Monday, February 18, 2008

Don't Let Bitterness Take Root

We are never angry for the reason I think. What is happening outside us is not the cause of our distress even though that appears to be the case. In actuality, our anger has nothing to do with our present circumstances; it is instead a reminder, something from our unhealed past. By asking ourselves these questions--when, where, and with whom have we experienced these feelings before, we will uncover the experience from our pasts that we now need to forgive, heal, and release. Joel says in chapter 18, "When we don't forgive, we're not hurting the other person......We're only hurting ourselves."


Patty said...

Jesus had this conversation with a disciple in Matthew 18:21-22, "Then Peter came and said to Him, 'Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times? Jesus saith unto him, 'I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven.'"

Patty said...

This is off the subject, but I can't resist sharing another article in the Christian Chronicle about my nephew, Tank. He is such an inspiration and witness for all those around him.,_Tank_Daniels_knows__it_s_just_a_game__

Patty said...

I love this poem. It's so appropriate for this chapter. I put it on facebook and then remembered this part of the blog. William Blake wrote "Songs of Experience" and "Songs of Innocence". I studied his poetry in college and then later taught it in my English literature classes.


"I was angry with you my friend
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow.

And I water'd it in fears,
Night and morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil'd the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch'd beneath the tree."

~William Blake (1757-1827)

Wow! We need to take care of our relationships. When the narrator of the poem said he told his friend of his anger and it ended, I thought about how when we express ourselves, the anger subsides. Then he said that he didn't tell his foe of his anger, and it did grow. I'm thinking that if we don't get things off our chests, we will stew about them and make them bigger than ever.One of the things Frank and I try to remember is the bible verse that says, "Don't let the sun go down on your anger" or something like that. We don't want to grow a poison tree. Relationships are precious. We need to cultivate them and grow a healthy, hearty tree.

Patty said...

Eckhart Tolle in A NEW EARTH uses a story to illustrate our inability to let go of the past sometimes. I would like to share it.

"Two monks..were walking along a country road that had become extremely muddy after heavy rains. Near a village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep it would have ruined the silk kimono she was wearing. Tanzan at once picked her up and carried her to the other side.

The monks walked on in silence. Five hours later, as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido couldn't restrain himself any longer. 'Why did you carry that girl across the road?' he asked. 'We monks are not supposed to do things like that.'

'I put the girl down hours ago,' said Tanzan. 'Are you still carrying her?'"