Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Rejecting Bitterness

Reject Bitterness 
by David Brenneman 

Struggling in life is as much a certainty as breathing. There will be big things to deal with as well as small things. Temptation lurks at the doors of the hearts of all 8 plus billion people in this world.

Choosing to tell it to go away is the choice of all.

A very harsh reality is in that mix.
Be careful of who you choose to hate, because it is them you will become the most like. It's not an option to grow in Christ, it's a requirement, a necessity, concerning having the whole armor of God on to fight against the powers of the present darkness. If hatred and bitterness are consuming your heart then you're going to be in a very dark place yourself. You will certainly be turning away from the light of Jesus Christ to hold onto that which you're supposed to flee.

"We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also." 1 John 4:19-21

My Dear Reader, you do yourself no favors by demanding your own sense of justice nor by attempting to force your ideas of what constitutes peaceful living. 

His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven isn't to be something optional. The Great Commission didn't come with opt-out clauses.

There's no "unsubscribe" to certain messages or forms of communication from God. 

There's so many out in this world that I'm going to refer to as "raging Christians". People with a chip on their shoulders towards others. People who indeed do not show the love of Christ, but rather bitterness and wrath are on their agenda. If you don't abide by their ideologies you're essentially canceled. 

Some, by doing so, are indeed as Paul wrote, shipwrecked in their faith.  

We are immediately involved in a Spiritual war when we come to Christ for salvation. We inherit the enemy of the God of all Creation. You're not going to cruise through the rest of your time on this Earth until you die after coming to Christ for salvation. Not going to happen. 

We come to Christ for salvation, He begins His workmanship in us to make us more like Himself. The fruits of self are a poison to the fruits of the Spirit.  

So many of the unbelieving embrace so much bitterness and firmly believe that it's their right. 

Bitterness divides people.  
Bitterness separates intimate friends. 
Bitterness is very much a poison to be avoided at all costs. 

We are by no means to let our guard down in our angry moments. We do not have enough of the mind of Christ to really have a firm grasp of righteous anger the way He did. Anger is a very strong, very powerful, emotional state. With it, for sure, people have done some fantastic things in saving the lives of others. Still others have decimated lives because of no ability to control it.

Was talking to a friend yesterday about my potential anger levels. I really never got into physical altercations in school. Rather I avoided them. I knew that my parents told me of what I could potentially do to others was more than I probably could live with.  

Having a Dad who taught you how to not only defend yourself, but how to permanently take out your aggressor, makes you really warry of letting your guard down in a fight.  

Anger has its uses, but must be used in its proper context. 

God's anger and ours aren't remotely on the same page. 

Scripture says that the anger of man does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 

In anger, Cain killed his brother Able. There was nothing righteous about it. People in our headlines today do the same. The phrase "senseless violence" is over used.

There's sense to all supposed senseless acts of violence. It's just that this world does not accept the things of God because they are foreign to them. Sin is the reason. 

The world does not accept the things of God because God's testified to their need of a Savior, who is Christ Jesus. 

From the same vessel you'll not get pure water and dirty water at the same time.  

Be very careful about who you're choosing to hate.  

It's impossible to Love God with our everything and to love your neighbor as yourself and be bitter at the same time. 

Jesus hates the sin, not the sinner.

He came to seek and save the lost. 

Let go of any bitterness and wrath you're dwelling on in your life. As another has said you're dwelling in anger at someone is them living rent-free in your mind. 

‭‭Ephesians 4:31-32 "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
‭‭Philippians 2:12-16 "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain."

"Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." Ephesians 4:26-27.
Realize as well that when we harbor sin in our lives we put up a barrier between us and God. Until we agree with Him concerning sin, confess and turn away from it, our prayers will be hindered.

Do not participate in those things this world promotes that causes division. Live your life in Christ Jesus in such a way that people see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. As another aptly said it: hate the sin, not the sinner. Do not condone a sinful lifestyle, point people to Jesus, let Him be the only one who changes them. Another once said we catch em, He cleans em. That's what a fisher of men does. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation

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