Bitter Roots Sour Relationships

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14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. – Hebrews 12:2

As Paul tells us in Romans 12, we should do everything that we can do to live in peace with our fellow man.  Add to that, the fact that we should strive to live a Holy life. God tells us to be Holy because He is Holy.  Once we are indwelt by God’s Holy Spirit, it should be our inclination to follow the example of Jesus in all that we do.  That requires us to not only seek peace and holiness, but to teach others so that no one fails to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.  To do this, we must avoid gossip and rumor mongering.  If we practice those things, we hurt others instead of helping. Do this with humility and love so that no one can blame you.  When you are wrongfully blamed, quickly forgive the person.  Don’t hold grudges and allow a “root of bitterness” to grow in your heart. This will, first of all, destroy you and then those around you.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Forgiveness is Sweet, Revenge is Bitter

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17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.—Romans 12:17-21 NIV

When we feel that we have been wronged by someone, usually the first thing we feel is anger. Where we go from there depends on the habit patterns we have developed. Our flesh rises up and demands retribution. It takes a lot of prayer and practice to learn to respond and not react.  Most of us will never get it completely right and certainly not all the time. Nevertheless, our commitment to Jesus Christ requires us to keep trying. We must learn to make every attempt to bring about a peaceful resolution to the issue.  If the other(s) involved won’t allow this, then we must pray for them.  Never, never, never hold a grudge which will eventually become a root of bitterness in your life. The longer the root is allowed to stay there, the harder it is to remove. Revenge is God’s business, not ours and He never fails to take care of His business. God, alone, is good and He is the only one that can completely overcome evil. Forgive immediately, pray for as long as it takes and trust God with the rest.
Post 07-08-2015