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Why Do Our Closest Relationships End Up Being The Hardest?
by Greta Rich
07/13/12
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Some time ago, I was visiting my family. A otherwise happy occasion turned into an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation that I was inadvertently pulled into.

As anger spilled out into the kitchen, I stood and watch, not for the first time, as my father and sister tongue-lashed each other. What set it off I'll never truely knew. Dad had been upset over her marriage for years. They had taken advantage of him for years. So, every holiday became a Holler-day season.

This particular evening, however, my sister pulled me into the loud discussion. "How can you forgive him for what he did to you in the past?"

Hum? What was done in the past I didn't even remember. It was forgiven at the foot of the cross a long time ago, and I don't even remember it. Yet, my sister was pulling these unremembered times out as a way of bolstering her anger against our father.

As she yelled at Dad, I remembered a verse from the Scriptures. "And whenever you stand to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But, if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses." (Mark 11:25-26)

As I remembered this verse, I became anxious for my sister, who is my sister in Christ too. Her family had gone through so many trials. Her children were drifting away from the Lord. Her husband wasn't being the breadwinner.

I realized that there was a root of bitterness in her heart. I feared for my sister. Hebrews 12:14 reads "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness, springing up cause trouble, and by it many people be defiled."

We can be blinded by a form of godliness into believing everything is fine with our Lord, not realizing that memories that can no longer hurt us have now caused us to take our eyes off of Christ.

I am praying for my family. I believe God has His hand on their lives. Both of my sisters have a bitter spirit. Some of their children have turned their backs on God as a result of the anger and bitterness that has taken root.

May the Lord Jesus heal that root of bitterness and turn it into a spring of health and healing for my family.

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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38

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