Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord Of All Being Throned Afar"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 4:31 – Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. (NLT)
"Want to know my worst day driving a bus?" a driver asked me one summer day. "There was a woman on the very back seat with groceries in a couple paper bags. In one of them was a big watermelon. She was busy talking, not payin' much attention. We went up a steep hill. On our way down, that melon suddenly burst outa her bag and barrelled down the aisle like this bus was a bowling alley!" He shook his head, still angry.
"The watermelon slammed into me and the cash box at the same time, busting sloppy, sticky, slippery red goop all over me and my uniform, a couple passengers up front, the whole windshield, and the floor! If only that dame had been paying attention …"
That driver's resentment stuck with me as I reached my stop. Once again, on the bus of life, God was using an everyday experience to remind me that something needed to be set right. I, too, have a tendency to nurture resentments about unfairness and injustice. "How could someone do that to me? Why me?" What stayed with me after his story was the fact that resentment grows bigger the longer I put off dealing with it. Resentments don't stand still; they take over!
Ignoring the lessons that God always has for us, we let resentment grow until it explodes like that watermelon, making a mess not only of our own life, but those of others. If we keep our resentments to ourselves, those whom we resent have no knowledge of how we feel and are not harmed at all, while we let the acid of bitterness poison and eat out our own hearts.
Only a daily practice of soul-searching and repentance, continuously turning our lives over to God, will keep our seeds of resentment from becoming watermelons.
Hebrews 12:15 – Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (NLT)
Prayer: Dear Lord of our lives, thank You for recurring opportunities to have a clean heart renewed within each of us, to lay our sins and failings at Your feet, and to ask for the forgiveness and strength to change and grow through Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for allowing us to accept Your forgiveness as we start each new day, confident that we are in Your care and keeping. How grateful we are that Your dear Son walked this road before us without sin, showing us the way. In His name, we pray. Amen.