It's been a tough week.
So, I hope you'll understand today's repost of something I wrote three years ago.
It's timely for me to revisit these thoughts, and to try to realign my feelings with what I know is Truth.
May God speak to us all again.
Ever been disappointed, rejected, betrayed?
I'm thinking if you've lived long enough, the answer to that question is yes.
People have a way of hurting other people.
Sometimes it's intentional, often it's not.
Mostly it doesn't matter.
Hurt still hurts…a lot.
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.
Why is that, I wonder?
I think it has something to do with vulnerability – about how being vulnerable makes us feel small – victimized, dismissed, invalidated, diminished.
And we are, perhaps, never more vulnerable than when we've been hurt.
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 accountant – keeping 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, people have wronged 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…"
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 enemy is trying to inflame my hurts.
Trying to stimulate my anger.
Trying to make it feel righteous.
He's trying to water the roots…
I'm trying to face the feelings – without feeling the fireworks.
Praying to let go.
Allowing myself to feel the 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, even though I am sorely tempted to give in to bitterness.
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 disappointed, rejected, betrayed?
Has someone hurt you?
Are you reacting in anger?
Do you feel choked by the weedy threat of bitterness?
Oh dear friends, don't let the enemy get rooted…
Attach yourself more tightly to The Vine.
Is there any bitterness in your heart that God needs to uproot?
A bitter root
the mightiest tree.
"'But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.'" (Matthew 15:18, NIV)
"The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil…It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."
(James 3:6, NIV)
"A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire."
(Proverbs 16:27, ESV)
"'The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.'" (Matthew 12:35-37, NASB)
"'It is written: 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.' So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.'" (Romans 14:11-13, NIV)
"Peace has been stripped away…I cry out, 'My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost!' The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."
(Lamentations 3:17-23, NLT)
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things." (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)
MONDAY'S MUSINGS, MONDAYS AT SOUL SURVIVAL, LIFE GIVING LINKUP, GOOD MORNING MONDAYS, MONDAY OF MANY BLESSINGS, THANK GOODNESS IT'S MONDAY, THE ART OF HOMEMAKING MONDAYS, MUSING MONDAYS, MODEST MONDAY, MOTIVATION MONDAY, INSPIRE ME MONDAY, MOM-TO-MOM MONDAYS, MOMENTS OF HOPE, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, UNITE LINKUP, TITUS 2 TUESDAY, TELL IT TO ME TUESDAYS, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, TUESDAY TALK, RA RA LINKUP, TEACHING WHAT IS GOOD, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY, TELL HIS STORY, WHOLEHEARTED WEDNESDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAYS, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, COFFEE & CONVERSATION, WOMEN WITH INTENTION, SITTING AMONG FRIENDS, GRACE MOMENTS, GROWING IN GRACE, THANKFUL THURSDAYS, LIVE FREE THURSDAY, THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS, PARTY AT MY PLACE, SHINE BLOG HOP, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, FROM HOUSE TO HOME, GRACE AT HOME, THOUGHTFUL THURSDAYS, LITTLE THINGS THURSDAY, COZY READING SPOT, NO RULES WEEKEND BLOG PARTY, 100 HAPPY DAYS, FUNTASTIC FRIDAY, BLOGGER SPOTLIGHT PARTY, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, EVERYDAY TESTIMONY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, FAITH 'N FRIENDS, GRACE & TRUTH, DANCE WITH JESUS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP & FAITH, REWIND FRIDAY, MAKE MY SATURDAY SWEET, TGI SATURDAYS, WEEKEND WIND DOWN PARTY, LET US GROW, WORD OF GOD SPEAK, SMALL VICTORIES SUNDAY, GIVE ME GRACE, SOCIAL BUTTERFLY SUNDAY
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"