I’m a teenager, but you probably already know that. Most teenagers have parents. But I’m pretty sure you know that, too. A lot of teenagers and parents now-a-days do not have a good relationship. And still, that’s pretty common knowledge. Now I’m not saying every parent has a bad relationship with their teenager, or their child of any age, for that matter. I happen to have an amazing relationship with both of my parents. One which I know I can go to them in a time of need, I can come to them with my hurts and concerns, one that I know they are always there for me, and we even take it a step further. We are like the three musketeers. We are best friends, the three of us. Our friendships are each individually different. Obviously I do not have the same relationship with my Father as he does with my Mom.
Now I’m not saying our relationship is perfect, because I’ve never actually heard of a real relationship that is perfect. (except of that of maybe God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit…But…Well, their God. And we’re not. Kind of unfair to compare.)Because we have our ups and downs, just like everybody else. That happens sometimes with parents. Parents sometimes can get annoying. And not just mine. But hey, don’t we all have those moments? I know I can get annoying. I’ve got my own faults. But one thing I have learned about parents, it’s that, although us kids sometimes can’t believe it (until you become a parent, too, perhaps), they’re human, too. And humans are imperfect beings who make mistakes. Isn’t that astounding? I mean, seriously, as a kid I thought of my Mom as a superhero. I imagined her so tall, so strong. I looked up to her. Which, don’t get me wrong, I still do. But things change. Now being quite a few inches taller than her, it’s hard to see her so…Big. As a kid, being so small, seeing someone so tall sometimes can be quite intimidating, but with my Mom, I always felt it sort of a comfort. I remember crawling up into both of my parent’s laps and snuggling, feeling so secure because, honestly, who can hurt you when you are in the arms of your parents? Yesterday I tried to snuggle up in my Dad’s lap like I use to. It didn’t go so well. It can be discouraging, facing adulthood and the fact that I can’t sit in my parent’s laps anymore. Not without seriously hurting them, anyways. But you know what I found comfort in? That I still have a Daddy in who’s lap I can climb into when I feel down or sad and He can hold me and sing to me and not let anything bad happen to me. Because I feel that same security I use to feel when my parents use to hold me, but amplified by 1,000. Because seriously, who wants to mess with Him? He’s the Creator of the whole entire world. I can almost hear Him laughing now, yelling down to the devil, “Come at me, little man! You think you so big and bad, huh? I defeated you before, you don’t think I will and can again? You ain’t gonna mess with my little girl! Uh uh! No way!”
Sorry, but sometimes you just gotta imagine God as an extremely protective yet sassy Mother bear protecting her cub.
Okay, now that I’ve rabbit trailed about 5 times….Oh well. Some things need to be said.
I’m going to go back to the part about parents being imperfect humans….There’s something that needs to be said there. I’m going to be honest with you for a moment. We all get hurt by our parents. Honestly, it’s impossible to avoid. Unfortunately parents sin, too. And sin hurts. But you know what? I don’t hold a grudge toward my parents. I’ve seen so many people, including my own brother, blame their parents for their own problems. And honestly I’m quite sick and fed up with it. Now, I’m not saying you didn’t get hurt by your parents. What did I just say, oh, about two minutes ago? We all get hurt by our parents. Yeah, that is still in the same paragraph as this sentence, you know…So we do get hurt. We get hurt by a lot of people in a lot of different ways. But what we do with that hurt is what matters. So many people use it as an excuse. An excuse to sin and say “oh, I can’t help it. I’m just trying to cope with the hurt (put in whatever person you’d like. Parent. Spouse. Family member. Friend. Pastor. Don’t worry, I know there’s plenty to choose from.) caused me.” Now, I was just thinking as I wrote that, “oh but some people use it as an excuse to go about their lives moping and feeling bad for themselves and being full of self-pity.” But then I was like, hey, that’s a sin, too, right? I mean, how can you be the salt and light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16) if you are so focused on your painful past and the inward hurt? Now I’m not saying ignore the pain, no, that will only make things worse. Deal with the pain now so you can move on! Quit using it as an excuse, for whatever reason in whatever way, and let healing happen. (Wow that sounds like a good blog title. Maybe I’ll use it in the future.)
Other people don’t use it as an excuse. They indeed do move on, yet, healing has not yet taken place. Pain is still there, festering just below the surface. Yes, I am speaking of the dreadful bitterness. Allowing bitterness into your heart and life is like smoking. But instead of turning your lungs black and gross, it turns your heart black and gross. And if your heart is black and gross, your life will fall apart eventually. The only difference is that smoking takes longer to kill you than bitterness. Bitterness is fast-acting, you just don’t know that it has killed you yet until it’s too late. And by then, you’ve given into it and you simply don’t care anymore, because you have become bitter. There is another similarity with smoking and bitterness. Second-hand smoke. Look at this scripture: “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews 12:15 Bitterness, especially once it’s taken root in your heart and life, is extremely hard to get rid of. Nearly, if not, impossible. Thankfully for us, we have a God of the Impossible. (Sorry, one of my favorite songs is called that, had to say it.) Or, as so many scriptures say, (try Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27, Zechariah 8:6) what is impossible for man, is possible with God. But, since it’s so hard to get rid of, sadly, most people don’t get rid of it for a long, long time, if at all. And in the meantime, people get hurt from the bitterness. Their children, spouses, grandchildren, siblings, parents, and so on. Which can easily bring up more bitterness. Sin is quite a cruel cycle. Galations 6:8 says that you reap what you sow. But what you don’t realize is that your “harvest” can be a harvest of bad things, and this harvest may not just be reaped by you. If you sow seeds of bitterness into your life, it is very likely your children and grandchildren may reap and abounding amount of bitterness. It’s all about generational sin, too (which is a topic for an entire blog post itself), so do you really want to start the generational sin line of bitterness for your children? What if your parents or grandparents had just broken that dreadful curse that was ravaging your ancestors? You would be deciding to abandon all of their hard work and dooming your offspring to a life of bitterness, as well. So often we think “oh, I can handle the reaping of this.” But are you so selfish you don’t consider your children apart of that reaping, as well? Pain is no excuse for sin, which includes bitterness, by the way. An easy excuse now so you can wallow in your pain and self-pity is no excuse for the heartache and pain you will cause to the people around you, and your future offspring.
The answer is simple. Release it. Release the bitterness and anger you have toward someone else, and you may be thinking you are releasing that person, but in truth, that person isn’t being hurt by you holding anger against them. The true person you will be releasing is you. How much time and energy have you wasted on being angry and bitter against that person? Is it worth it? Are they worth that time and energy? But the more important question is, are you worth it to release yourself from the person of unforgiveness? I believe you are. And God does, too. Obviously, as he died so you could be set free. (Psalm 146:7, Isaiah 58:6, Isaiah 51:14, He did it for the crippled woman in Luke 13, why would He not do it for you, too? Also see: John 8:36, Acts 13:39, Romans 6:18, Romans 6:22, Romans 8:2, do I really need to go on? Because I still can. You get the point. There is a lot of scripture for this.)
The only excuse you have using the excuse of pain is the excuse to receive healing and comfort. (See Matthew 5:4)