Welcome to our online Bible study on Luke!
Read: Luke 11:1-28
I am not proud of this, but sometimes I find myself justifying grudges. This opens the door to Bitterness. And Bitterness is always sharp and pungent. It stings and lingers.
Loved ones have cut me to the quick. I’ve glossed over these things. I’ve mourned privately. But the memories remain, like a bad taste in the mouth.
Jesus says we are to forgive as we have been forgiven, so I’ve tried.
How hard it can be to let go of an offense?! It’s stressful to tend to precarious relationships, the ones that make me teeter on eggshells. We are called to be peace-makers, but sometimes peace eludes me. Reconciliation seems impossible. Worry gnaws at the pit of my stomach.
Worry tells me that I can be productive while I wait for a resolution, if I fret just a bit. Then Anger, lurking in the shadow of Worry, creeps into my heart. This is months-ago, silent and cold Anger, a familiar companion. This is the return of Bitterness.
It’s easy to justify the lump in my throat and the tears that well up. Time has passed, but the wounds have not healed.
When I keep my eyes on myself, entitlement reigns. The wrongs continue to echo.
But Truth cleans the slate best. Jesus says:
Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters. (Luke 11:23, ESV)
We are called to love others, to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to pray for our enemies, and when that standard feels too high to keep, I want to give up.
Instead, I repent because Jesus says, “Whoever is not with Me is against Me.” His words humble me, which is just what I need.
When I turn my eyes from myself to Jesus, I know for sure that I want to be on His side. I want to be with Him, not against Him.
The sacrifice of Jesus saves us from sin. The authority of Jesus saves us from ourselves. He commands us to do what is right and good. The center of His will is the only safe place.
He is worthy.
He is Faithful and True.
And He stands ready to forgive me for my unforgiveness.
Again, I am humbled. To be on His side. And that is always good.