Why Are You Choosing Strife?

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” – Proverbs 10:12.

For a long time I have dealt with some issues on bitterness. Bitterness towards others requires a lot of effort. It is draining, aggravating, and develops some pretty vicious cycles. Letting go of it requires more than just saying you won’t do it anymore. For me it required some pretty active confession on my sin. My bitterness was a sin.

It was hard to confront. I wanted be justified in my feelings. I wanted to hold my grudges. I wanted to live in my negative thoughts, because it seemed to give me a sense of control. Something peculiar happened though, as my bitterness grew, so did my guilt. I began to fear how the same individuals viewed me. I was suddenly caught in this horrible cycle of holding bitterness towards others, and at the same time craving approval from them.

A few weeks ago after wrestling over this for months I went to the prayer team at our church and asked for prayer over this issue. The gentleman told me exactly what I needed to hear. He told me he wants ti pray for me, but I need to take the first step and confess my sin to God. Very blunt, and it stung. I wanted to react negatively at first. Why should I confess sin? I am justified in my feelings. I just wanted God to give me peace. It doesn’t work that way though. I confessed right there. All of the pain and weight of that sins was lifted off of me.

A few weeks later I noticed something else. My fear and anxiety on how people viewed me was different. Because I let go of my bitterness I was no long trapped in a negative outlook.

You see, as long as I only looked at the flaws of others it was impossible for me to assume that they were doing anything, but the same to me. Often we think hatred and bitterness bring up strife in confrontation, but it does a lot more than that. It affect our outlook of the rest of the world. We are often only capable to imagine what other think based off of the way we think. Freeing up my own views and capability for forgiveness outwardly extended my thoughts on what others are capable of as well.

Maybe it is time to let that anger go. Maybe it is time to take a step into the light, and realize not every thought is covered in darkness. Perhaps people will change just by the fact that you change. What if the shackles you have others place on you could be broken if you just unlocked your chains on them. What if you could end the strife right now?

I waited way too long to deal with it. What are you waiting for?

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