SWEET FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: DEALING WITH BITTERNESS IN LIFE AND MINISTRY (PART 2B)
DEALING WITH HUMAN FAULTS
In human relationships mistakes abound, and sometimes people get hurt. If it is not the husband cheating on the wife, it is the wife refusing to submit to the man’s authority; if it is not a brother feeling bad about being talked down at, it is a sister whose heart has been broken after putting time and energy into a five-year long relationship that suddenly hits the rocks. If it is not the pastor using people’s confidences as raw materials to preach, it is the members making life difficult for the pastor by leaving him to do everything himself; if it is not the church failing to be there for the people in their most lonely moments of despair, it is a church leader stealing from the purse of the church.
I could go on and on because in our world of over seven billion souls, there are over seven billion unique problems with the church taking more than to one billion of those problems.
No human life placed under the microscope of scrutiny is without faults. Our differences should remind us that we are humans after all. God’s divinity within us as members of His body unites us regardless of our differences. However, whenever two or more people relate, friction is naturally bound to occur. Paul presents a solution to this ever-lingering problem:
“With all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love” (Eph. 4:2, NKJV).
If we allow the Holy Spirit teach us to tolerate and bear with one another in love, our perspective of human differences will change. We soon learn to see our differences not as a curse but a blessing. We will then begin to celebrate our differences.
Bearing one another in love in practical terms means creating space in our heart to endure and tolerate people’s weakness. The more often we do this, the larger our hearts become. So, no matter how bad people hurt us, though we feel the pain, the love of God which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit wells up within us like a monsoon and neutralizes the power of the hurt; thus enabling us to forgive. In a nut shell, we feel good when we forgive.
I’m saying we feel God’s peace flood our hearts when we forgive. The moment we forgive, we open the doors of our hearts for healing to flow. That is why the unforgiving heart is like the Dead Sea having no outlet but keeps accumulating toxic chemicals. An unforgiving heart cannot bear God’s excellence – it is too toxic. Just like the Dead Sea has no form of life in it, so can an unforgiving heart not bear any trace of God’s beautiful virtues. That is what makes non-forgiveness a terminal spiritual disease.
Some people find it difficult to let past hurt go not because they do not want to, but because the hurt is like fresh wound etched in their memories.
I will not pretend to understand every hurt in your past much less pose as one that has seen it all. The little I have experienced gives me some level of authority to tell you that God’s Holy Spirit is a healer indeed.
I have been through so much pain myself. A lot of people have disappointed me in the past and some others lied to me. I have also hurt some people. I thought I could hold the reins of my life and deal with the hurt on my own. The more I tried, the uglier it turned.
I turned to the Holy Spirit for help. The healing process was not super quick. Sometimes, I checked for those pains and hurt and discovered they were gone – yes, completely nonexistent.
God’s wings overflow with healing, yet they cannot bear closed, bitter hearts.
The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus because His heart was large enough to forgive the sins of the world. That is why in giving Him the Spirit, God did not hold back – God gave Him all of the Spirit (John 3:34).
Culled from BIRTHING HIS EXCELLENCE by Arome Osayi