Bitter…mmmmmmm

How do you suppose one should confront another about being judgmental, without being judgmental?  Or critical? Or bitter?  I am guilty of carrying all three deep inside of me, and although not aware til recently, I am still rather stand offish with the ones who thought it necessary to tell me.  90% truth spoken to me.  10% self gain…

I do not deal well with hurt, or disappointment, and GOD is doing a work in me.  I would sooner turn and walk away from a problem than look right at it. Why? Thinking life is full of crap, people in general are full of crap, and self seeking, yes even while they speak some truth over you.

This is the deal! I need to not walk away so quickly, and at times I need to swallow the bitterness that it stirs up in me.  And once again…I need to believe HE is seeing this, and has a plan, and will take care of the others just like HE takes care of me.  These verses spoke me to today…

Hebrews 12:15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Hebrews 12:28,29  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire”.

All I can say to that is “dang”, I got some fences to mend, and some believing to do, some repentance, and some grace to extend.  Also knowing that the bitter root that has already taken root is going to be painful coming out.  Back to life as HE wants it, and not so much how I want it, praying that HE will change my “wants”.  Peace.  Hope you all are having a good week!

18 Comments

Filed under Bible, bitterness, Change, Grace, mercy, reflections, repentance, scripture

18 responses to “Bitter…mmmmmmm

  1. HW

    That’s a tough question. I personally don’t confront other people’s attitudes too often unless I’ve earned the trust (and the right) to do so through the relationship. There are ways to do it, and ways not to do it because more harm will be done. Generally, the first course would be just pray and wait to see if the Lord even wants you to confront them. Sometimes he is working on something completely different from what you see as a problem.

    I’ve had people confront me and be totally wrong about my motives and thoughts. While they may know something is wrong, they don’t always know what, why, or how to help. One time I had been devestatingly hurt by someone, and couldn’t tell anyone about it, and one of my friends decided I was full of bitterness and anger and confronted me and then stopped talking to me… it hurt because she was so wrong. I wasn’t angry, I was hurting, and she completely missed the boat and I was even more alone than before.

    And every now and then someone is right on and I have to face it head on. I had a dear friend at one point who was able to bluntly point things out to me in a way that I knew she loved me no matter what, but she wanted me to be aware of things. When she did it, I was able to receive it and work on it, knowing that it didn’t matter to her if I got “fixed” or not because she loved me anyway.

    He’s been working on some of my bitterness, and through this process I’m seeing the people who hurt me in a new light, which helps immensely in forgiving them.

    I’m just babbling. I don’t know your situation, so I can’t really speak to it. Just some thoughts that went through my head when I read your post.

    Love you, and I hope you are ok!
    HW

  2. PeregrinJoe

    It’s a fine line. On the one hand, the Scripture says that if we see a brother or sister stumbling toward destruction and do nothing, we are just as guilty as they are. On the other hand, I agree with HW in that we need to be careful in trying to drive a ten ton truck of criticism over a five ton bridge of relationship.

    Whenever I have felt the need to talk to a brother or sister about something I see in their life, I spend a lot of time praying and agonizing first. Then when I approach them I try to do it with an attitude of love, humility and gentleness.

    Whenever I am corrected by a brother or sister, I TRY (and I emphasize that word because I don’t always get it right) to receive it with that same attitude of humility, love and gentleness.

    I one read that people always want to think the best of themselves. And that when we are confronted with something that causes us to think otherwise, we tend lash back or become defensive because it is interfereing with our ability to think well of ourselves.

    It’s tough, but then, that’s why we have the Holy Spirit right?

  3. There is not enough info here for me to give a scriptural answer. There are too many assumptions I would have to make. But, one thing I do know is that we are not God’s policemen.
    If you are being confronted by another, then there is always the option of the “other cheek practice”.
    If you are to confront another, then are you willing to go the full mile of following Matt. 18:15-17?
    Sadly, this practice (Mt. 18) is not seen in most churches today; and this is another symptom of our weakness. I think that it may even be a factor contributing to our weakness.
    As far as the actual judging goes, we do not know the light another has. We do not know their motives (ie, HW’s testimony). We do not know where they are in their walk with the Lord. There is so much we do not know about another, but we are so willing to judge and criticize.

    Dr. Covey (7Habits) recounts the story of his ride on a subway one afternoon when he was extremely tired. A man got on with three unruly children. The man sat quietly while the kids ran all over the car. Finally, Covey spoke to the man about controlling his kids.
    “Oh. Yeah. I guess I should. We just came from the hospital where their mother died.”
    Everything came into a different light for Covey with that revelation.
    He, like us, was judging by the outward appearance and actions.
    I do not ever want to make that mistake again.

  4. Heidi, Joe, I agree with both and with all you have said. Sometimes we only know such a small part of what is going on with a person, that if not directed by the Holy Spirit, we can make a mess! That was the first scenario that happened to me, but then I failed to love them, and eventually pushed them far away. So Praise God, HE multi tasks in every situation. The type of person that I am is on a mission to know God and to love HIM more, its not always the popular choices that I make. Others do not always understand. So although orginially my choices were upright, my reaction to opposition was not.

    I have a lot to learn about loving the body of Christ, and holding out grace to them as well as the lost who do not know HIM.

    Joe- no doubt that is why we have the Holy Spirit! thankful that I have HIM.

  5. Dale= this person follows through with the Matt 18, however, it seems okay for them to pass this judgment without knowing the whole story, and never dealing with thier own stick in their eye. Pass all the judgment a person wants on me, but i expect that to come from someone who is practicing the same daily living, and not just pointing at my faults.

    How did you sneak in there? Regardless, I am going to walk this out with the Spirit, and where I am wrong..I am wrong! and where they are wrong…they will answer to God. love ya brother!

  6. Darla wrote: i expect that to come from someone who is practicing the same daily living, and not just pointing at my faults.
    AMEN!! (And yes, I’m shouting.)
    Galatians 6:1 calls for the spiritual among us to do the restoration. Pointing out faults is not necessarily restoring. Sometimes, it is not even necessary to the restoration.
    Romans 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
    We need to get the totality of the reality of this verse into our hearts and minds. Then criticism will cease.

  7. Amen Dale! I am writing that verse on an index card..I want to memorize and have it resonate in my heart of hearts!

  8. HW

    Sometimes we Christians forget grace, and decide that this Christian walk is a “behavior management” plan. If we can get people to “act” and “talk” the way we think is right, we can be happy that we were used by the Lord to help someone change. The problem with that theory is that the Holy Spirit changes people from the inside, which will leak out to the outside. But we try to change people from the outside, in. It just doesn’t work that way very well. It all starts with prayer, and leading from the Holy Spirit on how to handle something. Often God will just ask us to love someone.

    One time I had a picture in my head of a woman (who was a very vocal critic of anyone who wasn’t perfect), and she had this huge plank sticking out of her eye so she couldn’t see very well, and when she would turn her head to look around and see what everyone was doing, her plank kept smacking the people around her in the head. It also prevented anyone from getting close enough to her to love her. When they tried, they got splinters…

    Interestingly enough, it was the religious people that Jesus was the hardest on. He mentioned that they tied up heavy loads and made other people carry them, while they didn’t lift a finger to help. I think that often this is what comes of the judging and behavior management. Binding someone up in a bunch of rules and behaviors can crush the other person who tries to shoulder that load.On the other hand, restoring someone gently, putting up with the weak, or bearing one anothers burdens is something that can be a wonderful thing.

    Anyway… we should be careful what we receive as truth. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be the person that God wants you to be… but if we put too much stock into what people think of us, or try to follow someone’s behavior rules, we can get really bound up. Just because someone thinks they know it all, doesn’t mean that they do!

    I had a great friend who was a pastor, and he was able to listen to all the things he was supposedly doing wrong, look at it objectively, and receive that which was true, and let the rest fall to the ground. If he was wrong, he took it on the chin. If it was something untrue, he was able to let it roll off. I always wanted to be like that, rather than take everything so personally, and to want to defend and explain myself.

    Argh… I should stop. You certainly have a way of getting me rolling!

  9. Hiedi!! Girl you get your roll on here anytime! love your thoughts, and it certainly helps me keep things in perspective. love you and what you said..

  10. Wow. Great stuff!

    I think God is more concerned about humility than almost anything else. I right understanding of our own sinfulness and leaving the rest for Him to sort out.

    In times when I know I’ve been misunderstood, I’ve tried to explain myself completely through a letter…truly a love letter…to be certain I have not spoken in anger. Writing…revising…praying…get it all said…then choose to send, or not. Somehow that always helps for me to see my faults, to repent and to extend an olive branch to others.

    If I do send the letter, I don’t wait for a response. I just leave it on the table and let them make the next move. I don’t want to usurp the Holy Spirit. Does that make sense?

    Probably not.

    (Great words, Heidi!)

  11. sorry

    A* right understanding…

  12. OK…I do* wait for their* response…

    Gracious…I’m tired.

  13. I wish it was easy for me to type – I like this post – but love you. You are okay Darla – you encourage me. So few words but my heart is in them.

  14. tam

    i love you. your honesty. it blows me away.

    k. so i have had to severe a relationship or two in my life because theyve been destructive and hurtful. NOW – would either of us come running to the other in a time of need? you betcha!!! no doubt. but as far as dealing with certain people on a day to day basis with differing personalities and view points and a seemingly unwillingness to agree to disagree with respect…i just can no longer do that. do i love them? SO much. and thats what i am called to do. love them.

    thats where im at right now at least.

  15. Hi Darla!

    Being able to state the state you are in is a huge accomplishment. I applaud you!

  16. I love your site!

    _____________________
    Experiencing a slow PC recently? Fix it now!

  17. brotherjohnny

    I’ve been thinking about this quite bit myself…
    even in regards to ‘when do I confront a brother or sister’ about a particular issue.

    Mercy is important and it it -does- trump judgement BUT, that doesn’t mean that there is no place for discernment, correction or rebuke.

    Tricky stuff.

  18. Man, I understand. The flesh is so noisy, right? Intellectually I value honesty, even when it hurts. My flesh – ummmmmm …. has a different opinion on the subject. Confronting people – it’s not one of my strong points. I think I have the compelling force inside of me, but it is almost never seen unless under pressure. (then watch out) The times when I actually have confronted someone well – I spoke to them in a way that made it clear I esteemed them, and thought they could do better than they were doing. That they weren’t living up to their potential. I will say, though, that judgmental people – most of the time it’s a stronghold of the mind that just doesn’t let go very easily at all. So … sometimes even saying something will do no good. It’s generally a part of self-righteousness which presents the appearance of righteousness, but without the fruit (pride). I don’t even know how God gets through to us when we are dug deep in pride. It’s a mystery. He is one amazing Lover, that’s for sure.

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