Pouring Gospel-Pesticide on All Roots of Bitterness

Resentment kills a foolJob. 5:2 (NIV)

Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting manyHeb. 12:15 (NLT)

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph. 4:31-32 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, we just began our week resting in the finished work of Jesus. But today, Monday—the beginning of our work-week, will likely provide ample opportunities for rest to become restlessness. And it doesn’t take a lot for restlessness to morph into resentment.

Resentment can well up in our hearts as soon as we get overlooked or feel underappreciated; or when we’re left off a guest list to a party or are included in a conversation behind closed doors. Or when early plane boarders take the storage space above our seat, or when the teething toddler sits right behind us all the way home from Peru. Have mercy on us, Lord, and grant us fresh grace, thicker skin and bigger hearts.

But some events in life carry more pain and require more grace. Betrayals, rejections, and insults, these aren’t things just to “shake off,” but wounds and pain to bring to your throne of grace. Indeed, Father, you’re not calling us to denial but to yourself. Have mercy on us, Lord, and grant us wisdom, strength and grace.

Through the power of your Spirit, the truth of the gospel, and the gift of community, don’t let our appropriate pain lead to destructive revenge. Don’t let our hurts (old ones and new ones) become a band of vengeful marauders, seeking to get back and get even.

Don’t let our vulnerable hearts become gardens for the planting of roots of resentment and bushes of bitterness. Keep us from medicating our pain foolishly. Father, as you have forgiven us in Jesus, help us forgive others. Make the gospel more defining than our pain and sweeter than revenge. Write stories of redemption and restoration, with the pen of our hurt and the ink of your grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.

 



from Scotty Smith Posts – The Gospel Coalition http://ift.tt/2GGtCgT
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