greg_gordon — 2017-01-27T20:16:20-05:00 — #1
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. - Ephesians 4:31
Bitterness is something we feel never will happen to us. We go through life opening our hearts to many people, seeking friendship in this life. But when we least expect it someone hurts us, or circumstances themselves come to a place where we allow bitterness to come into our hearts towards even God himself. Feeling angry and disappointed over how we have been treated or how circumstances have treated us produce great bitterness in our being. This feeling we hold in is suppressed in our hearts and not see at first in our daily life. But it starts to seep out its poison slowly in our words (James 3:7), and mind, we start to judge everyone, say cynical and hard comments towards others. Usually this hurt is directed towards a person or specific situation. Anything that would remind the hurt person of this situation will result in their hurt to come out in words that damage and tear down others.
In the verse before this passage the Apostle Paul speaks of not grieving the Holy Spirit as believers in Jesus. He shares that Disciples must "get rid" of all of these hurt feelings that result in resentment, anger, frustration, hurtful words towards other persons. If we allow any unforgiveness as believers to rest in our hearts it will grow like a cancer and create bitterness and then our inner man is defiled with all these sins of anger. The Apostle pleads with fellow believers to forgive "each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32). That is the only solution and way to solve the problem. Getting even, hurting someone else or an organization will not result in releasing you from the personal prison of bitterness you are in. Forgiveness is the key that will open that door so that you may walk in the freedom Christ has called you in and then you will be able to help release others who even caused the hurt in your own life.
gao_lu — 2017-01-27T21:31:53-05:00 — #2
Excellent devotional thoughts. How insidious are those little feelings with tiny roots with power to break concrete in our hearts! O to open my own heart fully to the Light of God's Truth, to expose all those weeds, big and small--and to tear them out.
dave_l — 2017-01-28T06:21:33-05:00 — #3
Thanks for the thoughts. I understand that God controls all, even the people and situations that provoke anger in me. So if I'm angry or bitter, it is towards God and not those he sends. And I can trust God is sending trouble as a blessing for my good. So I cannot be mad at God for blessing me. In fact if he uses people against us in hateful ways, we should pity them. Since they are victims of their own wickedness and God's wrath. So knowing this, I can cruise, feeling sorry for people in situations that normally provoke hatred in others.
And if we can love God with all our heart, mind and strength and our enemies as we do our own selves, we've landed the prize catch in life. You can do no better than this.