Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | December 10, 2014

December 10, 2014 “A Most Dangerous Drug”

 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4: 31-32)

 

Good Morning Family of Faith!

Have you noticed the plethora of drug commercials that are on these days? If you watch television much at all, you’re bound to see them. Interestingly, they all come with a long list of possible side effects, some of which I find ironic and more than a bit unnerving.  Some warn you not to take such and such a drug if you are allergic to it! How would you know you were allergic to it before taking it, I wonder? One drug which was touted while I lived in Las Vegas warned that taking the drug could lead to addictive behavior, such as an increased urge to gamble! My goodness…I’d think they’d distribute such a drug freely in that environment! Now I am not out to bash the pharmaceutical industry with this post. Many folks, myself included, derive certain benefits from particular medications. It is important to be aware of their side effects. Some “drugs” should be totally avoided. The “drug” I want to issue a strong warning against today is one that all-too-many people swallow without compunction…the drug of bitterness. Allowing bitterness to take root in your heart comes with a whole list of undesirable side effects: rage, anger, brawling, slander and malice are just a few of the likely results of allowing it into your heart.

With so many destructive results of harboring it, one might wonder why, for some, it is so addictive. It’s usually “taken” when we are wronged by someone. Instead of forgiving the person, we swallow the seed of bitterness and nurture it by convincing ourselves that we’re justified in doing so. It permeates the heart and spreads like wildfire. Remember the song from the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” that went, in part, ‘I knew a girl so gloomy She’d never laugh or sing. She wouldn’t listen to me…Now she’s a mean old thing’ . Bitterness possesses a negative transforming power and spreads like a cancer the more it is nurtured and fed. Christian author Lee Strobel wrote this of bitterness:

“The medical evidence is clear and mounting. It’s no exaggeration to say that bitterness is a dangerous drug in any dosage and that your very health is at risk if you stubbornly persist in being unforgiving.”   

Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, bitterness will take its toll. Don’t allow it into your system. Instead, as Paul admonishes, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Follow Christ’s example. Remember his tender mercy shown to you. “So spread sunshine all over the place, and put on a happy face.” Let’s pray!

Merciful, Loving Lord; It is my heart’s desire to reflect your great love and mercy to others…love and mercy You so generously bestowed upon me. Root out any lingering bitterness in my heart and replace it with your compassionate love. This I pray in Jesus Blessed Name. Amen!

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