Tag Archives: resentment

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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Getting Past the Pain

GETTING PAST THE PAIN

By Carolyn Dale Newell

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV

How do you rise above a tragedy? How does your world continue to turn after it’s been shaken? How does life go on when the prodigal fails to return? How do you pick up the pieces when you have lost a child or spouse? How do you heal from the abuse or abandonment haunting you?

For thirteen years, life robbed Joseph of his family and freedom. Even before his brothers sold him to slave traders, he lived with their hatred daily.

Once Joseph arrived in Egypt, he was purchased by Potiphar. Potiphar treated Joseph kindly. Surely, Joseph thought of home. He remembered his little brother, Benjamin. He missed his loving father, Jacob. Joseph depended on God in order to heal and move on with life. How do we know that?

Joseph lived a holy life worshipping God. He refused to taste the bitterness his circumstances offered him. When Potiphar’s wife plotted to seduce joseph, He fled. Joseph wanted nothing to do with her. He remained obedient to his Lord.

Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of trying to seduce her, and Joseph was imprisoned.

No resentment yet! Even in harsh conditions, God was with Joseph, and God caused him to prosper.

In prison, Joseph met Pharaoh’s butler and baker. Joseph demonstrated his gift by explaining their dreams. The butler promised to remember joseph when he was released from prison. Like everyone in his life, the butler let Joseph down.

Two years later, Pharaoh cannot find anyone to interpret his dreams. Finally, the butler recalls his friend in prison. Joseph is summoned to Pharaoh’s castle.

Pharaoh describes his dreams, and Joseph explains they mean two things.

First, Egypt would experience seven years of plenty, but then, they would face seven years of famine. Joseph devised a system to collect grain in order to survive the famine.

Pharaoh promotes joseph to second in command under him. During the seven years Joseph was busy storing grain, he married an Egyptian woman.

Joseph and his bride had two boys. Joseph had his own family. A family that loved him. He was respected by all in Egypt. He lacked for nothing.

Did he remember his father and brothers? Did he hold a grudge?

In biblical times, a person’s name carried a definition. If we examine the names Joseph gave his children, we will discover God healed Joseph’s pain.

His first son’s name was Manasseh, and it means “for God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house” (Gen. 41:51). The second child’s name was Ephraim, meaning “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen. 41:52).

Surely, Joseph lived according to the words Isaiah would write many years later (our focal verse). Joseph never dwelt on the past. God did a new thing in his life, and God will do a new thing in our lives too.

Nothing is too hard for God. He creates rivers in the dry barren desert. He heals the broken past. He mends our hearts that ache with memories. Will you trust God to do a miracle for you?

Lord, we ask You to heal our hearts and our broken lives like You healed Joseph’s heart. Ease the pain until it vanishes. Fill us with Your unspeakable joy. We praise and thank You in the name of Jesus. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Genesis 41:37-52.

HIKING THE TRAIL

How much do you pray for God to heal your heart? We often fail to ask God to heal sorrow and heartache, but He wants to make them new. Commit to pray and trust Him.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.