Thursday, July 27, 2017

Do not embitter your children

When we think of bitterness forming in a person, generally we think of it in adults. Truth is childhood is often the place where bitterness begins to form and grow, so by the time the child has reached adulthood that is when the bitterness has become a major issue in the life of an adult. 

If you are a person of faith, make sure that your children understand the ultimate consequences of bitterness, and that you do all in your power to clear up bitterness before it hardens in their hearts.

As Colossians 3:21 advises, Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. That word, discouraged is athyméo and it means to be disheartened, dispirited, broken in spirit. Once this happens, bitterness can form in the place of those open wounds.

I know this to be true because I was one who developed bitterness as a child over a parent with mental illness. My parent also had developed bitterness as a child and by the time it had become full grown in her, mental illness took over.

The Scripture says that the root of bitterness defiles many. That is because we are not islands. The bitterness developing in our lives not only limits or destroys our capacity to love ourselves and others in our lives, it also defiles the others who are around us. Those we are embittered against and those we are so sure we will do better to than was done to us.

Life is messy. Especially lives that are not devoted to the Lord and to becoming like Him. So many of us have traveled through many years of our lives before finding the Lord which means we have traveled many years stumbling and blundering along...perhaps making people bitter against us along the way and not having any inkling how to deal with it.

It is quite a shock to the system to suddenly see how our own mistakes of the past have led to great bitterness in others - a bitterness that to this day is a spoiler of relationships for that person. We are rarely in it alone, and truth be known, every person ultimately has to own their own bitterness. No one made them choose bitterness, we just do.

Fortunately, whom the Son sets free is free indeed. There is a way out of bitterness for every single person and it is not dependent upon what anyone else involved does or does not do. It is forgive. Not just a one time forgiveness, but a dedication to walking in forgiveness for the rest of your life.

Regardless of how easy it might be just to renew our bitter feelings, we can CHOOSE to forgive and keep walking in it towards those who are bitter. And we can pray that God will give them grace to recover themselves from this most powerful trap of the enemy used to destroy those who hold onto their bitterness.

No comments: