“Tolerating a wrong attitude toward another person causes you to follow the spirit of the devil, no matter how saintly you are.”
– Oswald Chambers
Throughout the last 18+ years, I have done a lot of work on improving myself. I have dug deep into my past, excavated the excrement, pointed to what was mine in order to face it and change it, and discarded what was not mine because it was never meant for me to carry. I have followed the direction of those who have the spiritual fitness I aspire to have; and I have asked for their help to overcome my character flaws and limitations. I have prayed diligently for God to give me all that I need to become the person He created to me.
Above all things, I have discovered that holding on to a resentment I have for another person is never beneficial to my personal growth and well-being.
Yet, there is one person that immediately popped into my mind when I read the quote above by Oswald Chambers. (Oh, Oswald, how your words just hit me where it hurts!) There is still one resentment that comes back to haunt me over and over again. I resent the behavior, attitude and countenance of a particular person I must see regularly to a degree of internal rage and need for justice that no longer exists in any other case for me. Sometimes it is less than other times, but it is always there. I have prayed for it to be removed. I have asked God to help me to see this person as He does. I have asked God to bless this person and change me. Yet, I realize as I write these words that even in the midst of all those prayers, I have continued to cling to the resentment as if it were a life-vest and I were sinking in the darkest depths of the ocean.
Why would I do that? Why would I continue to hold on to something that is only hurting me? Or, as Oswald would so blatantly say, why would I tolerate an attitude within myself that causes me to follow the spirit of the devil? OUCH! I believe, to a certain extent, I sit in a great deal of fear regarding this one. This person’s behavior is somehow threatening to me. Perhaps there is a part of me that believes that as long as I hold on to this self-righteous judgment, I am recognizing the threat, and therefore cannot be hurt by it. Yet, here I sit, so hurt in the recognition that I am “tolerating an attitude within myself that causes me to follow the spirit of the devil.” Therefore, in protecting myself from being hurt by picking up the hot coal of resentment and self-righteousness to throw at another, I am burning and re-burning my own hand and continuing to jeopardize my own healing and growth.
Until I am completely willing to let it go – and completely faithful that God is the only protection I need from any and all threatening people and situations – I will continue to be stuck in an attitude within myself that causes me to follow the spirit of the devil!
I pray, dear Lord, just to be willing
willing to let You release my grip
willing to let You reset my heart
willing to let You dissolve my fear;
I pray, dear Lord, just to be faithful
faithful in Your protection
faithful in Your guidance
faithful in Your mercy
Your mercy for me and for others;
for this willingness, dear Lord,
and this faithfulness, dear Lord,
I know with my whole self
can only be accomplished by You.
Happy Birthday in Heaven, Oswald Chambers. Thank you for always packing a punch!
Absolutely beautiful and so true
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