Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Morning Musings ...

Yesterday was an up and down day. Weather cooperated, had a lot of people gone or sick, had some brand new guests in worship, people got engaged in the music it just took them a while, I traveled north last night to be at an early meeting and there was fear of bad weather up here and had some very good conversations at church yesterday.

This was the 4th in the series "Breaking Bondages". We looked at the bondage of 'bitterness and unforgiveness' and examined I Corinthians 6:12-20; Hebrews 12:14-15; and Matthew 6:9-15. Bitterness, unforgiveness and the desire for revenge is everywhere. The Bible addresses it often and the world seems to glorify it. Think of how many movies, or even TV shows, are about seeking revenge. In these movies they make a hero out of the person seeking and enacting revenge. In real life there is nothing heroic about bitterness, unforgiveness or revenge.

We must recognize that God emphatically says it is wrong. Don't believe it, read Matthew 6:9-15 and Hebrews 12:14-15. Why do we so often ignore this? We must recognize what bitterness/unforgiveness does to us. It devastates you spiritually, how can you embrace God and his will while clutching your bitterness? It will divide the church. It is impossible to work together toward a vision for the church while harboring bitterness? It will defile your relationships. All of your relationships not just with the person you are bitter toward. You can ruin your marriage with bitterness toward someone else, and the same for any of your relationships. It will discourage your emotionally. It will chip away at you and impact how you see and feel about everyone including yourself. It will destroy you physically. Medically bitterness has been linked to many physical problems, not the least of which is ulcers and cardiac disorders. We must recognize that God has a better plan. Receiving, giving and living in forgiveness is God's will for you and your life.

Healing is possible. God offers forgiveness. God provides healing. God will give you freedom through a release from this bondage. True forgiveness is hard to extend because it demands that people let go of something they value. They must give up pride, or a sense of justice or the desire for revenge. Look at the sacrifice Christ made for your forgiveness. He gave everything, he gave himself and his life.

Is this an issue for you? Do you see/feel the impact? What will you do?

Remember, no matter how long you nurse a grudge it won't get better.


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