Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Choosing Freedom: When my Flesh Screams to Stay Put

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil (Psalm 37:8).
Locked Out
Courtesy of Flickr: here

I've tried to decide if I should write this after I've come to a  neat and tidy conclusion, but alas, I'm sitting in the mess I'm about to write to you about.

I'm angry.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice (Ephesians 4:31).

The hard decision has to made right now in this mess, and y'all, I'm struggling. How do I put off bitterness? Anger? I know what bitterness can do to a life. Unresolved anger, unforgiveness, lead to bondage. I can let my anger simmer into bitterness, or I can hand it over with grace-filled forgiveness.

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (James 2:12-13).

Mercy. It's what keeps me from eternal punishment. So undeserving, I rest in mercy shown to me.

Have you ever thought about what would happen if we sat in the filth of bitterness and anger? What if we didn't forgive. What if we decide that person doesn't deserve mercy from us? Apart from judgement on us, what would happen? Could there be a reason the Word says, Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice (Ephesians 4:31)? There is. We would we die as captives to our sin. I learned the other day that if you don't have a proper filter system in your plant pots, your plants will sit in their filth and eventually die. Sit in their filth and die. Do you get that?

You met the women, the man, who has sat for ages in their own filth. I have too. They live as captives. Y'all, I wasn't born for captivity. That's not going to fly with this girl. Been there, done that, and in many ways, I'm still trying to get out. Hence, the anger issue.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

I'm free. I don't have to take on this anger and let it stay here. It's a decision I have to make. Will I sing freedom's song, or captivity's tune? 

 "Let...be put away (vs. Eph 4:31)"

"Speak and act (James 2:12-13)"

"Stand firm" and "do not submit (Galatains 5:1)"

I'm deciding to forgive by the mercy of Jesus Christ to work forgiveness in my heart, and praying that God would dig up the threatening roots of bitterness.

Thanks, friends, for walking through this decision with me. Again, I have no pretty bow for this issue, except that it's for freedom we've been set free. I choose freedom over bondage.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Would it surprise you to know that my ladies Bible Study this week is on letting go of bitterness and choosing freedom? Yep. Make sense, right?

In His Name,
Jennifer








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