Hebrews, Why Better Is Best.
Hebrews, Why Better Is Best.
Mary had a little cold,
But wouldn’t stay at home,
And everywhere that Mary went,
The cold was sure to roam.
It wandered into Molly’s eyes
And filled them full of tears;
It jumped from there to Bobby’s nose,
And thence to Jimmie’s ears.
It painted Anna’s throat bright red,
And swelled poor Jennie’s head;
Dora had a fever,
And a cough put Jack to bed.
The moral of this little tale
Is very quickly said –
Mary could have saved a lot of pain
With just one day in bed!
Bitterness is the most dangerous part of our Christian lives. Like Mary’s little cold, it can quickly spread and infect others. It starts when someone does something that hurts us, and we choose to hold onto it without forgiving them.
The way to overcome this harmful sin involves four things:
- We have to understand the reality that hurts and offenses are part of life — sometimes we will get offended.
- Our anger should not be directed at the offenses committed against us, but at the offenses committed against Christ. This way, our anger won’t become personal, and it will help us keep the offense in perspective — Christ forgave us from sins that were far worse.
- We need to pray for our enemies and put them in God’s hands.
- We have to choose to forgive.
Right now, you may be thinking of someone who has hurt you. Maybe a close friend turned against you, a person you respected fell short of your expectations, a family member was killed by a drunk driver, or you were the victim of injustice. Write the names of the three people who have hurt you the most. . . . Now pray for these people and forgive them — and destroy the list. Once you do this, God will replace your bitterness with love, and this common cold won’t infect others anymore.
The stink of sin would be unbearable but for the historical reality, the moral reality, of the cross which reduces us all to the common ground of sinners who are equally deserving of Hell and equally needing the mercy of God. — Prison Fellowship Volunteer
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder
There’s more to life than getting the last laugh. A farmer was beside himself dealing with infestation in his watermelon patch. Every time he went to check the plot of maturing melons for weeds, he noticed watermelons missing. To make matters worse, he discovered the culprits weren’t birds or bugs or wild animals, but children.
When darkness fell, the farmer watched through his windows as the children had a watermelon feast at his expense. Then he came up with an ingenious plan.
The next evening, the children were surprised to find a sign which said, “ONE OF THESE WATERMELONS IS POISONED!” So they left the patch empty-handed.
The farmer relaxed and tended to his watermelons as before. He had no more trouble from the children for the rest of the week. He thought he got the last laugh.
But near the beginning of the following week, the farmer found a new sign planted right beside the other one, which said, “NOW THERE ARE TWO!” Who really got the last laugh?
Bitterness always makes trouble. It’s easy to allow it to take root when we feel we have been unjustly treated, but it is better for us to submit to injustice than to nourish a spirit of bitterness or retaliation. This includes internalizing our negative feelings. Even if we don’t vocalize our feelings, the truth will soon come out in our actions. The root of bitterness quickly grows into an ugly weed which defiles us and others. We must confess this sin, lest it choke out our spiritual fruit and God’s blessings.
Maybe you were wronged by a close friend and you never dealt with it, but chose instead to harbor resentment towards them. Or perhaps something terrible happened to you which was beyond your control, and you’ve never forgiven God. We’ve all experienced disappointment. It’s a part of life—but we have to get over it. Otherwise, it will be a blockade to our blessings.
If this is where you struggle, pray this prayer:
Lord, I know You are in control and will never allow anything in my life to destroy me. Therefore use whatever trials You have allowed in my life to make me the person You want me to be.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. — Unknown Author
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.