The world is full of people who have not dealt with an old hurt. Have you ever spoken to someone who tells the same old story a thousand times of someone who offended them a thousand years ago? They rehearse and nurse the grudge until they have the grievance so memorized, you wonder how they could ever forget what happened to them.
The root and fruit of bitterness grows into something that tangles us tight.
Like the baby elephant tied to a stake from the time he can walk, when he grows into a massive mammal that can uproot trees, he still believes he’s bound to the stake he grew up with. He could’ve broken free long ago when he experienced the power to do so, but it’s always been there.
We too can break free from the bitter stake of our past that holds us back from experiencing true freedom. Bitterness is a prison that only we have the key . . . the key is inside.
Only you can let you out.
The story of Joseph is a beautiful example (Genesis 25-33) of letting go of a bitter interruption in life. Thrown into a pit and sold out by jealous brothers, he had plenty of reason to not get over it. While residing with his Egyptian master, Mrs. Potiphar had an eye for the handsome young Joseph and really made things rough for him. His integrity said no. No to her, and no to bitterness.
Like Joseph, we can allow God to be in charge of our justice. He knew the sovereign God who allows circumstances to carry out the bigger purpose.
When we allow others to affect the course of our lives, we face a decision. Though we can’t change the past, we can affect our future by our response. We can fuel bitterness or we can lay our scars before the Healer and ask for the grace to forgive.
Scars tell a story that healing has taken place. Let’s celebrate our independence – the freedom we have in Christ who has the key to unlock the chains of shame, guilt, and bitterness.
The Healing Has Begun by Matthew West (youtube)