I have had some things heavy on my mind lately. In fact, I now recognize that offense is trying to get a hold on my heart.
I’ve been “mulling” again. Letting things circulate in my mind and heart that are not only upsetting to me, but could become bitterness if left unchecked.
Do you ever do that? Or is it just me?
This morning, I know that I have to take hold of these thoughts and steer my mind in the direction of truth. The truth of God’s Word.
Hebrews 12:14-15 14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. NIV
1. Make every effort to live in peace… This may mean going to the person and confronting the situation face to face. I’ve had to do that at times and sometimes it works out well, sometimes it backfires. But the most important thing to make sure is that your motivation is love for the other person. No matter how they receive it, if your motive is love, God will honor you for it.
But, it may mean not discussing it with ANYONE, in fact the issue may be completely in you and you need to make every effort to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and examine your own heart. Forgiving others and moving on in love may be difficult but the rewards are worth it.
2. without holiness no one will see the Lord… It is holy to forgive and walk in love…and when we don’t, it will become a stumbling block to others. They will not see the Lord in our lives.
My heart’s desire is that people see the Lord in my life, and it grieves me to think that I could cause anyone to stumble. I know I have in the past and I pray that God helps me to avoid these pitfalls again. I know that is why He’s prompting my heart to deal with this situation now. I love that He gives me opportunities time and time again to turn things around.
3. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many So how do we avoid bitterness? According to verse 15, we make sure that we don’t miss the grace of God. I love the grace of God for myself, but hmmm…do I “miss it” when it comes to giving it to others??
Bitterness is an awful pill to swallow…but once we swallow- it can grow. It can actually take on a life of it’s own and before you know it, it’s affecting everyone around you.
When this happens, all your girlfriends are well aware of what is brewing on the inside of you, and unfortunately your family is probably really paying the price of this “injustice.”
There are times that after I hang up the phone I hear the still small voice of the Lord say…was that person encouraged or inspired in any way just now or did you just put a heavy weight on them??
UGH! It pains me to type that because I know that I have done so much damage with my words. Gotta love that grace now.
The bottom line is that offense is a trap that satan sets for us. He wants us to grab hold of offense and take us captive to do his will.
2 Timothy 2:23-26 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. NIV
If you’ve read this far, I’m pretty sure that you also want to do God’s will in your life, so let’s take a long hard look at these verses and our hearts and see where we need to change.
Eph 4:29-32 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. NIV
God loves us so much that He gives us life through His Word and the strength to make choices consistent with His will for our lives.
Don’t fall for the traps of offense, forgive and move on!! I’ve read this book years ago and remember what an impact it had on my life. So I wanted to pass along the info to you all.
Very powerful, if you are struggling in your church or relationships at all, get this one.
Are you ensnared by bitterness, seized by anger, held captive by resentment because someone has offended you? Bevere shows you how to escape Satan’s grip, avoid a victim mentality, practice forgiveness, experience reconciliation, and remain free in Christ. Features updated anecdotal stories and testimonies, and an extensive study guide for individuals or small groups.