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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bitterness

Wisdoms from Oswald Chamber...


Defenders of the faith are inclined to be bitter until they learn to walk in the light of the Lord. When you have learned to walk in the light of the Lord, bitterness and contention are impossible.

Sometimes we are bitter toward others...sometimes others are bitter toward us....a few days ago on Facebook status, someone posted why do people fight and cause unnecessary dramas.

Sometimes we are the bystanders of this and we wonder...and sometimes we are the source of the drama...and sometimes we are the receiving end.  

When drama occurs,there's a tendency for one to become bitter.

This ain't fair.
This is all your/his/her fault.
Why don't they fix it?

As I see my own bitterness and the bitterness of others, I become to wonder how is it possible for people to reconcile when the world is full of hate, anger..and bitterness?  

From a biblical perspective, this stems from sin.  Paul calls this worldly desire or desire of the flesh.  And it is the root cause of the problems between our interaction with one another.

How interesting, this is the exact one of the two commandments, Jesus tells his disciples to follow...Love your neighbor as yourself.

With bitterness, there's often a sense of guilt.  Especially those who are religious, when after some reflection and to their surprise (and at times dismay), how dark and bitter they become.  This might take in other forms. Such as inability to find joy and peace.  Or it might lash out other people with other selfish nature: pride, authoritative, sarcasm, being cynical.

How can I do such a thing?  What will other think of me?
I am a terrible person. I know what's wrong and I still committed it.  There's no hope in me.
This just hurts too much. I can't bear the sight of it.

Maybe what they said before or an act the committed, it became a game to cover this up.  Maybe hardening oneself and ignore the guilt.  Maybe becoming more religious and earn forgiveness by doing good works.  The issue with other cases is that deep inside, our heart is still broken.   We cannot bear to see ourselves.

Following Christ offers a different way.  Jesus comes with the Good News that our wrongs are forgiven.  He took them and suffered for us on the cross.  It's paid and done with.  Instead of guilt and fear. He offered us mercy and love.  

It is within this new found love or being in love that we can slowly beginning to love ourselves.

Before Christ, we might have a temper, we might hate each other, we might want to get our ways and if you are in the way, get out!

But when we witness the depth of Love He had for us, our heart is changed and we can move beyond our past.

After tasting His Goodness, we can have the courage, the strength to put down our old ways.

God sees that I am wonderful despite my mistakes.  In Him, I am such a treasure that He gave His son for me.  
If I can be forgiven for such painful pasts, surely I can do the same to others.

This is the transformation of a Christian.  The heart is no longer dull nor harden.  Instead it is full of joy and peace.  We no longer have to shoulder our guilty.  We are free. Free of our mistakes and our pasts.  We can stand up and stand before Him.

This is living in the light.  The light where it shines so brightly it overshadow the bitterness, the prideful self, the darkness.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Romans 12:12-14

 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:9-17

1 comment:

victoriamok said...

Great reflections, Cliff. Lately, I'm trying to realize that God still loves me even when I'm super slow in following him. What a great God!