I have never in my life seen so much disease, unrest, anger and hatred. Everyday throughout the world, there are hundreds of reports. I remember how it was back in years past. One hardly ever heard of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, riots, mass shootings, road rage and constant political upheaval. In fact, when we heard a friend’s sad medical news, we became alarmed and unsettled of heart. Lately, these incidences have increased to weekly, daily and many times hourly occurrences.
So, what is causing this major change in our society? Have you truly sat back in your armchair and tried to figure this out? Have you searched and pondered the Scriptures to see if there is an answer hidden there? Most of us have Bible cellphone apps. Really, there is no reason for our ignorance.
Speaking of which, our lives have become saturated or should I say, controlled by technology. Personally, I can’t go anywhere without my cellphone directing my every step--head down, eyes blurry from blue light and sore neck by the end of the day. Does this sound familiar to you? How many millions of cellphones are there? Just how many frustrated, angry and unhappy crook-necked people are there?
Then think computers, TV, radio and other forms of media that have their teeth in our brains, controlling our minds. Selfies, constant negative national and world news, social media, etc permeate our very being. Is it any wonder that there is so much chaos in the world, our community and our lives? Is it any wonder that there is a major increase in anger, bitterness and disease in so many people?
Speaking personally, I can see how anger and bitterness have increased and damaged me mentally, spiritually and physically. I want to resolve these negative qualities in my life. My desire is to help others do the same. Let’s work this out together. Remember, the Scriptures tell us that “the truth will set you free.” Does this mean freedom from sickness, anger, bitterness and hate? I’m hoping that my short column will address these and other negative character qualities to help all of us produce some great fruit in our lives to heal us and help us heal others.
Hey, we all understand the blame-game. It is always easier to pass the buck and make someone else guilty for a crime, any kind of crime. In most cases, taking responsibility for our actions has become non-existent. The sad part is that many times what we are blaming “that person” for we are doing ourselves. At this point, we believe we are right and that other guy is the evil or wicked one.
Forgiveness, we don’t really have a choice.
It is known by many in the medical field that bitterness directly affects the digestive system. That system includes the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and pancreas. Bitterness, even hidden bitterness, causes stress. Our lack of forgiveness toward an offender can wreak havoc in our bodies until the stress begins to destroy one or more of these organs, cause food sensitivities, inflammatory diseases and/or autoimmune diseases. (Matthew 5, 6 and 7)
Anger, easily turned to bitterness, might even have developed in our childhood. Yet, we are warned not to allow this to happen or continue to let it fester. We must forgive our offenders. (Matthew 18:21, 22) If we don’t forgive, the Scriptures state that Jesus, our Creator and Savior, will not forgive us. (Matthew 5:22-24; 18:35; Mark 11:24-26) This is not always an easy task, especially if the “hurt” has continued for many years, but it is a must do. Remember two things: our health and our walk with Jesus are depending on this exercise of the heart.
Well then, the lesson is to forgive, fully. We cannot continue to think we are right and they are wrong. We have to see our part in the matter and correct it. If we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, He will lift us up and we shall be free indeed. Those are promises. (Psalm 147:6; 149:4; Proverbs 11:2; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6)
Do you know that the digestive system (the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder and pancreas) is your first line of defense against food antigens, pathogenic bacteria, organisms and other toxic substances? Any amount of bitterness can directly affect its ability to function and can actually turn the body against itself. If the digestive system is not functioning properly, our entire being will suffer.
There are ways to resolve the bitterness that easily entangles our hearts, guts and brains. Yes, these are our three intelligence centers of the body. Did you know there are one hundred million neurotransmitters lining the length of the gut? This is approximately the same as found in the brain. Many medical researchers, like Michael D. Gershon, M.D. author of The Second Brain (HarperCollins, NY 2000), have discovered this amazing truth.
So, our first line of “defense” is to first know the Savior. It is important that the word know is understood as an intimate relationship that culminates in acts of obedience to His Word, the Scriptures. This is not fire insurance. You will know if you purchased the wrong insurance policy. You just won’t have much of a desire to obey His Word and will consider that what you do on a Sunday will absolve you to practice the same old sins on Monday. God is a loving God, but He is also a Just God who means what He says.
The next way we can defend ourselves is by simply denying ourselves. (Luke 9:23-25) This is not the same as self-denial, which means we set aside some pleasure for a season. It actually refers to removing ourselves from whatever obstructs our relationship with the Messiah and withdrawing ourselves from the fellowship of those who refuse to deny themselves. In essence, we must be determined to do what is right and obey. This is a key character quality: determination to do right. ”All of you should clothe yourselves in humility toward one another, because God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble He gives grace.”