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Bitter or better?

By   /   September 2, 2012  /   Comments Off

We stepped the target off to 20 yards and took turns. Our friend would act as a spotter with the binoculars and tell us where the bullets hit. Occasionally we would hit the bull’s eye. Occasionally he would respond with the less desirable, “I have no idea.” We shot up our box of 40s and some clips of his 9mms. A squirrel wouldn’t have to interrupt his day if he saw me or even Solomon coming into his domain with a 40 cal pistol, but at a closer range and a slightly larger target, we proved accurate enough.

My friend and I were talking about interpersonal relationships. One in particular he had mentioned made me wonder how he felt and how it had affected him in the long run. He just responded with the habitual smile in his eyes and said, “No, that’s just the way he is. It can make you bitter or better!”

Bitter or better! Who among us does not have that opportunity right now? There’s probably one main person for each one of us that seems to surface more than any other presenting that opportunity. The O’Jays had a song you may remember: “They smillin’ in your face, all the time they want to take your place, the backstabbers.” Sometimes it gets much more overt. They are unabashedly doing everything in their power to destroy you. So, here’s the opportunity: bitter or better?

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9a) Bitter or better?

Let’s amp it up. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew [who was a tax collector] 5:43-48)

Bitter or better? Opportunity knocks. “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many be defiled;”(Heb. 12:14-15)

 

Witten by Keith Hood

We stepped the target off to 20 yards and took turns. Our friend would act as a spotter with the binoculars and tell us where the bullets hit. Occasionally we would hit the bull’s eye. Occasionally he would respond with the less desirable, “I have no idea.” We shot up our box of 40s and some clips of his 9mms. A squirrel wouldn’t have to interrupt his day if he saw me or even Solomon coming into his domain with a 40 cal pistol, but at a closer range and a slightly larger target, we proved accurate enough.

 

My friend and I were talking about interpersonal relationships. One in particular he had mentioned made me wonder how he felt and how it had affected him in the long run. He just responded with the habitual smile in his eyes and said, “No, that’s just the way he is. It can make you bitter or better!”

 

Bitter or better! Who among us does not have that opportunity right now? There’s probably one main person for each one of us that seems to surface more than any other presenting that opportunity. The O’Jays had a song you may remember: “They smillin’ in your face, all the time they want to take your place, the backstabbers.” Sometimes it gets much more overt. They are unabashedly doing everything in their power to destroy you. So, here’s the opportunity: bitter or better?

 

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9a) Bitter or better?

 

Let’s amp it up. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew [who was a tax collector] 5:43-48)

 

Written by Keith Hood 

Written by Keith Hood. Keith operates Cross Cultural Musique in Leesburg with his wife, Janice. He has a blog at http://soulfoodfromthehood.spaces.live.com.

 

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