When it comes to bitterness, here are two things you need to keep in mind:
First, it is contagious. You are a part of the body of Christ. So what happens to you, and in you, affects those you are connected to, both positively and negatively. The Bible says, 'If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it' (1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV). A snake bite doesn't just affect the body part that gets bitten; the venom spreads through the entire system. 'See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many' (Hebrews 12:15 NIV). Don't get upset and leave the church God has placed you in. You need them and they need you. By overcoming bitterness you spread God's blessing to others.
Secondly, it can be overcome. Here's how: (a) Acknowledge and admit it. (b) Don't rehearse it in your mind or recite it to others. (c) Repent and renounce any attitude that's not Christ-like. (d) Ask God to give you self-control, then submit to His leadership. (e) Don't infect others and don't let them infect you. (f) Without waiting for admissions or apologies, verbalise to yourself, God and a trusted friend, your decision to forgive all wrongs against you. 'Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you' (Ephesians 4:32 NIV). This will set you free to enjoy your relationship with God, yourself, and others. (g) Look for practical ways to 'be kind...[and] tenderhearted' toward those who hurt you (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV).
I get the day off today. I dropped the girls at school and it was nice to see them so excited that it is their last day before their Easter break. Two whole weeks off school. I love the school holidays these days. It is nice to not have the early morning rush in my home. It is nice to not have to make sure there is lunch food in the cupboards for two weeks. It is nice to not have to make sure that i am in the area to pick them up at 3:30 every day. It is just nice to have a break from our normal routine - i guess.
For the first time ever though - i am having an issue with the celebration of Easter. The T's kids have not been raised as Christians. I think their mother is a Buddhist - or something like that. I am not entirely sure but i know that they do not believe in God. I know this because they have announced this to me many times. Last weekend T's youngest announced to me that she knows Jesus is not real because there are no photos of him. My response to that was to just continue washing the dishes while i smiled at her and told her that there were no cameras two thousand years ago.
Easter has become a big deal to me. I do not waste money on chocolate or Easter eggs. My kids get enough of that junk all the time - i am not about to pay 10 bucks for the same junk that they eat all the time just because it is in the shape of an egg or a bunny. Easter is a big deal to me though because it is a celebration of Jesus dying for all of our sins. Lord knows i have my fair share of sin - so i am very grateful to him.
My issue with Easter this year is this;
How hypocritical is it for people who are not Christians and who do not believe in God to be celebrating Easter with their chocolate eggs and bunnies? The same child that looked at me and told me that there was no God or Jesus the other day - is excited about Easter and will spend her day filling her gob with Easter Eggs and chocolate. Part of the reason this child will do this is because the parent / s have acknowledged that God does exist by encouraging them to take part in a celebration of a huge part of the Christian faith - all for the sake of commercialism and fancily wrapped and over priced chocolate - while at the same time telling that child that God does not exist.
No wonder children in this country grow up so confused about their own belief system.
If you are raising a child and you are imposing your belief that there is no God on them, then why encourage them to acknowledge a Christian holiday? If you are going to teach your kids to celebrate Christian holidays then at least teach them to have an open mind regarding the Christian faith - and at the very minimum - at least keep the atheist opinions that you have imposed on them to themselves while they celebrate it.
I. Don't. Get. It. And that has kind of annoyed me this Easter.
I get on really well with the mother of T's children. Our multi cultural version of The Brady Bunch has come together wonderfully. We don't have any "ex" issues from either side. She actually warned him not long ago to don't stuff it up with me because she and the children like me so much. So i have to wonder if it annoys her that i tell the children that Jesus is real - as much as it annoys me that she tells them he is not.
It's complicated to even think about.
Now that i have let that out on here - i can go have a nice Easter break - while i bite my tongue and remind myself of just how innocent and impressionable 8 year olds are.