Friday, October 20, 2006

Obstacles to Seeing Christ - Bitterness

Driving down the freeway, the woman looks in her rear-view mirror to see a fast-approaching car. The driver, going several miles over the speed limit, zooms past her and darts into her lane. The woman - perturbed - lets fly several choice words and utters, "Moron. How dare you..." The anger, wells up like a volcano inside her.


An elderly man sits in his comfy chair, watching a re-run of a popular game show. It's been 10 years since he's seen his brother. And if he has his way, it will be a cold day in hell before he sees him again. The man stews with resentment. He's been wronged. His brother should have known better. The bitterness, is eating him alive.


One day, Jesus was approached by Peter.

"Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"

"I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven," Jesus replied.

Over and over, the demand to forgive one another was proclaimed from the mouth of Christ. Why? Can't we stew over the wrongs; the ill treatment we've received?

On another occassion, Jesus was reclining at the table of a Pharisee. A woman (known for her many sins) got word of Jesus' whereabouts - and overjoyed, takes a gift to Him. She enters the Pharisee's house and proceeds to pour a costly perfume over Jesus' feet. She is weeping.

Jesus is touched by the gesture and tells a disciple who was next to him that this woman is so full of thankfulness that she cannot contain herself. The love for her Savior is overflowing.

"For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little" (Luke 7:40-50).

Like always, Jesus tries to get at the heart of the matter. The sinner, who played out her depravity to the full has now been redeemed by the blood of Christ. This saint sees her life in the rearview mirror and says, with tears, "I was lost, but have now been found!" Seeing the life she has been saved from and the Savior she has been saved to, gives her joy and a newness of heart.

In this heart, bitterness has no home.

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