How to Overcome Bitterness

“You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. You didn’t come to learn Christ that way. You were taught to put away your old self, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor. In your anger do not sin. He who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work. Do not let any unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for the building up of others according to their needs. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ has forgiven you.”

~ Ephesians 4:17, 20–32, Paraphrased

Last week I wrote about what to do when other Christians hurt you.

One of the worst ways to react to hurt is to become bitter, for there are few things that are as toxic to the human spirit as bitterness.

Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick.

It hurts you, not them.

In addition, bitterness not only consumes your mind and spirit, but it always ends up unwittingly destroying other people.

Because of bitterness, many Christians have shipwrecked their faith, deceiving themselves as well as others.

“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

~ Hebrews 12:15, NIV

Bitterness will throttle your spiritual progress and open the door for God’s enemy to both use and abuse you.[Continue Reading…]

What To Do When Other Christians Hurt You – 8 Responses

When Martha complained to Jesus about Mary on His first visit to Bethany, Mary could have chosen to be offended by her sister. But there is no indication that she felt that way. She also could have taken offense when Judas and the disciples protested against her act of extravagant worship. But again, there is no indication that she did.

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the pain that was inflicted upon Mary in both situations. Here was a woman who loved her Lord with all her heart, and she was unfairly criticized for it. Not by her enemies, but once by her sister and another time by some of the Lord’s own disciples.

It reminds me of the old adage, “No good deed shall go unpunished.”

The words of Elbert Hubbard come to mind: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”[Continue Reading…]

5 Reasons Why You Should Have a Mentor

Before I get into the subject of today’s post, let me update you on my “Shocking Beliefs” series that I started on the Patheos blog network.

The title “shocking” is subjective. Some of the points in the series have been shocking, even stunning, to some Christians, while other points haven’t been.

At the beginning of each post in the series, I lay out the intended purpose, which is to encourage Christ-like graciousness, civility, and patience among Christians over doctrinal and theological differences.

(Those who’ve skimmed the posts without reading the introductions have regrettably missed the point, but most people have found the articles to be helpful and thus have shared them with others).

You’ll also want to read the comment threads also as there are additional insights given there.

To date, here are the number of social media shares on the first four installments of the series.[Continue Reading…]

3 Reasons Why You Need to Make That Apology

My new book The Day I Met Jesus: The Reavling Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels is now in Audiobook as well as a Large Print edition. There’s also The Day I Met Jesus Master Course with 20 audio messages by Mary DeMuth and me, eight bonus eBooks, and a printed workbook.

Recently, I was reading a book that contained a story about those who have been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

The story demonstrated that when such people get past the denial phase, they shift their priorities and focus on what really matters most in life.

One of them is relationships.

In 7 Ways to Destroy a Friendship, I talked about the main factors which hinder friendship.

One of the things things which repairs broken relationships is apologies.

I’ve been a Christian for many years, and I can count on one hand the times when a fellow believer made an apology to me.[Continue Reading…]

Easter Continues . . .

My new book The Day I Met Jesus is now in Audiobook as well as a Large Print edition. There’s also The Day I Met Jesus Master Course with 20 audio messages by Mary DeMuth and me, eight bonus eBooks, and a printed workbook.

One of the inspirations of my books on biblical narrative — God’s Favorite Place on Earth (written from the perspective of Lazarus) and The Day I Met Jesus with Mary DeMuth (written from the perspective of five women from the Gospels) — is my friend Don Francisco’s classic song “He’s Alive” told from the perspective of Peter.

Here is a video where Don shares why he chose to tell the story through the lips of Peter followed by the lyrics.

Those of you who are your 20s and 30s (which is the majority of my blog subscribers), please share this post with all your friends in your age group.

Don’s song will be unknown to most of them, yet they will be immensely blessed by it!

[Continue Reading…]

The Chiseling of God

In resurrection, God starts all over with a new creation. But resurrection always follows suffering and death.

Herein lies an important lesson. If you make a home for the Lord Jesus Christ, hard times will come. Crisis will come. Suffering will come. Even death – in some form – will come.

Suffering is worldwide and neck deep. But for the Christian, suffering has a purpose. It’s the chiseling of God designed to transform you into the image of His Son.

A word of encouragement: if your foundations are in Jesus Christ, then you can weather the storm. You can endure the crisis. You can put on your asbestos suit and walk through the fire because you are standing on Him who is the Immovable Rock.

Sometimes God will deliver you from trouble. Oftentimes He will deliver you through it.[Continue Reading…]

A Nicodemus Moment

A number of years ago I was invited to share with a group of pastors, teachers, and leaders for a two-day retreat.

On the last day of the retreat, I was asked to share some snapshots of Christ-centered community from my own experience.

I told the story of one such community. This body of believers didn’t have a clergy or a pastor, but they discovered Jesus Christ in the depths and learned to love one another through thick or thin.

They also learned to have New Testament-styled church meetings where every member functioned, sharing the riches of Christ through their various gifts . . . all without a pastor, a facilitator, or an administrator present.

Their gatherings and their community life was under the headship of Jesus Christ.[Continue Reading…]

This!

Two new episodes have been added to the “Christ is All” podcast.

Diary of a Prostitute Who Loved Much

Christ Before Time

You can also subscribe to the podcast in the following ways:

iTunes Subscribe (for Apple devices)

 

Beyond Pod Signet

Beyond Pod (for non-Apple devices)

 

Click here to see the complete list of episodes on one page

Click here for detailed instructions on how to subscribe to the podcast using your smart phone or tablet, how to rate the podcast in iTunes (which helps new people find the podcast), and how to find time to listen to podcasts if you’re busy.

[Continue Reading…]

5 Shades of Jesus

Sneak Preview: I’m researching my next installment of the “Shocking Beliefs” series . . . and it’s going to be on the shocking beliefs of John Calvin. So stay tuned for it.

In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul calls Jesus Christ the Wisdom of God.

Jesus is the incarnation of wisdom.

In Ephesians 3, Paul uses the phrase, the manifold (which can be translated “many colored”) wisdom of God.

Jesus Christ, the embodiment of wisdom, is multi-colored.

That means that Christ reveals Himself in infinite variety, because His riches are “unsearchable” and His fullness cannot be exhausted.[Continue Reading…]