The Boomerang Of Bitterness?
When I was twelve, I lived in Australia for a year. One of the things I learned to do was throw a boomerang. It’s harder than it looks. Most of my family never learned but I was determined. Before I learned how to throw it correctly, I spent a lot of time chasing a weirdly shaped stick. Once I learned how, I enjoyed the process.
We all have emotional and relational wounds. Sometimes they are intentional and other times they are accidental friendly fire. How we react to our pain and discouragement will affect our joy and peace. What strangely shaped sticks of bitterness are you chasing after?
Ephesians 4:30-32 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.
We are told not to grieve the Holy Spirit by refusing to give to others what Christ Jesus gives to us through faith. Notice the progression of unforgiveness.
Verse 31 of Ephesians shows the downhill slide of unforgiveness. “ 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
I think we all know at least one person who whose face and attitude exude bitterness, and anger, and who look to slander others when they get a chance. The wound can be decades old, and the person is living as though it happened that very day. They become defined by their hurt. They live in bondage to their bitterness. They are hitting others with a strangely shaped stick of bitterness instead of throwing away the poison of unforgiveness, and having it return with a peace which surpasses all understanding. How do we escape the boomerang of bitterness?
Verse 32 gives us the answer, “32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Notice it doesn’t say forgive those who deserve forgiveness. It says, forgive others like Christ forgave us. We don’t deserve God’s forgiveness and yet we experience it though faith in Jesus. Sometimes we feel we were hurt to deeply to forgive someone, and that means we need Christ Jesus to forgive them through us and for us.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through these scriptures?