Any interest in pulling those deep roots?

9 Dec

If as far as we want to go once we recognize bitterness is just to confess it…. then maybe we should evaluate what that means. If we’re a Christian, we’re willingly participating in a second sin.  Now, we’re telling a lie with our bodies.  Scripture says (2 Corinthian 5:17) that we become a new creation and the old creation is gone once we accept Jesus as our Savior.  We have the Spirit living in us and we become a reflection of Christ.  The reality is that Christ would not profess bitterness and hold onto it.  Confessed sins that aren’t repented of, just bind us to more sins. Which is exactly why the Lord says He’ll spit lukewarm Christians out of His mouth – because we’re just making the gospel muddy and distorted for everyone else watching. We tell lies with our bodies and become hypocrites.

So if we actually DO want to get rid of the bitterness… how do we do it?

Let me first say… it is PURPOSEFUL, INTENTIONAL, and SACRIFICIAL – work – YES WORK – to get rid of bitterness.  It will not come easy, it will not come free, and it will not come by accident.

Ridding our lives of bitterness I believe happens by implementing two steps, in conjunction with each other.

1.) Taking our thoughts captive!

I told you that the girls and I have been emailing back and forth this week encouraging each other and pointing out different truths that we’re learning, and along the lines this came through:

It isn’t enough just to stop having negative thoughts.  We need to intentionally take those negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts.   Why?

Because if you don’t tear down the lie(s), you’ll still believe the lies even though you’re just choosing not to think about them.  You have to VERY PURPOSEFULLY change your line of vision to one that has positive images, thoughts, and judgements instead of just choosing not to think about the negative way you feel in the moment about the person.

Remember in my post about “when family doesn’t get along and it’s the holidays” when I wrote – you aren’t defined by someone’s opinions of you and vise-versa?  That is applicable across the board.  Just because we choose to zero in on something, or even numerous things that someone has done or said to us, doesn’t mean that sums them up entirely as a person.  They have positives, and we have the choice which truths to meditate on.

2.) Confess your bitterness, not just to God, but to the person you are/were bitter toward.

I FIRMLY believe that when bitterness is not confessed, a small (even microscopic) part of the root will still exist.  What makes me say this?

Any time we can sin, and it remains a secret… we’re opening ourselves up to believing that we “got away with it.”  Too keep the sin hidden, we leave room for us to pick it back up with no-one knowing about it… just incase they become a repeat offender.

Do I take my own medicine?  Yes.

Last night I had the opportunity to confess to my husband’s boss that I really struggled with bitterness toward him this year.  You see, my husband’s work load in 2011 more than doubled.  We were quite certain his March 2012 raise would be significant.  Not only did he REALLY deserve it, we REALLY needed it.

Guess what – he did not get a good raise.  I was SO livid angry. And it felt incredibly justified to be angry at his boss, the one person who should have been rallying in his corner telling his boss how much my husband deserved a large raise to compensate for the added work load, and his success with handling it.

The reality is, my husband’s boss wasn’t the final say on how much of a raise my husband received. He probably could have done more than he did… but God is sovereign.  He makes even pagan men do as He commands.  And my husband’s boss is a Christian.

Looking back on 2012, I believe the Lord wanted us to experience yet another year where He provided for all our needs and more when financially the numbers don’t add up.

In the middle of this year I had a friend challenge me greatly.  He said “Do you really want to be in a position where you don’t have any needs so that you can relieve yourself of stress and give more, or do you just want to be free from having to seek and depend on the Lord to provide daily?”

The truth is, I do want to be free from worry and able to give more… but I’d by lying if I didn’t say that a huge part of that desire is so I don’t have to trust God to show up every month… I’d be self-sustained and comfortable.

Maybe not getting the raise had a better growth opportunity in my character than getting the raise.

So, I had to confess to my husband’s boss that it took a lot of prayer to lay down my bitterness toward him.  I completely wanted to remove the temptation for this sin from my life.  Now that he knows, I have accountability for the situation much greater than just trusting myself not to pick it back up (especially with raises coming again in a few months), I’ve exposed it fully, and I’ve humbled myself in the situation admitting that apart from Christ, I can’t do this life.

There are a million ways we can justify not having to tell the person, and some Christian authors of “Forgiveness books” will tell you that you don’t have to go to the person… but I think it leaves a small fragment of weed in the dirt if we don’t, because they never even knew we were bitter in the first place, or that we claimed to have let go of the bitterness, or the truth of knowing if we just go ahead and pick it back up.

Practical Application:

– Sit down and make a list of all the negative thoughts you have about someone.  And then cross them off one by one while writing a positive thought for every single negative thought you had listed.

– Go to the person(s) and confess. (This DOES NOT mean you have to reconcile!! If they are not receptive, or are abusive, that does not mean you have to be their best friend.  It simply means, you free yourself from the hidden sin and you give them an apology for sinning against them.



2 Responses to “Any interest in pulling those deep roots?”

  1. joyfullysubmitted December 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    Kayla, I LOVE the way you write!!! very honest and straight forward! I enjoy reading your posts and I am yielding to the Holy Spirit in this area and learning to rest while open heart surgery is done…again. Digging out the root is NOT easy, but it is sooooo necessary!!!!!! Thank you for sharing this! Love ya!!!! 😀

    • Kayla Gulick December 10, 2012 at 6:35 am #

      Thank you lady!!
      If I’ve learned anything about getting rid of my pride, it’d being humble enough to write about my own sin! That puts me back in my place every time!!
      This blog keeps me from thinking I might actually be better than someone else…. in a really good way!
      Love ya right back!!

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