I was thinking about how bitterness and resentment are corrosive in the heart of a man or woman or child. Disappointment leads to frustration and frustration will eventually produce an angry outburst or perhaps worse, depression.
This caused me to wonder if bitterness and resentment are avoidable. Jesus said it is impossible to avoid all offense (or temptations to sin.) People are going to offend you. Things against your will are going to happen. You will let yourself down as well…
Think of this, when you are offended, you are being tempted to sin. The sin would be to retaliate in kind, returning evil for evil, or to judge the one offending you, cut them off, stop loving them or even to curse them for their offense.
When we judge people, it is impossible to love them in the same manner Christ loves us.
Love does not ‘keep a record of wrongs’ against anyone. When someone offends me, lets me down, or in some way causes me disappointment, I must forgive them quickly, or run the risk of torment (see Matthew 18:35.)
The lesson from Matthew 18 is this: It is unrighteous to seek collection of a debt owed by another when your own debts are cancelled. Sins and debts are synonymous in this chapter. When someone sins against you, lets you down, disappoints you, you feel they owe you something —an apology, repentance or reimbursement.
I asked the question, are you like titanium or iron, because as Christians, all our debts are paid with God in Christ. He paid the debt we could not pay. We are to be like titanium and not subject to corrosion and rust in this world. We are to be like God our Father and have no unforgiveness in our hearts. We are to be like Love that keeps no record of wrongs. We are to live life as Jesus did, unoffendable…
2 Corinthians 5:19-21
19 to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech (you) on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God. 21 Him who knew no sin he made (to be) sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him. (ASV)
When a metal is subject to corrosion, it is affected by water, acids or other agents in the atmosphere and environment that cause the metal to deteriorate. Iron exposed to the air and water will rust. Titanium forms a thin protective coating of oxide that prevents serious corrosion. This is one reason titanium is used in dental work and knee and hip replacements. Titanium can last up to 20 years without serious decay or corrosion.
The reader will forgive the unscientific terminology I’m using and strive to catch my point. As a believer in Jesus Christ, we are like titanium in the hostile environment we call earth. We are not subject to the corrosive elements of the environment, offensive behaviors and sins of others or even our own sins, unless we somehow remove the ‘protective coating’ of God’s Word and Spirit. We are not judges in this world (Matthew 7), we are His ambassadors.
It is possible to live life in the midst of offenses and temptations without taking up the offense against others or falling into temptation and committing sin. How is this possible?
One power tool of the Kingdom of God is to quickly forgive the ones who offend you. To forgive means to cancel the debt you feel they owe you. All the debt for all the sins of mankind was paid for by Jesus on the cross. The Bible is clear on this:
All the debt mankind owed God for sin and iniquity has been paid in Christ. This is the GOOD NEWS!
Did someone lie to you? —Forgive them and bless them with a Spirit of Truthfulness
Did someone make a promise to you and fail to keep it? —Forgive them and bless them with a Spirit of Faithfulness
Do as Jesus taught in Matthew 5:44 —pray for them, bless them and do good to them.
In any case, even if they owe you money, an apology or a confession of their guilt, cancel the debt and put it in God’s hands. He promised, “Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord. I will replay.” Ask God for the grace you need to see them as He sees them. Ask for the compassion He feels for them. Ask Him to restore your heart to wholeness and good health so you can continue to walk in His Spirit, in this world, but not of it.
Need help getting rid of bitterness, resentment or torment over something that’s happened to you? Sign up for a personal, confidential Sozo session and we’ll help you hand it to Jesus and receive His immediate life giving response.