Here is a truth… If you hold grudges, you won’t be able to fully hold your blessings. I heard a story once about a little boy named Jake. Jake became so inquisitive about skunks that he took a trap and decided to catch a few in the wild. In his tiny 2nd grade brain, he reasoned that if he found young skunks,( “skunk puppies,” he called them) and spoke to them in a gentle , soothing way and did his best to just pet and not startle them, they wouldn’t spray him. And, he reasoned that even if they did, because he kept the young ones, then they would not produce the eye- stinging stench as the full grown versions.
Jake was wrong on all accounts. Yes, the two he kept were young, cuddly, and non-aggressive. He placed them in a cardboard box and closed the lid. When he got home, he placed the box on the front porch. When he opened the top, he got a full, double dose shot to the face. He walked inside his house with his eyes stinging and boy, momma let him have it good. His brother jumped in and shared in the yelling. Dad went off, as well, for young Jake doing such a dumb thing! Finally the whole family made him go outside and hose down. Everyone was mad.
Here is the point to young Jake’s adventure. The skunk stench didn’t just make him want to leave his own skin; His own family, yes, the ones that love him the most, suddenly didn’t want him around.
Bitterness does the exact same thing. It pollutes how we perceive others around us. The world begins to look dingy and dark when viewed through a bitter heart.
You may have really been hurt. Betrayed. Backstabbed. Lied about. Harassed. Bullied. It stinks! There’s no getting around it. But you must let the bitterness go. Bitter people usually hurt others. They take on a life of sharp words and carry a satisfaction in bringing others down. They actually carry on a curse that is easily spotted. Pray for them. Ask God to change them and you. I don’t play around with such people, but I do forgive them and move forward. I actually think that I’ve gotten better at handling them. I used to get… bitter. A bitter root will cause trouble all around itself and is easily spotted. Remember, the only difference in Bitter and Better is the “I”.
Read Hebrews 12: 14, 15
Lift people up. Forgive them, but don’t play the “bitter game” with them. You can decide to not play their game and still forgive them. This is why we see, “ make every effort to live in peace with everyone”. This even includes… the bitter.
If Jesus had to stop His own crucifixion to forgive, you must do it as well.
Hey Jake, Get those boxes off of the porch!
Until the nets are full of better,