Happy mid-week 3, sweet friend! You are SO CLOSE to the halfway point of this study, so give yourself a pat on the back and KEEP GOING STRONG, OK?
Today I want to tell you a story about onions. Yep, you read that right — ONIONS!
A couple years back, I noticed a stench in my kitchen. I took out the garbage, thinking that would solve the issue, but the odor just wouldn’t leave. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and began tearing the room apart in search of the source. I was suddenly stopped dead in my tracks by One. Singular. Onion. A seemingly innocent onion that looked just fine from the outside, but was a mush of rot on the inside. And it put off a stench so strong it affected everything around it.
And the truth of the matter is, this doesn’t just happen to onions. When we allow things like anger, bitterness and unforgiveness to fester in our hearts, we too begin to rot from the inside out. While our internal rot might not give off a physical stench like that putrid onion, you can bet it will still make itself known! That’s why I love this truth statement from Lysa TerKeurst in Chapter 6 of Uninvited:
“Bitterness, resentment, and anger have no place in a heart as beautiful as yours.”
Nope, they sure don’t. So when I find myself beginning to rot, I know it’s time for some serious heart surgery! I first have to get to the root of the problem by tracing it back until I’ve identified the actions and people which led to this eruption of rot. Then, once there, it’s time to do some weeding.
Ephesians 6:12 reminds us “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (NIV) In other words, as Lysa says:
“We have an enemy, and it’s not each other.”
That one who caused an offense? God created that person, too. And He loves that person, and sent His Son to die for that person. Not only that, He instructs me to PRAY for that person. (Matthew 5:44-45) It’s tough to harbor an offense against someone I’m daily carrying to the feet of Jesus!
There’s an unexplainable freedom that comes in releasing someone from the debt I feel is owed, whether that person remains a part of my life or not. And I want you to experience that, too.
So I ask: Are you ready to be free?
Reflect and Respond:
Observe — Are you currently suffering from “heart rot”? Are you ready to make a change?
Bible — Write out Ephesians 6:12 in your OBS journal. How do these words change your perspective on those who’ve hurt you?
Stretch — Think about someone who has caused you pain. Will you commit to praying for that person for a week to see how it changes you?