Posted in anger, anxiety, bitterness, christian living, christianity, church, Faith, forgiveness, grace, money, peace

Heartbreaking

So in my last post I talked about how Prevail Church was being taken to court by former members, saying they are due the money that comes from the sale of the building we once met in. These people LEFT when they decided they didn’t like the direction Jonathan was taking the church. (although they were a part of the unanimous decision to sell the church building and relaunch as a new church. )

Well, the hearing was this past Tuesday and it was….awful to say the least. How these people can do this and still claim to be a Christian is beyond me. I sat and watched in disbelief as Jonathan was basically attacked on the stand by their lawyer.

My anger rose and my heart rate was 116 as I sat there, tears streaming down my face. A couple of times I glanced over at their side and just shook my head. It’s so heartbreaking that these people are doing this.

It says in the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 6 that we are to avoid lawsuits with other believers.

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers!

I Cor 6:1

Further down in verse 6-7 it says,

I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues?

But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!

What was the result of the hearing? Well, unfortunately it has been decided for this whole nonsense to be taken to trial.

You know what’s really sad about all this? The fact that there are unbelievers watching this unfold. People we could be leading to the Lord who are no doubt not wanting anything to do with Jesus because His people are fighting over something as trivial as money.

My heart is breaking as I type this. It’s not fair what they are doing and it’s not biblical. I think the best thing at this point is to just split the money in half. Give them half and we take the other half and just go our separate ways. It’s clear they aren’t going to back down any time soon.

OH how my heart hurts. The way they are treating Pastor Jonathan is just downright cruel.

I’ve been struggling with my feelings since this whole mess began. I struggle with my attitude towards them. I struggle with wanting to tell them off. But that wouldn’t be very Christ-like. I don’t want to repay evil for evil. (Romans 12 tells us not to) I don’t want to hate them. Honestly, I don’t. It’s just so hard right now.

I’ve been digging into the Scriptures to find verses on bitterness, anger and forgiveness these past several days.

*side note* Because I suffer from bipolar disorder, sometimes it’s harder for me to let go of things. I am in no way trying to make excuses, however. Please don’t get me wrong. I am praying to God about my attitude and reading His Word daily.

It says in Romans 12:9-10

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.

Then a little bit further, in verse 18,

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone

That’s what needs to happen. We need to peaceably come to a resolution. And while right now it’s seems really really hard to love these people, the Bible says we should and that’s all that matters.

So y’all….please please continue to pray for this situation that it can be resolved quickly and peaceably.

Posted in anger, bitterness, forgiveness, grace, Jesus

The Root of Bitterness

woman sitting under tree
Photo by Rio Guruh Imawan on Pexels.com

“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 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 12:14-15)

Bitterness is dangerous. It can and will consume a person if they’re not careful. I have struggled a lot these past several weeks with bitterness towards a certain situation. I have dealt with what I consider righteous anger towards the situation but then I learn more and bitterness will slowly start to take root.

I can’t turn away from this situation. Meaning until it resolves it’s always going to be around. But I can control how I deal with it.

I thought I had dealt with the anger but suddenly new things come into light and boy do I get upset. Because of my bipolar disorder,  I have a harder time dealing with anger. I can get worked up so quickly. But in the last two years, I have done a lot of growing in Christ and have allowed Him to step in and take control (most of the time. I am still human after all. I’m still going to mess up.)

Being a bipolar is my thorn in the flesh, I honestly believe that. God definitely could take away my illness but I truly believe He’s using it to help me grow closer to Him and to remind me to lean on Him when I’m struggling with something.

Bitterness, at first, is not something that can be seen. It can, however, be felt, little by little if we let it grow. We must learn to rip out the bitterness by the root. It does no good to just chop it down. No, it must be grabbed by the root and tossed. If we let it continue to grow in our hearts, it suddenly will sprout and out comes anger, slander, heartache. Bitterness will turn to anger. Anger will produce sin if we’re not careful. When we seek revenge, when we act on our anger, we are in danger of sinning.

Check out my post on anger: Be Angry and Sin Not

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

Bitterness doesn’t have to take root. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Well, Leigh, you have no idea what’s happened to me. I have a right to be bitter.”

Let God take control. Give Him your bitterness before it takes root.

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, church, forgiveness, grace, prayer

Turning the Other Cheek

When people hurt us….well, it hurts! (I know, super profound there, huh?)

But no, seriously, when people hurt us, it can cause us to lose ourselves for a little bit. We become down and depressed a little, maybe even angry. We sometimes lash out at the person, giving them an earful. (I know I’ve been guilty of this in times past.)

My church has been hurt lately. And there are people who are making sure we know it.  It has caused a great deal of discouragement and a little righteous anger, if I’m being honest. These people don’t seem to realize just how badly it hurts! The negativity they are spreading on social media…..it’s just downright mean!

The human nature in me wants to lash out, to yell, to scream, to retaliate. That’s what Satan wants me to do.

But I’m going to turn the other cheek. In Matthew 5:38-40, it says:

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[a]39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

I don’t understand why this is happening but I do know that God wants me to react in a manner pleasing to Him. He doesn’t want me to give in to my human nature desires.

It’s hard for me, believe me. I am struggling with this very much. I want to comment back so badly. I have so many retorts for them.  But this will not please the Lord. He wants me to rise above. And I’m working on it. It seems that just when I’ve reached a point where I think I’m fine then I see other comments made. I actually had a former church member unfriend me and others from our church. It hurt so badly.

It shouldn’t be this way!! But it is.

And I’m turning the other cheek.

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, forgiveness, grace, love

Hurt People Hurt People!

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:12-14

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

I touched on forgiveness back in December but I decided to come back to this topic as it can be very touchy.

 

Forgiveness can be hard. I know this. I have struggled with this. We all have at one point or another. But we are required to forgive! Just as the Lord forgave us we are required to forgive.

I’m doing a forgiveness reading plan on the YouVersion App as part of my devotions this week and came across this quote:

God freely forgives us and gives us eternal life. But he also expects us to extend that same mercy to others, with strict warnings to us if we don’t. A life of judgement, condemnation and unforgiveness is a prison.

Refusing to forgive someone puts us in prison! A prison full of anger and bitterness! We must be willing to forgive! To let go of the anger and bitterness and move forward.

Yes, I know. Some hurts are hard to move on from. But the longer a person stays unwilling to forgive, the longer it will control us. And the longer it controls us, the longer the anger and bitterness remain, causing us to hurt others.

And as the saying goes, “Hurt people HURT people!” We tend to take the hurt we’ve been dealt and lash out towards others. Sometimes these people haven’t even done anything to us but they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

Holding a grudge toward the person who hurt you just isn’t right. It isn’t what God wants from us. He wants us to “let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31:32)

 

Forgive. You’ll feel so free when you do. 🙂

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, grace, Jesus, love, peace, redemption, rest, song lyrics

Good Morning!

It’s a good morning!
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning,
I’m stepping, I’m stepping, stepping on my way
Good morning,
You give me strength,
You give me just what I need
And I can feel the hope that’s rising in me.
It’s a good morning

Mandisa, “Good Morning”

Good morning y’all! I’ve been up since 5 and normally I’d be grumpy because I’m totally not a morning person but today feels different! It’s going to be a great day!

Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m still completely exhausted but after spending time in God’s Word I’ve determined that today will be a good day!

I came across these 2 verses today in Colossians that really spoke to me:

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:13-14

Wow. Powerful stuff right there. We are redeemed! If we know Christ, if we have invited Him into our lives, we are REDEEMED! We have been RESCUED from the darkness we lived in. He took our place and he bore all of our sins on the cross. He was rejected and despised for our sake. That’s how great his love is for all of us.

It makes me think of this verse in John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

That’s what Christ did for us! He laid his life down for us. He proved His love to US, it’s time we show that love to Him and others.

A cross against a pink and purple sky
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I want my life to show God’s love to everyone I meet. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the group for King and Country but there is a song they sing called “The Proof of Your Love” that really speaks to me.

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

for King and Country, “The Proof of Your Love”

I am constantly asking myself this question, “Do people see Jesus in me?” When I am out and about, do people see Jesus in the way I act?

Image result for john 15:13

 

Posted in Reblog

*Reblog* Anger, Bitterness, Anyone?

A great post from T. R. Noble! Really makes you think!

Are you harboring bitterness towards someone? It’s time to let it go!

Is there anyone you haven’t forgiven? Are you bitter? Does thinking about a past event or person still cause your chest to tighten and anger to rise within? ^ If any of the following is relatable, do you also feel like you are not connecting with God? Yeah, you may have guessed it. It is […]

via Anger, Bitterness, Anyone? — Inside Cup

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, godliness, grace, Jesus, love

Stop Remembering What God Has Forgotten

Do you have a tendency to remember your past sins that the Lord has already forgiven? Do you tend to harp on them?

I know I do. Sometimes I will harp on them, wondering how in the world God could forgive me. But here’s the thing: HE HAS!

If you have asked God to forgive you of your sins…..He has and He forgets them!

Psalm 103:12 says,

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgression from us.

And look at Isaiah 43:25!

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and remembers your sins no more.

Why harp on something that has already been forgotten?

I tend to harp on my past sins, thinking to myself “how could God forgive that?” I’m slowly learning to stop doing this. I’m slowly learning that when God has forgiven me of a sin, I am to do what he does: put it in the past and forget about it.

Is it hard? Well, yes, of course. It’s in our human nature to dwell on things. At least it is for me! 

But once God has forgiven our sins, we are FREE! Free from the bondage of sin. There is NO condemnation!

Romans 8:1-2 says:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you FREE from the law of sin and death.

What can separate us from Christ once we become a believer?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?……….No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:35, 37-39

Simply put, God loves you. And He longs to have a relationship with you. But until you confess your sins and become a believer, that sin you are harboring is separating you from Him.

Won’t you come to Him today?

 

Posted in 2018, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, grace, love

The Debt Eraser

See the source imageMy devotional reading was in Psalm 103:1-12 this morning. I use Our Daily Bread as a devotional and the title of it was “The Debt Eraser”

“Once forgiven, we aren’t defined by or limited by our past debt.”

HE FORGETS OUR SIN!

He removes our sin “as far as the east is from the west!”

Isn’t that wonderful to know and experience?

 

 

 

Posted in christianity, forgiveness, grace, love

Forgiveness

Last night at church, our lesson was on forgiveness.  I, and I’m sure most of you, have struggled with this at one time or another. Our main lesson was in Matthew 18:21-35, The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Basically? We are to forgive as GodSee the source image has forgiven us. It’s honestly that simple. But unfortunately, because we are human, it’s hard to execute sometimes. Especially when we have that one person who continually hurts us. Seriously, why should we keep forgiving them? Well the answer is really simple….because God keeps forgiving us.

We mess up time and time again and yet he shows his unfailing love towards us and forgives us.

Not forgiving someone only creates bitterness in our hearts. We end up holding a grudge towards that person. And it says in Ephesians 4:31-32

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you.

So as we celebrate this Christmas season and remember Christ’s birth, let’s take the time to search our hearts and if we are harboring unforgiveness then we should take a moment and let the bitterness go and forgive that particular person.

But Leigh, you say, you don’t know the hurt they’ve done to me. You don’t know the pain they’ve caused. You’re right, I don’t. But I do know the pain we’ve caused Christ and look at how much he forgives us.

Image result for forgiveness bible verses