Have you ever met someone who is bitter? Someone who is prickly, the type of person who has been treated badly and uses that as a license to wreak recompense on all who come near. They are miserable, and though the wound which made them this way may have been dealt years ago they are even more controlled by it now than they were then. The hatred, selfishness, cruelty and viciousness that came into them at that time has been left there to fester, grow and corrupt.
Their wound has become infected and is even more painful now than it was at the start.
I once had a wound that was beginning to become like this; I had been hurt badly by many people when my Dad started trying to kill himself. People abandoned me, took advantage of me and abused me. This was so painful that I would not let anyone near me talk about it, I have even lost most of my memories of those years.
Over time my behaviour started to change, I believed I could ignore people because they would understand how much pain I was in. I thought I was within my rights to demand more from the innocent people around me because of what I had been through. I allowed my pain to turn my care onto myself, I became selfish and in turn inflicted many wounds on other people.
The secret to how I overcame this is written in Isaiah 58, and I think of it as an Antiseptic Love.
“this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.” Isaiah 58:6-8
In this verse is says that before our wounds can quickly heal we have to forget ourselves and focus on making life better for other people.
In simple terms STOP demanding special treatment because you have been hurt, and SEEK OUT GOOD to do for others because you believe that EVENTUALLY you WILL BE HEALED.
Love is the antiseptic which stops bitterness, selfishness and cruelty growing out from your wounds.
Are there any wounds in your life where you feel you are beginning to become infected? Bring them before God to heal and then leave them there. Distract yourself with other people. Of course, we can’t immediately cure world hunger or give all homeless people homes but we CAN smile at the checkout lady, we CAN ask how a friend is, we CAN give to charity/volunteer/invite people into our homes. Start small and watch the love grow big.
There are SO many blessings to be found walking this way. An example of this in my life is that if I hadn’t started volunteering I would never have met my husband to be.
Obey God, conquer evil with Good, Forget about yourself.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/parapet/1751072828/”>Recovering Sick Soul</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/james_sickmind/5447732257/”>Mitya Kuznetsov</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>