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Monday, January 12, 2009

Get Me Out of This Trap!

I have had some things heavy on my mind lately. In fact, I now recognize that offense is trying to get a hold on my heart.

I’ve been “mulling” again. Letting things circulate in my mind and heart that are not only upsetting to me, but could become bitterness if left unchecked.

Do you ever do that? Or is it just me?

This morning, I know that I have to take hold of these thoughts and steer my mind in the direction of truth. The truth of God’s Word.

Hebrews 12:14-15
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
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. Make every effort to live in peace…
This may mean going to the person and confronting the situation face to face. I’ve had to do that at times and sometimes it works out well, sometimes it backfires. But the most important thing to make sure is that your motivation is love for the other person. No matter how they receive it, if your motive is love, God will honor you for it.

But, it may mean not discussing it with ANYONE, in fact the issue may be completely in you and you need to make every effort to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and examine your own heart. Forgiving others and moving on in love may be difficult but the rewards are worth it.

2. without holiness no one will see the Lord…
It is holy to forgive and walk in love…and when we don’t, it will become a stumbling block to others. They will not see the Lord in our lives.

My heart’s desire is that people see the Lord in my life, and it grieves me to think that I could cause anyone to stumble. I know I have in the past and I pray that God helps me to avoid these pitfalls again. I know that is why He’s prompting my heart to deal with this situation now. I love that He gives me opportunities time and time again to turn things around.

3. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many
So how do we avoid bitterness? According to verse 15, we make sure that we don’t miss the grace of God.
I love the grace of God for myself, but hmmm…do I “miss it” when it comes to giving it to others??

Bitterness is an awful pill to swallow…but once we swallow- it can grow. It can actually take on a life of it’s own and before you know it, it’s affecting everyone around you.

When this happens, all your girlfriends are well aware of what is brewing on the inside of you, and unfortunately your family is probably really paying the price of this “injustice.”

There are times that after I hang up the phone I hear the still small voice of the Lord say…was that person encouraged or inspired in any way just now or did you just put a heavy weight on them??

UGH! It pains me to type that because I know that I have done so much damage with my words. Gotta love that grace now.

The bottom line is that offense is a trap that satan sets for us. He wants us to grab hold of offense and take us captive to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:23-26
23 Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
24 And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
If you’ve read this far, I’m pretty sure that you also want to do God’s will in your life, so let’s take a long hard look at these verses and our hearts and see where we need to change.

Eph 4:29-32
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
God loves us so much that He gives us life through His Word and the strength to make choices consistent with His will for our lives.

Don’t fall for the traps of offense, forgive and move on!!
I've read this book years ago and remember what an impact it had on my life. So I wanted to pass along the info to you all.

Very powerful, if you are struggling in your church or relationships at all, get this one.

Are you ensnared by bitterness, seized by anger, held captive by
resentment because someone has offended you?
Bevere shows you how to escape
Satan's grip, avoid a victim mentality, practice forgiveness, experience
reconciliation, and remain free in Christ. Features updated anecdotal
stories and testimonies, and an extensive study guide for individuals or
small groups.


Norma said...

It is easier said than done, but when we weigh it up, it is not worth binding ourselves down spiritually.
The Lord requires us to live peacefully and I love that, becouse He Knows there is not much peace in this world. God gives us the ability to have and live in peace thru His Holy Spirit.
Good job Sue...I Love it!

Praise and Coffee said...

Unfortunately it's not until I walk through these things the wrong way- that I figure it out a little!
Still learning and clinging to the hem of His garment!

Anonymous said...

Sue, once again you are open and honest, and I love that about you! We all feel like this and we all must do just as you said!
Sandra Hersey

Anonymous said...

Great post! This last year I had a negative relationship situation that I really began to obsess over. Then I heard a message on "taking every thought captive" (2 Cor. 10:5) and realized my thoughts & feelings about this situation had worn grooves in my mind and become habits. Two things really helped: first, I put my worry on appointment (this sounds a little silly, but it works!). So, the only time I would allow myself to think or worry about the situation was from 10 - 10:30 AM every day. If the thoughts came to mind, I looked at my watch and if it wasn't the designated time, I put those thoughts off until the next day. Second, when those habitual negative thoughts lingered, I turned it around to praise and worship, using both Scripture and songs. The result? I broke the worry habit (because I hardly ever remembered to worry from 10-10:30), and turned the worry to worship.

Janet Benlien Reeves said...

Thank you, Sue! I appreciated this post.

Praise and Coffee said...

Thanks for the insight Susy! Great advice.

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

This is such an area of difficulty for me. Thanks for the encouraging verses, and for your willingness to admit your weaknessess...


Marlo Boux said...

Ahh yes dealing with offense. How not to take it, not give it, not offend the Holy Spirit etc. This is an ongoing challnege for me too.

Ironically, our bible study group is currently studying this very topic. Using one of Joyce Meyer's CD series to guide us - very good!

Lisa said...

I needed to hear this.

Heather C said...

Just finished having a conversation with someone a few hours ago about forgiveness. My friend was saying that if we forgive someone who isn't asking for it, then maybe they won't see the error of their ways as they would if we withheld forgiveness. I told her that forgiveness is as much for us as anyone else... God is sovereign and He will deal with them... my part is to check my own heart and seek the path of forgiveness so that no bitter root springs up in me. She seemed satisfied with that... but your post really expresses some of the things we discussed very well... so I think I might share with her :) Thanks!

Praise and Coffee said...

That is such great advice Heather, thank you.

lynnmosher said...

This is one of my biggies! I have tried so hard for several years to watch my words and be of benefit to others. Also, if I don't quickly forgive, the Lord will not hear me. Yikes! Can't have that! Thanks for the reminder to holy, at peace, forgiving, and positive. Loved it! Blessings to you...

Pat Thacker said...

Praise God,thanks for sharing I needed this reading today.For we so often hold onto stuff we need to let God have,because we cannot handle it.
Love in Christ Pattyann

Praise and Coffee said...

You are all so great! Thanks for bearing your souls right along with me :)

Smelling Coffee said...

Wonderful post! Thank you for your honesty!!! The Lord is using Col. 3:12-17 to help me with this issue in my own life. It helps my mind center on what my attitude really should be.

Mel said...

I so wish this post did not apply to my life :) that i could not be bogged down in disagreements...

Jennsmere said...

What a true and timely post!!! My husband has had to remind me a lot lately that I am 'over-thinking' certain issues or things that people have said to me. When I am in the middle of a fibro flare, or just not feeling up to par, it seems that the enemy takes that opportunity to whisper in my ear and try to fill my mind with this sort of negative thought.
Thanks so much for sharing this Godly wisdom!!
Take care...

Susan said...

Haven't been around for awhile, Sue. Glad the Lord prompted me to come today. Your posts are always such a blessing.

Carol Van Atta, Princess Warrior said...

Amen! Awesome and much needed word from the Word. Lovely site!

Angie said...

Enjoyed your post. You used the word mulling. My husband calls it "stewing". He's always reminding me that I shouldn't be stewing.

A Stone Gatherer said...

Boy Hebrews 12 has been coming up alot lately! hummm.... what is God trying to tell me! LOL!

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