So many times in life, I looked at someone worshipping and it made me a bit angry. They have hurt me, how are they acting like this- swaying in the tune and being ok? How are they ok with how they are treating others? It seems so fake to me.
Before I know it, the song is over and I have spent the whole song… of worship, at church… concerning myself with whether or not THEY were authentic in their worship.
Maybe I’m alone in this specific act, but I think we all can say that we have taken time out of our day to decide whether someone was bad, guilty, fake, or at fault in some way.
I think that it is a fine and good thing to identify bad treatment and to distance ourselves. I’m not talking about that… I’m talking about the times when we view a PERSON (not treatment) and think it is our responsibility to decide who they are and what they deserve.
Really, I think it’s that we sometimes hold the burden of bitterness.
Even if we have forgiven people for their treatment of us, we can still see them in life, and because of the way they hurt people or forget God, we think: do they really deserve this good? Are they deserving?
These thoughts come from a justice-minded place. Being justice-minded is normally a beautiful thing where we can stand up for people against injustices of the world. But in this case of deciding that a person deserves bad, being justice minded is actually taking on God’s role. God never gave us the burden or responsibility of deciding if a person should receive bad or good based on their deeds.
This burden of bitterness is holding us back from pure love.
Because Jesus takes on all of our burdens, I believe he wants to free us from this bitterness. I believe He wants to be the one to worry about whether or not other people are held accountable for their actions.
WE have been making our lives a whole lot more miserable by taking on a job that isn’t ours. Simply, what we are put in charge of is praying for people. Besides that, when we have thoughts of bitterness like, ‘they don’t deserve that award because they didn’t even do anything!’ we can tell ourselves, “This burden of bitterness is not mine to carry.”
Because it IS a burden. It is not helping you. Yes- you may feel like you have a better idea of who you can trust… but you knew that before the bitterness. This bitterness is just a way for them to feel punishment. As tempting as it is to be the one who gives punishment, that is not our job.
Free yourselves from this burden. When you have bitterness, tell God, “actually the burden of deciding stuff like this is yours, not mine.” God has so many things he wants to bless you with, and your mind is being taken up with things that are hurting you. And when we are with those people that we have been hurt by, allow yourself to take space if you need it, yet not hold bitterness. Those two things are different, and your mind is powerful enough to just remind you to take space, without simultaneously convincing you that they are awful.
Thank you God that you took this burden. That our minds can be free from the burden of deciding what someone is deserving of. We trust you with that and we ask that you teach us to pray for those people. We love you, God.