Ten years ago my family went through a life-altering pain. It was born out of many things: envy, pride, jealousy, and betrayal. We cried for many years and still have lingering memories that can cause twinges of pain again. But the grace of God is powerful. He used this devastating season to change me and many others. Some have never acknowledged their sin and pride but that's not my fight. I learned that the greatest thing I could do was allowing God to search ME! I hope this short blog can liberate you from the deadly root or grip of bitterness.
Strip away all the trappings of health-wealth prosperity and pop psychology, and we can discover how someone's life truly changes – how we can have abundant life. Behavior modification (which usually trades one bad habit for another) and victimization counseling (which avoids dealing with personal sin) can both be a huge help but something else must pierce through. Being cut to the heart over our own sin can take second place to nothing.
We've all been burned by someone and we've all burned others, either by sins of commission or omission. If you can't own that, you're in a bad place. But for anyone willing to face the music, you're about to dance.
Imagine you get burned, and I mean scorched, by someone you love. But now raise the stakes and add in that people are watching – drawing conclusions without knowing all the facts. This will undoubtedly be a way of life, in this life, so we better learn how to handle it. I believe there are three general responses to being burned. Each of these three will dictate what we think about, talk about, and how we walk-out this life.
Tough It Out: This is a mental psyche job. We amp ourselves up. We say things like "greater is He", "I know who I am", and "it's a new day". These things are powerful and true, but without one critical piece, it's all band-aids. All the goals, grit, and willing ourselves forward will only intensify the pain down the road. Self-will always collapses in a heap.
Blame Someone Else: This is so easy and so incomplete. I get it, pointing fingers isn't always wrong. Sometimes we point the right direction and put our finger on a problem. But casting blame is a funny thing. It can leave us feeling justified at a gut level, and our public persona left intact, but personal peace will remain elusive. There's a level of satisfaction in casting blame but there's a hollowness that remains.
Cut To The Heart: We can never enjoy something as being sweet without a taste of bitterness. We can't understand the rush of mountains until we've crawled through valleys. And we can't know peace without being cut to the heart. The first revival in scripture is predicated on one supernatural reality - "they were cut to the heart".
There is one savior, a ton of sin in our world, and one solution. People must be cut to the heart of their personal and individual sin. We can't be tough enough to handle the pain of our own failings. And we can't point fingers without running low on energy or be running out of people to blame.
When we are cut to the heart we begin to gain strength that we could never contrive. And God himself goes to bat for us to deal justly with all the injustice we've ever faced. Go ahead, let the grace of God cut to the heart. That's when abundance begins.