I regret that I did not fill you all in on what a wonderful time we had a week or so ago at the Couple's Simulcast. It was so good and the Lord gave me a few thoughts for the blog that I would like to share. We ARE limiting our usage of the Internet to a few hours a week so part II to this may be a little while coming....just sayin'.
The Lord has been dealing with me regarding forgiveness. I am so "up to my ears" with this word at this point in my daily walk with the Lord that it pains me to even type it, but it must needs be done. If not, I fear a Holy Ghost outburst welling up inside me, triggered the next time a preacher stands behind the pulpit and says, "We need to forgive..." At which point I envision myself jumping to my feet and with arms raised upward frantically yelling......
"ALRIGHT! I GET IT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Yeah you guessed it. I am also on a diet.
That explains a lot.
Anywho, The Couple's Simulcast dealt a lot with forgiveness. And one of the thoughts represented and that resonated with me was the fact that we need to "release" the person (your mate, a coworker, nursery worker, ex.) who has hurt you in some way. This was a new way of looking at an old problem.
We all have been offended have we not? And we surely cannot go day in and day out without intentionally or unintentionally offending someone.
Jas 3:2 "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."
Oh that I had an industrial strength body-bridle...... Ok back to the subject at hand.....
The thought came to me regarding "releasing" someone.
In order to "release" them, we have to "catch" them first.
Think with me. If you live in my neck of the woods we are "catching" a whole lot of miserable around here. The dreaded RSV virus is rearing it's nasty head with many an infant sick. Some of us have colds and flu's we are sharing and getting over and sharing again. We all sigh just thinking of Spring.
(Pardon me as I stop and sigh)
In all of my medical research ( I jest) I have not found any cure for a virus. While Chicken soup may indeed be "good for the soul," sounds good and tastes good, you have heard the old adage:
"Without medicine a cold lasts a week and with medicine it lasts seven days."
A nasty ole' virus just plain needs to run it's course.
I liken bitterness to a nasty virus. And for me, spiritually speaking, it has been a long cold Winter.
Now lest you think you have to "wait out" bitterness and unresolved anger, I will add that you can take the Bible prescription for anger and grab a big bowl of Matthew 18 and set yourself aright again lickety-sizzle.
But most of us just forget where we left the recipe for that good broth, or tell ourselves we can "get over it" on our own, no Spiritual home cookin' necessary.
Such was the case for me.
I am a good person!
I am not in the wrong here!
I am an Assistant Pastor's Wife!
I just learned that Job came first!
So this virus spread to my I's and yet I still refused the Great Physician's diagnosis.
Just as we know that most viruses have to run their course, we also know that they are contagious. As a cough or sneeze infects those around us, so gossip and a harsh spirit affect those we deal with day in and day out. In fact, very harmful viruses require a quarantine from others because the virus is so threatening.
Perhaps some of us should have a time of "quarantine" where we spend time with the Lord pouring over I John 1:9, allowing Him to carry our burdens for us, instead of risking harm to someone else.
Stop looking at me like that. You know.....
If we took as good a care of our spiritual health as we do our physical how wonderful would life be for us?
Before there is a flower there is a seed. This seed is sown in some way, shape or form and when it is sown under the right conditions, and on fertile ground it takes root and from that root comes the fruit from that seed....or in other words what that seed has produced.
In a sense the fertile ground "catches" that seed. It holds on to it and buries it. For a while you wouldn't even know it was there, but under the ground it sits, waiting, and breaking open to sprout a good long root to keep it in that soil. Eventually you see a sprout and if you are like me, what you thought was Johnny Jump ups becomes an ugly weed that you have nourished and patiently waited hand and foot on for several weeks!
Heb 12:15 " Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"
Such are we. Notice that it says MANY. A comment is made, a promise is broken, a slanderous remark comes our way via a "friend who cares" and a seed begins to fall on the soil of our hearts. We shrug the hurt off, try to "forgive and forget" but in our weak moments we press the seed deep into the soil where for a while it is buried. No one would look at us and even know it is there. Sometimes we ourselves even forget it's precarious placement. But alas! After a few watering's via us recalling the incident in our minds, refreshing the pain once and again, this seed takes root and soon we see the flower of bitterness. We let it alone for a while, I mean even some weeds ARE pretty we tell ourselves, but the roots on this plant crowd out any others and we are left gazing at other's bouquets when we house one.lone.weed. You know you need to get rid of it, and you grab it by the horns and give it one big yank. You brush the dirt off your hand and smile. There you go, you have gotten it!
Um...no. You know the drill, you know that you have to dig deep into those tender tissues of your heart and pinch off any life to that root of bitterness, that now has affected your whole outlook on life.
You have caught yourself a hurt. A deep one at that and you have to get to the "root" of the problem and get your life on the right track.
How can you release yourself from this spiritual virus?
I am glad you asked........
We will pick up there in a few days. In the meantime, get plenty of good food and fluids (Mt 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled) and a healthy dose of Vitamin C. "See Matthew 18" that is.