Originally posted on July 17, 2008:
This week we’ve talked about recognizing a bitter root, finding freedom from living in bondage, confessing it, and choosing forgiveness. Much of what I’ve been writing about this week is based off Ephesians 4:31 which tells me to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
So in studying this passage, I asked myself, “If I am getting rid of those emotions, what am I replacing them with?”
Verse 32 says to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
I decided to make a list of everything I could find in Ephesians that told me ‘how to be.’
This is the list I came up with:
an imitator of the Lord
filled with the Spirit
completely humble and gentle
made new in the attitude of my mind
careful how I live, not as unwise, but as wise
strong in the Lord and in His mighty power
As we work to rid ourselves of bitterness and resentment, we can replace those unhealthy emotions with things like compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience. We can choose to be an imitator of the Lord. We can pray to be filled with the Spirit. We can strive to live carefully and wisely.
It won’t happen overnight. But friends, if we persistently and faithfully seek the Lord, and desire to be all He is calling us to be, I strongly believe that we WILL be made new in the attitude of our mind.
I know God desires to bring healing to each one of our hearts. Take the first step today and tell Him you want to be free from whatever hurt is in your heart. If you are struggling with a heart of resentment, anger or bitterness toward a family member, friend, co-worker, ex-spouse, or toward God, please let me know - I would love to pray for you! Or if God has revealed an area of unforgiveness in your life, I would consider it an honor to pray for you as you work toward healing and forgiveness. You can e-mail me confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you friends for letting me share what God revealed to me and taught me last summer. Thank you to my dear friend K who asked me the hard questions that led me on my journey to freedom. God continues to teach me about healing, freedom and how easy it is to cope rather than work to be free. I am so grateful that when the Son sets us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).