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Rooting out the Infection

June 14, 2010

Let’s consider together the last two things that Paul says must be put away from us.  They are clamor and malice.  First, let me give some brief definitions.  Clamor is loud, it is the outburst of anger, the fighting, the screaming, the spewing of hateful words with complete disregard for the neighbors.  Malice is the response that is pleased when something negative happens to another.  Both of these are the direct results of ongoing bitterness.  They are not responses focused only at the one who has wronged you.  They are a spreading disease that infects your relationships with all people.  The result is the bitter person is likely to also be an angry person, one who finds themselves arguments and battles of words.  The bitter person is very likely to be one who finds great satisfaction when someone else “gets what they deserve.”  These ills are ones that must be eradicated from the life.  However, they are not ills that will be quickly removed.  Merely praying and asking God to make you a better person will not change these things.  These are long term infections that have taken deep root in the life.  The only way to deal with them is to rip out the root cause, dealing with the bitterness that started off the whole nasty cycle.

As has been repeatedly mentioned, the closing verses of Ephesians 4 do not give us a command to go and by our own will remove these wicked elements from our life.  They are a command to set ourselves, our feelings and our hurts aside and allow Christ to work in us so that we are made to be forgiving, kind and tenderhearted.  This is a setting aside of me and taking up of Him.  This is a total subjugation of my will, my perspectives of justice, vengeance and fairness and all my desires to those of Christ.  It is an absolute obedience to and dependence on the Word of God, so that all my responses and feelings are dictated by Scriptures.  It is a radical abandonment of myself.  When one begins that process, then the root of bitterness will be pulled and the infection can be healed.


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