November 1, 2012

who's making progress here?

This morning, sitting with a roomful of women, our eyes glued to the high-heeled, passionate Texan on the screen, I caught a word picture that I did not care for, not one little bit.

Bitterness, she reminded us, gives Satan a foothold in our lives.

alexindigo's photo

Merriam-Webster defines "foothold" as "A secure position from which further progress may be made."  Yikes.  2 Timothy 2:26 intimates that the devil has plans that he hopes to accomplish.  Guess what:  I don't want the devil making progress in my life!

So, am I bitter?  I asked myself.  According to Ephesians 4:26, it is the anger that controls me, that I hold on to past the daylight hours, that gives Satan a foothold in my life, allows him to gain ground, to make progress, to get done what he wants to get done.

And what is he after, this enemy, this accuser of our souls?  Satan, that thief, that father of lies, comes, Jesus says, only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10).

Do I want to contribute to that?  Is holding on to the wrongs done to me (be they real or imagined) worth that kind of price?

Of course not.  And the antidote is simple:  forgiveness.

So here's another image:  Satan losing his foothold - not gaining ground, but losing ground!

Mountain climber falling during an icy climb up th
Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Okay, so Satan losing ground is good.  But simple does not equal easy.  And forgiveness - not just once, but seventy times seven, daily(!) (Matthew 18:21-22) - can be formidable.

To just let go, like that, exposes me to more pain, more injustice, more wounds.

On the other hand, it also frees me, to receive love.......

..... to receive abundant life (John 10:10), and the flowing of the Holy Spirit in my life (Ephesians 4:30).

Whose progress do I want to cooperate with?

I am certain, Paul writes to the Philippian church, that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

I'm letting go ......

...... will you?

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