Tag Archives: bitterness

Weeding Out Unforgiveness

 

WEEDING OUT UNFORGIVENESS

By Carolyn Dale Newell

I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness,
and you will harvest a crop of love.
Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,
for now is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come
and shower righteousness upon you.’

Hosea 10:12 NLT

I opened the door knowing the moment I stepped inside, resentment could capture my heart. Forgiveness had been a long time coming. Distance had helped, but what would happen when I see them in person?

Grudges had developed after each time I was uninvited. The times they never spoke. The times they left me sitting alone. The times I felt invisible.

When we fail to forgive, bitterness takes root (Heb. 12:15). Then the next time they slight you, that root grows deeper, until a grudge has formed.

Instead of immediately forgiving each incident, I held onto my anger. Forgiveness cannot grow in hard hearts.

Like a garden, the soil must be plowed up, for the seeds to grow. God must plow up the hard ground of our hearts, the fallow ground as the King James Version calls it.

Fallow ground is the earth which hasn’t been plowed for at least one year, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary. Weeds and thorns prevent the good seed from growing there unless it is plowed.

Breaking up that hard ground is painful. Think of the plowing process. Even a hoe repeatedly striking the ground, breaking it into smaller chunks, can be uncomfortable.

Forgiveness is not an option. It is a command. When they insult us, they insult God? If God forgives, why can’t we?

The seeds of forgiveness were hindered by the weeds and thorns of an unforgiving heart. They had to be dug up, plowed up, and removed to leave fertile soil for the seeds of forgiveness to flourish.

As I left, stepping into the cool night air, I thanked God. Finally, He had the victory. No hard feelings arose. No replay in my mind of each wrong-doing. God had done a work on my bitter, hard heart. I had forgiven them. Now a crop of love can flourish. Loving one another includes forgiving one another.

Looking back, I see my mistakes. I kept hitting rewind on every incident, playing it over and over in my mind. Instead, I should have sought forgiveness, and spent more time in prayer.

We must stop harping on the hurt and start focusing on the forgiveness.

After all, God has forgiven them, and He has forgiven me so much more. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place for every one of my sins. Even the sin of unforgiveness.

Friend, if you find yourself unable to forgive,ask God to help you. Beg Him for victory over the root of bitterness. Refuse to dredge up the pain. Strive for forgiveness. We are never more like God than when we forgive.

Lord, enable me to forgive (insert name). Plow up the weeds and thorns of resentment. Destroy the root of bitterness. On my own, I cannot do this. It is only through You that I can forgive. I give You the praise, honor, and glory now for the victory You will have in my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Matthew 18:23-35.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Forgiving isn’t easy. As a matter of fact, it is extremely difficult, but we cannot allow the sin of unforgiveness to feel at home in our hearts. Draw close to God, continually in prayer until He has given you victory.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

I will have limited internet service while I am on a writing retreat for the next several weeks. Therefore, I will not be posting on my blog. I will be back with a new post in late August. God bless!

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Throwback Thursday: Joseph Forgives

 

 

 

JOSEPH FORGIVES

By Carolyn Dale Newell

 

“Now therefore, do not be afraid

, I will provide for you and your little ones.”

And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Gen. 50:21 (NKJV)

 

Joseph spoke these words to his brothers after the death of their father, Jacob. His brothers were afraid that Joseph would harm them now that their father was gone. Joseph was Egypt’s second in command after Pharaoh, and he had the authority to execute his brothers.

 

Genesis 37 tells the story of the hatred that Joseph’s brothers had for him. All of them except Benjamin had plotted to kill him. Instead they sold their own brother to some Ishmaelite’s who took him to Egypt. Joseph was seventeen when he was ripped away from the father who loved him dearly.

 

A famine sent the brothers to Egypt searching for food. Unable to recognize Joseph, his brothers were astonished when he revealed himself to them. He assured them that he was not seeking vengeance. He knew that God had brought him there to preserve life (Gen. 45:3-5).

 

Joseph not only forgave his brothers, but he provided for them. Isn’t that what God did for us? He forgave us so much, how can we be disobedient and refuse to forgive others? Unforgiveness is a poison used by Satan. Bitterness grows and we do not exhibit the fruits of love, joy, peace and mercy.

 

In Ephesians 4:31-32, we are commanded: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

 

Has someone hurt you or betrayed you? Follow the Christ-like example of Joseph. You are never more like God than when you forgive.

 

Father,

You have forgiven us so much. Help us forgive others. Cleanse us of any root of bitterness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

DIG DEEPER

Read Gen. 37:1-35.

 

HIKING THE TRAIL

If you were Joseph, would you be able to forgive the brothers like he did? God has forgiven you so much more. Who do you need to forgive today?

 

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.