I went to the tire store recently where I had an appointment made with my online purchase. The process seemed simple straight forward and easy, but it was not. The store staff was slow, rude and not helpful. It was a horrible experience, one where you leave saying, “I will never come here again.” I thought if they ask for feedback, I will let them have it. Suddenly, there was a check in my spirit, it was like a road sign now visible warning, “Danger Ahead”. I was approaching a Spiritual principle that held dire consequences. It is the crossroads of bitterness and judgement, a trap and snare of the enemy.
Of bitterness Scripture says, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:15) “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32) Peter and John confronted Simon saying, “For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (Acts 8:23) Bitterness is an emotional/mental response to injustice or resentment of unfair treatment.
God is the only righteous judge, therefore our judgment is unauthorized and unrighteous. Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3) We will reap bad consequences when we judge others in our position of hypocrisy. The only escape is to avoid judging and condemning through forgiveness, then we will recieve forgiveness. (Luke 6:37) Paul says it very clearly, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?” (Romans 2:1-3)
When we fall into the trap of bitterness and judgment we will have given the enemy a foothold in our life and become captives. When I compare the full weight of my collective life of trespasses, being ill treated as a customer is nothing. Moreover, forgiveness enlightens the heart, raises our head, lightens our load and frees us from the chains of the enemy. This is all possible because of Yeshua and His grace and love imparted through the cross. It is for freedom that Messiah has set us free.