We just moved to our new house about a year ago. We decided to move from the big city life to a smaller town with a more country setting and, I have to say, it has been a nice change of pace. If you have ever moved, you know what a chore it can sometimes be. In our case, we moved from a small condo to a much larger home. So, we had the opposite problem of most people in that we don’t have enough furniture to fill up all of the rooms at our new place. While that sounds like it would make for an easier move, it seems my to-do list of things to do at the new house never gets any shorter.
Recently, I have been in the process of cleaning out my tool shed out in our back yard. When we moved, it basically become a storage unit for our belongings until we could get fully settled. Now that the new place is livable, my duty now is to go through all the years worth of accumulated “stuff” and decide whether or not to keep the items or store them somewhere in a better location. I probably won’t totally finish the project until the weather warms up this Spring, but I thought I would get a head start at least.
As I was moving some old items out of the tool shed, I noticed a couple of old plastic 5-gallon paint buckets that had been left there by the former owner. The buckets were dry and cracked and filled with what looked and smelled like some chemical cleanser or paint thinner or, heaven forbid, something even more toxic. Whatever liquid was in the buckets had partially eaten through the plastic buckets and created small holes. It appeared that the liquid partially leaked out the holes but then later gummed up and gelled into some material foreign to this Earth. It didn’t take me long to decide to add these disgusting, leaky, gummy buckets to the pile of items going to the landfill never to be used again.
As a Christian, this got me thinking about how easily it is for us to harbor hatred in our hearts for others. Maybe it was someone who offended you or said something hateful to a loved one. Perhaps it was someone who mistreated you or treated your family wrong in some way. Lord as my witness, I have been down that path so many times I can’t even keep count. Even church members or Christian friends have said and done things to me and my family that have hurt more than you could even imagine. But, it’s at that point I learned that I had a decision to make. Either I could let that hatred of what happened or what was said eat away at me forever, or I could let it go and stop controlling my life.
There were times when I found myself holding on to the hurt and the pain so much that it just ate away at me. In fact, the pain was so much at times that it created “holes” in my life just like the toxic material that I had found in my old paint buckets. You see, holding on the pain didn’t hurt anyone but me. I thought holding on would make things better because it gave me an opportunity to keep telling myself how wrong those people were with what they had done and said. Unfortunately, all the holding on to past grudges didn’t accomplish anything but simply making my “vessel” or my life weaker and it just wasn’t worth it anymore.
Eventually, I prayed to God that HE would give me the strength I needed to forgive those that had hurt me. I certainly couldn’t have done it alone. It didn’t mean I liked what they did or even forgot what had happened. It simply meant that I wasn’t allowing those events to rule my life any more and eat away at my peace.
Over time, my life has healed. My life’s “bucket” is no longer filled with toxic material escaping through holes that I allowed to occur in my life. I can honestly say that with God’s help, I kicked the bucket of hatred. My prayer is that you will too.
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Courage For Today was founded in 2008 by Mike Weaver. Our mission is to provide Hope and Encouragement for your Daily Christian Walk and show Christians that Finding Hope is always possible with God’s promises. Read all of our articles at the full Courage For Today Blog to get a glimpse of how God can work in your own life. If you are in need of prayer support, please don’t hesitate to Ask for Prayer. If you simply want to ask or question or make a comment, you can click here to get in touch with Mike. Thank you for visiting and may God Bless.