Friday, September 1, 2017

Fiercely Avoid Bitterness, Resentment, and Spirt

Written by: Scotty Smith

     Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Heb. 12:15 (NLT)

     Resentment kills a fool. Job. 5:2 (NIV)

     Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph. 4:31-32 (NIV)

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Phil. 4:5 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, we're your cherished daughters and sons in Christ; but we're also your convicted children in life. These Scriptures about bad attitudes don't mince any words.

Irritation rises up inside us as quickly as someone under-appreciates or over-criticizes us; as soon as bad traffic slows us down, long lines make us wait, or social events leave us out. It's amazing how fast a little slight can generate a big spite, or an unexpected disappointment can give birth to resentment. Have mercy on us, Lord, and grant us fresh grace, thicker skin and bigger hearts.

But being slighted is one thing; being harmed by betrayals and failures is a different matter. These aren't things to shake off, but real wounds and pain to steward well, to bring to your throne of grace, and to deal with as redemptively as possible. You never call us to denial, but always to yourself. Have mercy on us, Lord, have big mercy; and grant us wisdom, strength and plenty of grace.

Father, by the power of your Holy Spirit, the truth of the gospel, and the gift of community, don't let our appropriate anger morph into destructive revenge. Don't let our raw hurts become a band of vigilante marauders, not just bent on getting even, but upping the ante--repaying harm for harm, evil for evil, and death for death. We don't want to finish life angry and alone, but gentle and yours.

Help us uproot every root of resentment, bitterness, and spite growing in the garden of our hearts. Keep us from wallowing in our pain longer than we linger in your presence. Don't let us medicate foolishly, or destructively. Father, as you have forgiven us, so free us to forgive others. Write stories of redemption and restoration with the ink of our hurt and your grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus' tender and triumphant name.


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