Saturday, October 6, 2012

Overcoming Bitterness

Life can be hard. It isn't necessarily the decisions we make that cause it to be that way, often it is because of other people's decisions. It is hard when other people's decisions have the potential to impact you, especially when you are young. I have to admit this is a hard one for me. If we mess up we can usually deal with it knowing it is our own fault, but when we have to work through other people's messes it can cause some bitterness and resentment. But bitterness and resentment have never added anything to anyone's life. We need to find a better way of dealing with it.

We really have no excuse for things like bitterness in our life. That and a lot of other negative emotions happen when we allow this world and things in it to be more important to us than they should be. These feelings are provoked in us when we consider our rights to be greater than someone else's. They overwhelm us when we are always looking at how things effect us instead of focusing on other people. They take root when we consider our way to be greater than God's way.

There really is only one attitude that we can maintain that will allow the character of Jesus to shine through us in every situation, and it is the attitude of thanksgiving. Too many of us concentrate on the negatives in live and it effects our attitude, mentality, perspective, emotions and health. I could understand it if this life was all there was and we needed to live it to the fullest because after this it is all done. Even writing such a drab thought brings me down. Imagine if this was it? But it's not. So it's crazy for us to allow anything in this world to have such an effect on us who are eternal creatures destined for a glorious home.

We can keep away from the negative side of things by simply being thankful for everything in our lives. Jesus has filled our lives with blessings and just the fact that he lives in us and us in him should be a daily encouragement. We also have the promises that God uses everything for our good, to benefit us. So whether we find something to be negative or positive in this world, for us it is all good and God turns it in our favour. But even this isn't exactly a proper attitude.

When we are filled with praise and thanksgiving in every situation we stop being concerned with ourselves and we start looking at how things are effecting others. People become our focus and as gratefulness buoys our spirit and eternal hope fills our heart, we are able to serve the needs of those around us. Do you not understand what Jesus was telling us when he said:

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31-33)

Do we not understand that true worship is found in the overflow of a thankful heart? This is not a glass half full / half empty thing. This is "I am thankful for whatever is in that glass" thing. Be thankful for what you have and praise the Lord. But be thankful more for the spiritual blessings than the worldly blessings. The worldly is  just temporary, destined to spoil and fade away. The spiritual however is for eternity and if your life is rich with these things you are rich indeed. So be thankful, fill your life with others and allow Jesus to be seen in you regardless of the circumstances. Not another word of complaint but thank Jesus for everything in your life. It is there for your benefit.

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