No Bitter Root…..

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  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 24:14-15)

It’s been a while since I posted.  I promise you I wasn’t shut down.  🙂  I have been pretty busy.  I’ll try to do better.

I wanted to write about this verse.  It speaks to me quite a bit.  Just before writing this, I was going to post a long comment on another friend’s blog, where someone was getting into a pretty heated political “debate” – more like an attack.  I felt the urge to defend, and slowly, methodically, chose my words to try and “show them they were wrong”.  This person, whom I’ve never met and probably never will.  I was poised to hit send, and the Holy Spirit stopped me.

No – that’s not true.  I hit send.  It needed to be previewed.  The Holy Spirit stopped me, but I wanted to forge on.  I hit send again – and it still wanted a preview.  “OK, God, I’m sorry….”

So then, my attitude was in defense mode against God.  “I was trying to do good here, Lord!  Can’t you see that???”

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy…..

Am I making every effort, if I’m ruffling the feathers of someone I don’t even know?  Or am I getting off on the “battle”, and trying to win an argument?  Who is being glorified here?  How am I making friends here?  How am I sharing the Gospel, or even showing love?

I’m not……

Without holiness no one will see the Lord…..

When I put myself first in these situations, nobody will see God in me.  Nobody who doesn’t know the Lord will have a chance of God revealing himself through me.  Don’t get me wrong – I know it’s not me who is saving the lost.  I know it’s not up to me.  I know that even if I act like an idiot, God will have his glory, and his plan will succeed – it already has!  All the same, that which I’m called to do is not being done.  So I’m letting him down…..  And – I’m potentially letting you down……

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many…

Woah…. See to it that no one misses the grace of God.  What have I done, even today, that may have turned someone off from “Christianity”, and potentially Christ?  What have I NOT done?  What have I said?  Heck – what have I THOUGHT?

You see this all the time.  “God hates fags”.  Probably one of the most offensive, hateful things a professing “Christian” has stated.  But what is in our heart?  What are we thinking?  And not just about this – about the teenager who got pregnant, when maybe you “got lucky” and didn’t even though you lived the same lifestyle.  Or the husband who pursues other women, even though you look at them and lust in your heart after them.  Or – the passionate person debating politics who doesn’t and will never see eye to eye with you, when your desire is more to win a debate than break down barriers and get to the greater good.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting any sin is acceptable.  We are called to be holy, as God is holy.  And we CAN do this.  Yes, we are sinners, but only because we rebel against God.  The “sin” is a symptom of our rebellious hearts.  And when we judge others – there is yet one more symptom…….

Lord – how in my life am I prohibiting others from seeing you?  Please show me, more.  I want to be a fragrant aroma to you, and to others.  Help me to no longer be a bitter root.  Help me to no longer cause others to stumble.  Thank you that in you all things are possible, and through you whosever chooses has eternal life.  And thank you that you love me, even in spite of “me”.  Search my heart, and help me to root out anything that offends you.  For your glory, evermore.

Amen….

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