“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” Hebrews 12:15
I have been alive long enough to have a good share of life experiences. Many that stand out are the moments I decide to take action when God asks me to do something. Every day the Holy Spirit guides us in our days in the small actions and the big ones. When we take steps towards God’s will for us his provision is supernatural and He does make a way, even when the path becomes rocky. There is no doubt, however, that Satan also steps up to the battle field. There are many tactics that Satan might bring to the table as we begin to follow Christ in our lives, but one that never fails to come to the front, is the temptation to hold offense and bitterness.
Having been raised as a Pastors kid, it was the offense and bitterness that was always the culprit to bring total pain, destruction, and division in families, church, marriages, and friendships. As we are planning our move to Seminary it is no less a temptation. It is so easy to take the negative comments and root them in our hearts, causing chains for only ourselves. I am finding this season to be a safe season to actively pursue giving out grace upon grace instead of rooting bitterness. This is a season where we are moving away, when it is only the small comments here and there. There is no better time to be aware of how easily we can hold onto offense, before we are leading ministries. Ministries where opinions will fly, people are hurt, and we can’t just run away from. We are only responsible for ourselves. We are responsible to let go and forgive, or approach a person with love and respect when things need to be discussed for clarity and redemption in relationship.
I encourage all of us going to Seminary to remember this on a daily basis. We will remain in bondage when we hold grudges and offense and un- forgiveness towards others, only making the Seminary experience more cumbersome. Wherever you are at in your Seminary journey, ask the Lord to see your heart, to see if there is any offense inside of you. When you let that offense go and forgive your brother or sister, you will be set free. You will be taken to greater heights and a greater understanding of God’s love and grace as we hand it out to others. Your focus, health, and ministry will begin to thrive as you live in the Grace of God and hand it out to those that have hurt you or not loved you the way you needed.
Satan will try to attack us through other people, but we have the power of Christ in us –the power to forgive because we only need the recognition from God. The words of men cannot touch us as we are confident as sons and daughters and the call we have on our lives.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. “ Psalm 139:23-24
By Denise J. Murphy Denise is a mother of three young children and passionate about people stepping into their individual calling. Their family will be moving from Michigan to Colorado this fall so her husband, Mike, can attend Denver Seminary. Mike and Denise blog together at theevertree.wordpress.com.