2020 saw a great loss for many people. But what replaced it?
Jobs, businesses, homes and marriages, and even people have been lost by some, along with the lifestyles and dreams that went with them.
What appeared in their place?
Anger, bitterness, bewilderment, shame and embarrassment, marital arguments (always come with money shortage), fears of a different sort.
The Apostle Paul warns us in two letters not to allow those things to get a hold of us. It is so easy to let the bitterness of disappointment and hardship grow within. We just need to let it take root, then water it now and then. It is a weed, so it doesn't need consistent watering to flourish and take over our speech. It blooms with very little help.
Have you ever thought how ironic it is for God to place flowers on weeds? They never look as good as normal flowers. Maybe He's telling us that's the best we'll get if we let them assume control.
Paul, like Jesus, had to battle all inner things as we do. They both knew the consequence of giving the wrong topics sunlight and water — giving them unnecessary airplay in conversation, allowing our ire to rise up again. Bitterness can bring anger, wrath and evil speaking that only appears when the wrong topic is raised. it's important for our spiritual health to rid ourselves of this, as it is unseemly and defiles the other good parts of us.
Paul cautions us in the following verses:
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Rather than dwelling on our losses and fears, we could in preference repent and ask God our husbandman to remove the weeds.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
In these humbling verses, we see where repairing and healing can replace our wrong thoughts and hurts, enabling us to move forward in Christ.
God calls us to take the path less travelled — to bypass the quagmire of loss, choosing rather to walk in the green and blossoming fields of the Holy Spirit. This way we continue onto a deeper relationship with our Father.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the reminder of this evil subject that so easily overpowers conversation. Please rid me of anything that even has a hint of bitterness.
Photo by Jade