April 29th (today’s) Devotion by Debbi Bryson
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12
This proverb could be the headline of today’s newspaper. We are a society of people who think we can make up the rules as we go. But in reality, because we’re breaking God’s laws, it’s killing us.
But now let’s apply this proverb not just to the external godless world around us, but to our own personal internal worlds. This may surprise you, but I feel that the Lord wants us to apply this principle to bitterness. Yes, bitterness. Bear with me on this.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Somehow (in a distorted way) we sometimes think that retaining anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness is the right way. We think it’s right because it seems to protect our rights.
Here’s how it happens. We get hurt or angry. We then nurse that emotion because someone did wrong, and that was wrong. So we relive it over and over. But the Bible warns us that this becomes a root of bitterness that defiles many, and so it does. It affects our thought lives, our personalities, our relationships, and because it’s disobedience to God, it affects our relationship with Him.
So the moral of this is to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving just as God for Christ’s sake forgave you (see Ephesians 4:32). This is the right way- right for us and right for others.
Make it personal… Live it out!
Can you say, ‘Yes, I have allowed bitterness to ruin my life?” Would you like to break free? In Matthew 5:44 Jesus gave an amazing formula. If you truly try it, it is guaranteed to give you victory.
1. Love your enemies.
2. Bless those who curse you.
3. Do good to those who hate you.
4. And pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
Now, I find this impossible to do going from one to four. So I work the formula backwards, meaning the first step to victory for me is number four: pray. Once I start praying for the person, the Lord softens my heart. Then He shows me some way to bless the person, and eventually I find the ability to love.