Words carry tremendous power. They build up or tear down, bring joy or resentment, bring a smile or like the picture, a sour look. The question is, “How do you react to words?” As a follower of Jesus Christ it seems that you have two choices: confront or cover.
Offenses arise when you’re disappointed or frustrated at the insensitivity of others and believe you’re being treated unfairly. That sense of injustice is when bitterness can be sown into your heart and become a root that chokes out your kingdom life.
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Hebrews 12:15 NLT
Bitterness sneaks up on you, like a slow boil, fermenting in your heart until you decide to confront it or cover it. When you ignore it and hold on to the hurt, rehearsing it in your mind, you become powerless over it. It’ll take over your mind. Let’s call it what it is … Sin.
How do you get rid of sin? Confess it to God and receive His forgiveness; it’s that simple and yet that difficult. I know all the excuses for not repenting; I didn’t deserve that, I’ve done nothing wrong, it’s not me, it’s him/her! God says it’s you; you make a choice to live the higher life in His presence with a pure heart.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
Grace is a wonderful thing. We receive God’s unearned favor with joy and yet, sometimes, we don’t give grace to others because we’ve allowed bitterness to take root. Learn to cover people in their words, make excuses for them, and allow love to work.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13 NLT
Bitterness also has side effects: high blood pressure, breathing or weight problems, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, accelerated aging, acne, sleeping, joint pain, and depression. If you want to live fully in the Kingdom of God here on earth then you must forgive.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Matthew 6:14-15 NLT
Here’s the clincher, once you realize how much God has forgiven you, how much grace He’s extended to you, and how much He loves you, aren’t you willing to obey Him? I think you are. So stop allowing your mind to control you … reject thoughts about people that aren’t kind, full of grace, and forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you and fill you with His power. He will, you know.