Lest Any Root of Bitterness Springing Up Trouble You . . .
I was prompted to write this post as I read a post that my daughter, wrote on facebook. The truth of the matter is we live in an unkind, cruel world. I catch myself so often being unkind to the very ones I love the most. Many times the Lord reminds me of the verse in Proverbs 31 .
Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
I have had to confess to the Lord that my mouth is not filled with kindness like it ought to be. And though it may hurt when others are unkind to me, have I looked in the mirror? How many times have I spoken sharply to my husband or to my children. They should be the very ones I am the most kind to, but yet they seem the easiest to unleash upon.
As I think about kindness, I think about Jesus. So much unkindness and hatred directed toward Him and He reminds us that it will be the same for us. As a mom and grandmother, it really hurts when someone is unkind or hateful to my children or grandchildren. Often times it is those who are closest to us, those who claim to love the Lord, yet they can be ugly, unkind, and discouraging in their words and actions. I am sure many of you can relate to this. And when it happens, if I am not careful, I can find bitterness springing up in my soul. I pray often, Lord forgive me for my grudges, put in me love, kindness, compassion, even for those who may be unkind to me (us).
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
I have four children, all who love Jesus very much and are seeking to train their children to do the same. Praise the Lord for this! What grace and what mercy!
- No. 1 child has an inner city ministry, something very much needed everywhere! He has been criticized, cut off, and cut down; I won’t go into any details, but basically, others thought he did not do it “by the book”. This hurts me, probably more than him. It is something I have to give to the Lord over and over. This type of ministry has been his desire since he was a young boy – he loves the unlovely and most of all desires to give them Jesus. Rather than looking at the unkindness, which is what the devil would like, I need to concentrate on the blessings! God is so good and He is working.
- No. 2 child is very talented and skilled in the technology field. How we praise God for that! He has fixed up our electronic world many times over – more than we could ever repay. He too has often faced unkindness as others “expect” things out of him. He amazes me with his tactful and kind reactions. God has blessed him and his family with a ministry in helping with music and children’s ministries as well a many other services at his present church.
- No. 3 child has been a missionary in Brazil. There have been attacks on his life to completely ruin him and take him out of the ministry. Once again, he has set an example by reacting in a godly way and leaving matters in God’s hands. They returned to the field for a second term, but due to extreme health reasons came back to the states. He and his family now serve as the general director of World Wide New Testament Baptist Mission.
- No. 4 child does some blogging and she and her husband are involved in ministering to those in abusive situations. She has braved a chronic illness over the years while homeschooling 5 children. She stays true to the Lord. If you read the facebook post, you will understand better why I am writing this.
- This is pretty much a reminder to myself, that I need to daily look in the mirror and remember that I am a child of God and I need to reflect His characteristics, one main one being that of kindness. I can always see the unkindness of others, but it is the beam in my own eye that I must first remove.
Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
God is so good to me. He is the ultimate example of kindness; He sent His only Son, Jesus to die for my sins, and not for mine only, but for the sins of the whole world! That just overwhelms me! When I realize what He did for me, I am then able to allow Him to take the unkindness and ugliness toward others out of my own heart.
Are you struggling with others who are unkind to you? Are you finding roots of bitterness springing up in your heart that may be defiling many others around you? Turn to Jesus. Trust and obey His Word and find the blessings that only He can offer.