"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” Matthew 5:11
The holidays are the one time of year that we tend to be in the company of people we don’t always care to be around. It might be a difficult sibling or extended family member or even a parent. Usually, we don’t care to be with them because they have hurt or offended us some time in the past. It is very difficult to endure mistreatment by other people, especially when because of Christ we choose not to retaliate.
Unfortunately some labor under the false belief that as a Christian things get easier, but nothing could be further from the truth. Because of the biblical stand we take on things we are frequently a target of mockery and scorn by our unsaved family members and often we blame God for not intervening on our behalf and over time we become bitter in heart.
We become bitter when someone sins against us, particularly when the person means something to us or is close to us. We become bitter out of a belief that God will not punish the people who hurt us, that God does not hear our plea, or that He does not care about our plight. We conclude that God is not going to intervene in our circumstances so we decide to stand in as judge, jury, and executioner in the lives of other people.
This becomes a circular pattern of thought, belief and behavior because the more a person dwells on what has been done to them, the injustice they have suffered, or the loss they have incurred; the deeper the root of bitterness goes.
Does this sound familiar to you? Does it apply to you? Perhaps you struggle with the same type of bitterness and rather than looking forward to the holidays you are dreading them.
Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God. Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison. Heb. 12:15
Bitterness is a serious issue of the heart and the person who refuses to deal with their bitterness as sin it is finds themselves in great danger. I cannot say they find themselves in “spiritual danger” because their salvation is not in jeopardy. However, a life that is dominated by the issue of bitterness would cause me to question if they were regenerated in the first place!
If you are a bitter person I ask you to consider the poisonous nature of bitterness and how it defiles not only you as the bitter person but everyone around you. Being bitter is like poison, like gall which leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
The fruit of bitterness is POISON and it comes from a heart of unbelief or distrust in God. Somewhere along life’s way you stopped trusting in the sovereignty of God.
What is very important is that you understand that God allows negative circumstances and persecution in our lives is because He uses all events in life to make his children like Christ.
More next time…