Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. Proverbs 14:10 NIV
Here’s a challenge for everyone today. Get a mirror or go to the mirror in your bathroom or in your car. Take a good look at yourself and be willing to see the depths of your soul through the windows of your eyes. What do you see?
Do you see joy or sadness?
Do you see love or hate?
Do you see angst and bitterness?
Do you see helplessness or hope?
What do you really see?
Think about that for a moment. Now think about “why” you see what you see.
Far too often, people are bitter and hateful because they do not recognize the seed that has been planted by circumstances beyond their control. That includes how parents raised them or not raised them (love and hate are taught)–the struggles they fought through on a daily basis–or the envy and jealousy they felt when they looked at others and wondered, “Why them and not me?”
I have a better question for everyone to wonder about–why not you?
Look, every morning (because of my age) I take a good look at myself in a magnifying mirror so I can “see” the hair growth and pluck it out before I leave the house. Some women don’t care, but I do. Nothing creeps me out like discovering I left the house with a long, curly black hair sticking out my face (chin) wherever it might be. But now here’s the tricky part–cataracts are forming in both eyes and even when I look before I leave, I don’t always see the ornery little hair trying to escape detection. When I “feel across my chin” even the tiniest hair is discovered and back into the bathroom I go with my trusty little tweezers until the culprit is gone.
Even though I get a little put out when I miss those hairs, it’s nothing that compares to how I feel when I know I have slighted someone–unintentionally–and when I look at myself–I recognize when I’ve headed in the wrong direction and immediately, I repent.
Though life’s circumstances (in the last 65 years) have provided plenty of fodder and fuel and fertilizer to nurture bitterness and disappointment--I refuse to let it grow. God has been too good to me to allow a seed of bitterness to linger in my soul and bud, attempting to flower and spread like an ivy throughout my being. So, I allow His love to flood my soul and heart–washing away the bitterness and disappointment–never allowing hate to bud or flower and every time–every time–I get angry and want to hate–He reminds me He is love and if I truly belong to Him; I cannot hate. What a wonderful feeling–to have so much love within that hate has no room to enter.
Now, have you had time to really look at yourself and think about what you see? If you haven’t, keep looking and dare to see beyond the surface, all the way down to the depths of your feet. Is there anything there that needs to be plucked out? Do you have a trusty pair of tweezers?
Own what you see and be willing to rid yourself of anything that will nurture bitterness and hate and allow the Love of God to fill you to overflowing and the world will see–the joy that resides within.
This joy I have–the world didn’t give it and I won’t let the world take it away!