Monday, June 17, 2013


Ever been disappointed, rejected, betrayed?

I'm thinking if you've lived past high school (or even earlier?), the answer to that question is yes.

An unfortunate statistic.

But people have a way of hurting other people.  Sometimes it's intentional, often it's not.  Mostly it doesn't matter.  

Hurt still hurts.

And though hurt often leads to sad, sometimes it leads to MAD!

If I'm honest, I find that most of the time I get angry, it's really because I've gotten hurt.  Anger seems to be the go-to reaction.  Why is that, I wonder?  I think it has something to do with vulnerabilityabout how being vulnerable makes us feel smallvictimized, dismissed, invalidated, diminished.  

And we are, perhaps, never more vulnerable than when we've been hurt.

That's understandable.

But woe to the angry one!

Because anger is like a weed in our hearts – a weed that can quickly grow roots of bitterness.

And bitter roots are dangerous, choking things.  They are deadly.

I've been thinking about this lately.

Been going through some new hurts – new hurts that are also stirring up some old hurts.

I am dismayed at how easily I have become an emotional bookkeeper.

Yup, I'm a good little accountantkeeping tally of perceived wrongs. Keeping careful track of all the hurts inflicted on me.  Recording the wounds, checking off the snubs and slights, adding up the words and the attitudes and the actions.

Marking them all down in red – until, before I know it...

I'm seeing RED!

Ugly admission, but true.

The enemy is quite happy about this.

After all, he's pleased when people visit H & R Beelzebub.

"Bring those receipts to me.  Yes indeed.  Let's add things up here.  Sure enough, you've overpaid.  People have taken advantage of you.  You've been shortchanged.  People OWE you…"

The fine print?  "Those shallow, selfish, evil people.  You're better than they are.  You should hate them…"

His math?  Hurt + Anger = Bitterness.

Oh, what a battle it is when you feel *entitled* to your feelings.

Now, I'm not one to dismiss those feelings.  Feelings are real.  But they don't need to rule.

That's the secret, and that's the challenge.

Learning how to face the feelings, feel them, and then to let them go.

But, it's the only thing to do.

Because once those roots of bitterness begin to grow, they grow deep. They cut a wide path of destruction.  They kill good plants, and thwart any growth of new fruit.

Like I said – deadly.

It's why God warns us so much about anger.  He knows it's a seed planted…

"And 'don't sin by letting anger control you.'  Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil."  
(Ephesians 4:26-27, NLT)

"Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires."  
(James 1:20, NLT)

So, is anger wrong?

No, Jesus Himself got angry.  But God warns us against being angry…and sinning.

It's not the feeling that causes the problem.  It's the underlying reasons for the anger, and the indulging of anger that leads to problems.

It is *feeling the feeling* and letting it fester.  Ruminating upon it.  Feeding the flames.  Letting it lead us to bitterness.


No room for that in a bitter and resentful heart.

And God calls us to something bigger – something behind the act of forgiveness.  He calls us to love.

And love requires poor bookkeeping:

"It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."  (1 Corinthians 13:5, NIV)

God calls us to forgive the debts AND the debtors...

...the debtors AND the debts.


I am facing a battle inside myself lately.  Knowing that the old devil is trying to inflame my hurts.  Trying to stimulate my angertrying to make it feel righteous.

He's trying to water the roots…


I'm trying to face the feelings – without feeling the fireworks.

Learning to let go.

Learning to be hurt, yes – but through the pain, learning to turn to the Binder of Wounds, the Friend of the Brokenhearted, the Champion of the Crushed.

Using my will to battle my injured heart.

Remembering that Jesus bore wounds for me.  My precious Savior – hurt, disappointed, rejected, betrayed Jesus.  

He was wounded for me.

So, I'm taking His precious blood and crossing out the debts in my "red column" of wrongs.  Giving Him the books.  Thanking Him for getting rid of the books that keep track of MY wrongs against other people.  Asking Him to forgive me for the many ways that I hurt HIM – for all MY marks in the "red column."

Praising the Love that made it possible for my name to be entered into the only book that counts – the Book of Life.

Are you feeling hurt?  Angry?

Oh dear friends, don't let the enemy get rooted…

Attach yourself more tightly to The Vine.

They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.
Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

"And then he added, 'It is what comes from inside that defiles you…'"  
(Mark 7:20, NLT)

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)

Is there any bitterness in your heart that God needs to uproot?

Linked today with:

Darlene at TITUS 2SDAY

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Excellent study on anger. Thank you for being willing to be transparent and allow us to learn along with you as you live for Jesus.
    Pam at 2 Encourage

  2. Wow, powerful post sis, love you.

  3. Ooooo -ouch! Hitting it on the head with this one, milady! Been going through some difficult things, of late - you know - when God is shaking things so that only what is of Him remains? The fallout is that "ugly" gets exposed and that can really hurt. Betrayal makes you see others in such an unattractive light - and the slap is profound. I did learn the lesson of this post many years ago - and have needed to return to the truths here on more occasions than I'd like to remember. A bookkeeping issue, to be sure. But, may I never slack in keeping track of the lesson and walking in the application of same. Thankfully, the Lord may allow some of that nasty fallout to fall on me - but He always provides a way of escape. He walks with me through the fire - and places me safely on pathways of joy and purpose. And - what's left behind? HIS responsibility. I can't fix the injustices that cause the trials, but I can be healed in His Presence - and move on. My situation at present - moving on - will turn the fire up in other's lives - but justice will not come apart from that. So glad I have my own safe place in Him. And, doing right, loving mercy, while walking humbly with my God is the best deterrent to seeing RED and putting down roots of bitterness that I know of!
    Always blessed by your timely posts, my friend!

  4. I hear you Sharon, loud and clear. Thank you for sharing this, you are so gifted at sharing in this way. God Bless

  5. Not a one of us has not had these feelings. That I Corinthians pasage has been an amazement to me my whole life... 'hardly even notices when others do it wrong'... there is no human way to get around that one, once more, it's God, and how we release those feelings to him to work through. Trust me, there are many times when I've tried it on my own...NOT! But his promises cover those feelings too, and frees us up at the same time. :)

  6. Bitterness does more damage to the vessel it is stored in - then the object it is thrown on. sandie

  7. "Feelings are real. But they don't need to rule." Powerful statement. As soon a I read it, Colossians 3:15 came to my mind, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace."
    Thank you for the reminder - only One Ruler in my heart & mind.
    I was your neighbor at Tell Me A Story :)

  8. Oh Sharon, this one is just wonderful and so inspired. I particularly liked this part:

    "It's not the feeling that causes the problem. It's the underlying reasons for the anger, and the indulging of anger that leads to problems."

    You couldn't have hit the nail more squarely on the head. I love how you called us out on indulging the anger. So perfect.

    I never open this blog but that I come away nodding my head with that little hmmmmm going on.

  9. First of all...I wouldn't imagine your wardrobe or house any other way then you described on my comment box...see that shows how well you have allowed us to know you, I envisioned you and your place just like you said.
    This is sooooooooooooo close to home right now, so I just want to scream yes! I am also seeing how raw my feelings can be with the stress we are under...but that doesn't justify my sin.
    Thanks for a great post...and ouch, but what great confirmation that I need to uproot and not plant...bitterness.

  10. Oh those bitter roots are not sweet when mixed with "stewing" and "Musing." Thank you for reminding us that we must let go of these hurts and not keep accounts and receipts! I loved your insight posted here at "Tell Me a Story."

  11. Sharon,

    I see we were indeed dipping into the same spiritual message today. I see this more and more in the world today. People feeling justified by their actions, even going to so far as validating them to themselves, but in the end, the enemy has won another battle in your heart. Forgiveness isn't about the other person, it's all in the freedom is gains for ourselves. The ability to put down those past feelings and move forward free from those chains the enemy lied to us about to keep us bound. I for one, would love to see us all take up our battles in more powerful ways and continue to see opportunities abound all around us to shine God's glory and power in everyone we encounter. Time is growing short and the battle is far from over.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  12. Ouch. This does hit close to home as it is a battle to let go of things when someone has wronged me. I have learned anger is not something to ignore and to feel it, but be ready to forgive even before somone asks for forgiveness. have to forgive even when they DO NOT ask and that can only be done with the grace of God.

  13. I loved this post..."Feelings are real, but they don't have to rule."...I'm hanging onto that one!
    ~God bless~

  14. Hi Sharon,
    I try as best as I can to let anger go quickly because if I do not, then it is like a flesh eating disease which just eats at me causing me to do something which I will regret. It just makes the whole situation even worse. Like always, you shared a post full of wisdom.

  15. I find myself swimming in very similar waters at the moment Sharon. Trying to find the balance of not stuffing my feelings and not allowing my feelings to take precedent.

  16. Right now I'm feeling complacent. What I mean is, a situation arose over the past year when someone close to us acted dishonorably against my mother and another person, was rude and downright our home. When told that that kind of language and talk shouldn't be in our home, the person opted to leave. Well, over the past year, though I forgave the bad behavior and had tried to put it all behind me, the other person hasn't. Each step I made to reach out to her has resulted in insults back to me. (Now I'm the "bad-guy" Hmmm.) But, the strange part is, I'm not angry. I was sad to have this relationship broken at first, but now I'm just...nothing. Does that make sense? I have given it to the Lord and asked Him to guide us. I pray for the other person and I ask God to bring to the front anything I may have done so I can confess it. But, nothing comes forward and I am left to believe that though I love this person and will always be kind when circumstances bring us together, she is not a "safe" person to be around. I am praying that her heart softens, but I know that I cannot make that happen, only God can. But, all that to say, it is so important to always come before the Lord with our hurts, our pain and our anger. Then...listen to Him and accept His guidance.

  17. Dear Sharon, you have captured the truth of why we hang onto those feelings. We feel vulnerable, insulted, demeaned, and then we just keep nursing those feelings. I realize now that feasting on those feelings was the only way I had to get revenge on the one who hurt me. Turning to the one who could heal me and let him heal me. Yes, He heals the brokenhearted.

  18. I don't want to be that kind of emotional bookkeeper either (love that term though; it speaks volumes). Thanks for the reminder to let go of bitterness and attach stronger to the Vine!

  19. Oh yes Sharon ... ooch, ouch! Really sad when I have to sneak back to the previous one to voice my real admission that is is a BIG issue in me ... and notice that 2016's has more verses and some tweaks but this really is good (wondering again where I was back her in 2013-sorry).

    There is so much in this for me starting with HURT and this "Anger seems to be the go-to reaction." --- well, it is mine and I'm really sad to say that I not only wonder "why" but confess it's not always to do with HURT...not that's really sad. Nor do I want to be 'that' emotional book keeper (ouch) Wondering now if I look like that wonderful photo of tree's roots inside, all gnarled and twisted. Sometimes that's how I feel. Often my explosive anger could be from stuffed up anger or irritations but I need alot of prayer I guess about not letting that 'bitter' root take residence (gasp) or all those past weeds (choke, choke, cough) that have gone unattended, unpruned, undisciplined in me ... which really explains the lack of fresh 'fruit' bearing in me (snip, snip, snip ...). It is certain "feelings don't need to rule" and so true that it's a challenge, a BIG challenge. And of course, I get angry with myself ... for being angry or letting it spew or how I do. Yep, self control issues. (sigh) so much true confession that by now, I must look like the meanest, bitter person you know (at least through words) ... yet I don't 'think I am' and my, how I pray I'm not or allow this 'root' to continue because you are ever so wise and right, "it's deadly" and we know that the wages of sin is death (which I really am trying to avoid -being dead in sin, or sinning in anger, I don't think I get that bad or am I?) Oh, I got ahead of myself or your script.

    Very convicting words, yet with your gift of your writing and the position you take, I feel no condemnation in your message. I do try to be forgiving and I try not to feed the flaring flames. But put me in a heated discussion and my feelings just not let up nor my flying words with volume. {sorry Lord, and whoever is my victim of my vent but that conflict that's stirred up did not show up on its own} I prefer to be a poor book keeper and of course, love keeps no record of rights and wrongs. I just want solution and not to always be the one compromising, losing or having to give up and accept the other's dictum. I'd like no debts and no debtors and no debtor's prison. yet that is my struggle (not the one I keep but what the keep). I know without specifics this probably only makes sense to me. Thanks for letting me work it all out here (lol) ... guess, I'm preparing for the next battle. {maybe I need to just delete this?} I just want you to see and know that I really get this ... and needed the reminder, and sooooo appreciate you going back and resharing this one. You have spoken so much good truth! I, too, need so much "to face feelings without feeling the fireworks" --- and I'm sure others would like that even more. Taking all your pointers and putting these words to good use. Lord, help me apply these truths!

    1. [and since I wrote a book --- here's the rest that didn't fit above]

      Yes, yes, yes. But that enemy has taken enough good and I want those roots gone and be detached from all 'red' and attached to the True Vine and the 'real red of His blood' that flows for me and through me to set me freed and cleanse me. Really, really, really a good prophetic word for me as I near the furnace like Daniel of my impending return and transition to life as I escaped 20 yrs ago and see myself returning to the flame, that's fueled with other issues like aging and alz. God help us, cling to Him.

      God bless you Sharon! (know I prayed for you today from a heart that understands, and if you are back in a place like this in 2013 again in 2016, God sees and knows and hears your prayers and mine united to His throne of Grace-it really is amazing, may He give you strength, peace, comfort and a continual flow of this Grace!) Love you so Sharon. You express for me what I so need to put in words. Thank you again.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)