Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Read this first, Idolatry Walk the Other way
...Because of what bitterness does – causing us to fall short of the grace of God – we should consider it a bit further.
When you have been wronged, you have been wounded. When the wound hurts or throbs, that is not bitterness. But wounds need to be cleaned and dressed, and the bandages need to be changed regularly. If this does not happen, then the wound gets infected. Bitterness is that infection.
If the wound is kept clear of infection, then the wound heals, Perhaps there is a scar, and a story, but the wound really does heal. But if the wound is not kept clear of infection, then it stays tender, stays swollen, stays infected, and one day your arm falls off.
Now when your arm falls off, and someone asks what happened, it will not do to say, "Well, my third grade teacher humiliated me in front of the class," or "When I was in high school, the director’s daughter was chosen for the lead in the play instead of me," or even "My husband deserted me." Those are all the reasons for the wound. They are not really the reason your arm fell off.
Why were the bandages never changed? Why did you not take the antibiotics that were prescribed for you? Why would you not agree to let the nurse clean and dress the wound? The reason is that such a healthy response would temporarily hurt more than sitting in the dark, miserable, picking at it.
Of course, if they had not wronged you to begin with, none of this would have happened. And if they really sinned, God will hold them to account for their sin. You don’t need to worry about that. But just as He told them not to wrong you, so He told you to refrain from bitterness and resentment. Now when God identifies something as sin, should we repent of it, and walk away from it? Or do you agree with the one who wronged about that as well?(Posted from here) By: Douglas Wilson
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Another person has wronged you and hurt you, or you believe that he has, and so you store up bitterness in your heart. But this bitterness pollutes and eats away at your own soul, not the soul of the one who wronged you.
What this means is that someone came into your home and smashed your precious things. And let us say that you are not imagining it—he really did this. And so what does bitterness do? Bitterness goes to the workroom in the basement, finds a hammer, and goes through the house, smashing any of the remaining precious things that the other may have missed. At the basic heart level, this means that bitterness agrees with the vandal. For all the appearance of conflict, it is a false conflict.
Aggressive belligerence says that you should be hurt. And bitterness responds by saying, "No, I need to be hurt and damaged more than that. Leave me now—I can do the rest by myself."
The author of Hebrews says not to let the root of bitterness spring up, defiling many. And when this happens, the people involved fall short of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15). But we must remember that the Old Testament associates the bitter root with the sin of idolatry. When we are resentful, more is involved than just a "cranked attitude." We are no longer worshipping the loving Father who controls all things perfectly, including this situation, for His glory and our good. And this means that, in our bitterness, we are trying to appease an idol, a deity who cannot deliver us.
It works the other way too. When we turn aside to false gods, whether they are the gods of sex, money, ambition, the end of that road is bitter, bitter destruction. This is a two-way street. Bitterness leads straight into idolatry, and idolatry leads straight into bitterness.
If you are anywhere on that road, if you are bitter, if you are idolatrously chasing other baubles, there is only one thing to do. Turn around and walk the other way.-Douglas Wilson