Severing the Root of Bitterness

I have been very disturbed of late by the lack of forgiveness evidenced among Christians. I am speaking, in particular, of the younger people (for it is they whom I am most familiar with). Some of them have dated around since they were fifteen and hurt each other in the process, leaving wounds that are difficult to heal and some that are unwilling to. Others have said or done things to others that they should not have.
They go about avoiding each other and bad-mouthing each other behind their backs. I can understand that they are hurt and that they want to stay away from those individuals with whom they are now uncomfortable, yet it seems to me that they have missed the greater reward of forgiveness.
I am reminded of two incidents in my life where Christian people that I thought I knew well, turned their backs on me over matters of preference and convenience. If I am to be totally honest then I must confess that I harbored bitterness for a long time after toward those individuals and dreamed vengeance, yet Christ did not let me sink forever into that pit.
He reminded me of how many times I had deserved God's wrath when, instead, he bestowed mercy. He helped me to accept the hurt as part of my spiritual growth and encouraged me to trust again, because if we cannot trust than we can never have true, lasting friendships. The wounds were deep, how well I remember them--I still bear the scars. But Christ told me to love them and I do. Not through affection, but through compassion, because I recognize that they were deceived.
To the Christian youth out there I say that you must fight hard against bitterness and treat all in the spirit of Christ. We are not in this world to battle our brothers and sisters in the Lord. No, we are here to battle spiritual darkness! The root of bitterness can spread through us very quickly and very easily, for it feeds off of our pride.
The verse that so greatly changed the way I felt, and helped me to cast asside the bitterness that was choking me, was Matthew 6:15
"But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay---good---now I can comment! :) he he Now where was I? What did I say....???

WOW--YEP, started with WOW

What a great 1st post! (Good thing Kelley remembers what I wrote!)

I've been thinking on this very topic as several people close to me are being affected badly because of the lack of forgiveness.

The fruit of Forgiveness is sweet indeed and what we are missing out on because we do not willingly choose to follow Christ wholeheartedly. It costs, but there is nothing like living for Christ!

Okay--I'm done! Even wrote more than I wrote before!!!

Great Job, Scott---Jennifer

Shayna said...

So very true! Listen to the sobering words of Charles Spurgeon:
"I am told that Christians do not love each other. I am very sorry if that be true, but I rather doubt it. For I suspect that those who do not love each other are not Christians".

Scott said...

Ah, Charles Spurgeon! "The Prince of Preachers" I have often thought that he, of all the great men in the past, was most balanced in his views. Excellent quote; from where did you get it?

WELCOME TO THE WRITING SITE OF SCOTT APPLETON

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.