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The Pride of Bitterness

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The Pride of Bitterness Empty The Pride of Bitterness

Post  Admin on Sun 20 Mar 2011, 10:52 am

{TheActs1711Project } The Pride of Bitterness

Jesus: "Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to
divide people against each other! From now on families will be split apart,
three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.‘Father
will be divided against sonand son against father;mother against daughter and
daughter against mother;and mother-in-law against daughter-in- lawand
daughter-in- law against mother-in-law.’�Luke 12 (http://tinyurl. com/69ejgue)

Have you ever felt the sting of rejection? Been shamed? Humiliated too? Even
felt a failure?

You are not alone.

You, and countless others, have been stung by bitterness.. .what The Bible calls
the 'poisoned root', (Hebrews 12; http://tinyurl. com/65rpmvo), and the cause of
disorder and all sorts of evil (James 3; http://tinyurl. com/6xb67ht).

Rejection, shame (false kind, that says you are wrong, not your behavior),
humiliation, failure....these are not to be parts of Christian
relationships/ friendships. We, as Christians, are to find ways to express
ourselves in that when we sin or are sinned against (happens all the time) we
don't deny the reality of it but instead find ways to reconcile, speaking
honestly but in encouraging ways. And we all fail in this, but in God's Word He
says to try to be kind, gentle, truthful in love, compassionate, understanding.
As we practice these things, our relationships - with God and others - improves
remarkably.

Bitterness is a root, which means it is hidden (often from ourselves) from view
as it grows strong below the surface. We can easily hide what is truly in our
hearts (God sees) but over time the truth of our hearts and attitudes becomes
apparent, to us and others, and we start hurting our loved ones.

Even more destructive is that sinful facet of bitterness which hides it. Pride
is the original sin, what caused satan to be kicked out of Heaven, and it means:
'I' am it, the center of everything (or I should be), I am so wonderful and
marvelous that people should just love me."

This statement, however, indicates just how much deception is involved with
pride.

The Bible teaches that we are to 'consider others as more important than
ourselves' (no, we are not to be doormats, allow abusive behaviors/words, or
completely disregard our own needs), in Philippians 2
(http://tinyurl. com/66tg99y); to 'do to others as we would have them do to us',
in Matthew 7, aka The Golden Rule (http://tinyurl. com/4frd278); to 'let kindness
and gentleness reflect our tolerance for others', in Colossians 3
(http://tinyurl. com/47unw84).

When Jesus made His (quite controversial) remarks above, in Luke 12, He was
explaining graphically how one who follows Him (in a true obedient relationship)
would have conflicts with those who merely claimed to follow Him but were living
for self instead.

When one is a believer but has put self on the throne of their hearts/lives,
they become carnal (see Campus Crusade's Bill Bright's excellent description at
http://www.ccci. org/training- and-growth/ classics/ the-spirit- filled-life/ index.htm).

This includes one's pride (self righteousness, self-centeredness,
self-indulgence, self-reliance, self-absorption) and it also includes
bitterness, those hidden resentments and jealousies (or hatreds and envies and
covetousness) that poison one's heart and soul, mind and body...AND
relationships.

Consider this: are you able to take loving criticism from a friend? Or do you
fume at the idea of being wrong about something? Are you so wrapped up in
yourself that the heartaches of others are insignificant to you? Do you dominate
conversations, making them -- even prayer -- all about you?

Perhaps it's time to consider pride, and bitterness.

When one has a friend who's become caught up, entangled, in the poison pride of
bitterness, and one stands up for oneself because of being hurt by the poison,
one usually gets more poison in return. This is typical, however painful it is
to the one who is merely trying to say 'I have been hurt'.

This same 'spewing' response occurs when one does what's called an
'intervention' with another trapped in the vicious downward spiral of
alcoholism, codependency or other addictions. The shame and guilt being numbed
by the substance use (or control) in the addict comes spewing out all over the
caring compassionate one who is trying to bring the light of truth to the
situation of the addict. And it is very painful.

God says in The Bible that the 'wounds of a friend are better than kisses from
an enemy', and 'as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend', in
Proverbs 27 (http://tinyurl. com/48m43nc), and 'speaking the truth in love'...we
will 'help others grow', in Ephesians 4 (http://tinyurl. com/4bgkn7r).

What is the response of a person wounded by another's bitterness? Prayer, asking
God to heal their heart's pain, and mercy, finding ways to show kindness but
also to speak the truth of the pain to the one with it. But more often than not,
we simply remove ourselves from the bitter proud person because we don't want to
be wounded again.

Pride denies itself, because it thinks it is fine already, so it doesn't need to
acknowledge wrong doing, mistakes, seek forgiveness or repent. Bitterness spews
its poison when the one with it is convicted by the Holy Spirit that it is
poison and needs to be dealt with.

It is hard when one's been hurt by pride and/or bitterness, one can be rejected,
feel shamed, humiliated, or even a failure.

BUT ---- there is healing for the heart if one chooses to seek God.

Ask God to help you admit to your pride, to your bitterness (resentments,
envies, jealousies, hatreds, coveting, disappointments) , to those things that
have contributed to it. It might be peer pressure from co-workers, or a
lifestyle to which you aspire. It might be wrong associations (friends) or even
a family tree that carries the root of bitterness or the stronghold of pride
within it.

If you are a Christian, you will have a continuing difficulty in your maturity
if you do not deal honestly with these things, with your disappointments and
frustrations, for they will become a thorn in your heart that will not only
block your fellowship with God, but will ruin your relationships. You will
become self-absorbed, self-centered, as your heart continuously focused on what
you have not.

What is important is to thank God for what you have. An attitude of gratitude
goes a long way towards Christian growth, and a healthy relationship with God
through belief on Jesus as Saviour and Lord. And when that relationship (the
vertical) is set properly, then the other ones (the horizontals) start getting
set properly.

Take time today and ask God to 'search your heart' (Psalm 139,
http://tinyurl. com/3624hpf), and also ask Him to have your 'heart be acceptable
to Him', Psalm 19 (http://tinyurl. com/4rrol32). Then you will find Him, and you
will experience His peace -- which you will admit has been eluding you.

And once you've spent time with God, realize that there are people out there who
love you, and want the best for you but are unsure as to how to reach out
because of the past. Try reaching out to them, with trust that they won't reject
you but will be elated at the chance to build up the relationship. They've
likely been praying for you for quite awhile.

Copyright 2011, TheActs1711Project, Gretchen Offord.
All rights reserved however
permission is granted to electronically forward (email) this article provided no
changes are made.

--The head may seek God, but it is the heart that finds Him. Jeremiah 29:13 --
"This is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God,

and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth." John 17:3
The Acts 1711 Project ~ Searching The Scriptures to Know Truth
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