Guest post by Julie Thomas, Woman’s Network Director, Foothills Community Church
What trips you up? What tempts you or causes you to stumble?
Maybe you’re like me. I don’t really struggle with the “biggies.”
I’m not really battling with the temptation to murder someone (although there have been times I’d like to kick a few people off the island). And although it’s always great to have more money, I’ve never struggled with the idea of robbing a bank.
But it’s not the huge boulders that knock me down on a hike. Instead, it’s those stinkin’ small stones and twigs that get me every time.
The other day I was really hurt by another woman. She had verbally spoken against one of my children. Oh, the mama bear in me rose up and was ready to let it fly. I was angry, and justifiably so.
Don’t hurt my child.
I was mad. I confronted her and I was still good and mad. The next morning I got up and went to Bible study, still so justified in my anger.
But isn’t it just like our God to meet us and speak into just the specific area we need?
Our lesson that day was on sin. The speaker stated that there will be times in your life when you will come to a crossroad. At that crossroad, you will have an opportunity to choose sin or choose obedience.
I was at a crossroad.
- I could let my anger harbor, and build, and brew in my heart.
- I could allow the emotion of my anger to consume me.
- I could dream up arguments and comebacks to my offender and mentally put her in her place.
But here’s what else I heard:
- “Sin will take you farther than you ever intended to go.”
- “It will keep you longer than you ever intended to stay.”
- “And it will cost you more than you ever expected to pay.”
As I sat there and listened to how quickly sin can take root, I confessed to the Lord that I did not want one drop of sin to separate me from Him.
Hear me on this – there is no sin in protecting and standing up for your child. There is no sin in establishing boundaries on relationships.
However, what I sensed the Lord speaking to my heart was that holding on to my anger was not going to bring His Life into the situation. It would only turn into a root of bitterness, and eventually a stronghold of pride and unforgiveness.
The wrong had been done, there was nothing I could change about that. All I could change was my response. I wanted to choose obedience, which for me meant true forgiveness of my offender.
And obedience always brings a blessing.
Here are two blessings that came.
- My heart was free from the strangle of anger.
- My offender came to me later that day and told me how terribly wrong she had been and asked for my forgiveness.
In Hebrews 12:1, Paul writes that we are to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
So I wonder… what easily entangles you? Is it anger, or maybe jealousy, or fear?
Press into the Lord today and ask Him to help you “throw off everything that hinders.” Don’t let anything stand between you and God.
Run that race with perseverance!
©2011 Julie Thomas