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Much like your parents attic, treasured memories lay within. So, wipe the dust off my ruminations and remembrances, sit back and enjoy!

A Legacy...

Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die…it is self-indulgent and self-destructive. ~ Anon

We make choices each and everyday. We choose what we’re going to wear and what we’re going to eat, what bills to pay and even who to forgive. Just as forgiveness is a choice, being bitter or not is a choice we also make. By choosing not to forgive, you hyper-focus on the action and fail or at times even refuse to take a person’s intentions into account or demonstrate simple compassion and understanding.

Researchers at the Mayo clinic studied the negative heath effects bitterness and resentment has on the human body. In an article on their findings, Dr. Katherine Piderman said this: When we hold on to pain, old grudges, bitterness and even hatred, many areas of our lives suffer. When we're unforgiving, it's we who pay the price over and over. We bring our anger and bitterness into every relationship and aspect of our lives. Our lives may be so wrapped up in the wrong (actual or perceived) that we can't enjoy the present. This study concludes that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in long-term health problems such as:
§ High blood pressure
§ Increase in stress and stress related ailments
§ Increased risk of heart disease
§ Increased reports of chronic pain (headaches, joint pain)
§ Increased psychological incidents such as anxiety and depression

By choosing to be bitter, you are sabotaging your emotional, physical and spiritual health and personal relationships by clinging to past anger, hatred & resentment. Bitterness causes you to walk through life with the full weight of the situation pressing you down and the sour taste of unresolved pain and regret lingering in your mouth, while your heart, like a helpless prisoner of war in which no one wins, is being held captive in this iron grip. Continual focus on painful recollections of past disappointments, frustrations, unresolved conflicts, shattered dreams and desires left unfulfilled, slowly spread like a cancer, taking up residence inside the heart and soul, creating dark blots where clean, healthy tissue used to exist and obstructing the natural flow of love, peace and joy that God intends.

Hebrews 12:15 ‘See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.’

1 John 4:20 ‘If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.’

The only path to true forgiveness is through God. When you pass through life chained down by an unforgiving heart, it is impossible to hear God’s calming, leading voice and walk the path He intends for you to walk. Ephesians 4:31-32 tells us, ‘You must put away every kind of bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and evil, slanderous talk. Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.’
It takes a major effort of the will to "forgive each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" because most of the time, we don't feel like forgiving. The first step we have to take in order to do this is to tell the Lord that even though we don't want to do it, even though we aren't willing to do it, we are willing for Him to make us willing. When we choose with our will to obey God, He will give us the power to do what is necessary. God wants us to be honest and come to Him saying that it hurts too much for us, in our own power, to forgive and move on. He wants us to realize that we can’t stay angry and bitter and still be in His will…ultimately He wants us to give the anger and bitterness over to Him so that in His strength, not ours, we can forgive…’

When you chose the path of forgiveness you allow the light back into your heart and soul. The dark blot intruding on your heart and in your soul will be washed clean, the chains of bitterness, anger and pain that weighed you down and held your life hostage, will fall off like sand.

…My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace!

Bitterness or mercy…which will be your legacy?

~ V

1 comments:

Lisa Howard said...

I love that quote, hon...so true. We have to be very careful not to let that bitter seed take root in our hearts. It can happen so easily and grows so silently, like a vine wrapping around our hearts. We hardly notice until it has grown so long and twisted it becomes harder and harder to get untangled from it's embrace.

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