This past year, 2016, has been a very difficult year. With each new difficulty, the seed of bitterness has grown until I've reached the point of morphing into the old man who yells at the kids,
"Get off my lawn."
Only it's not kids but others in my life.
When I first became a Christian, I took Ephesians 4 to heart. It begins with these three verses:
I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(You know, do the adulting thing all of us should be striving for.) And it ends with:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Yes, it says let all bitterness be put away. The bitterness has not developed overnight and not all during this year. It's insidious, creeping and growing like poison ivy, until your heart is entangled, and you're not sure how to begin the removal process.
But begin I must. And I have. I am especially focusing on this verse: Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
It's a work in progress and will not be completed until I'm called home.
And as I struggle with my talk, please remember to bear with me in love, as I will with you! May we all be kind to one another!