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Friends, today I write to remind us (yes, I’m including myself in this) that our attitudes are contagious.  A lesson I learned as a child, there is weight in the way our attitudes affect ourselves and one another.  I’ve written about this before, in an effort to induce happiness and positivity, yet I feel strongly that something a little more serious still needs to be shared.

There is an increasingly important reason (far beyond infecting others with our cranky attitudes) that we should tame our tongues and soften our hearts.  The fact is that life is hard and relationships make it harder.  Even loving relationships can cause us hurt and pain, but when we harden our hearts, we miss out on a beautiful gift. We miss out on blessings and grace. We miss out on the intimacy that comes with sharing the vulnerable parts of us; the parts that hurt, the parts that long, the parts that need a little TLC.

When we harden our hearts, we allow bitterness to seep in. Ever so slowly, through the cracks that have been left without mending, bitterness, resentment, and anger begin to take shape. The author of Hebrews addresses this with prudence:

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” -Hebrews 12:14

Heavy, isn’t it? So heavy that we must be on the look out for bitterness not only within ourselves, but in others as well. We must rebuke the attitudes and comments that defile and disturb the peace. Our attitudes have the ability to cause destruction. It’s part of the plight of humanity because we live in a fallen world. Yes, we are a fallen race.  But, in God’s infinite compassion, we have been saved. We have been saved from ourselves by the grace of Jesus and it is time we start living in that grace. It is time to accept the grace we have been given and extend the gift of grace to others.

So, what do you say we start with the way we interact with one another. Whether in personal relationships, with strangers at the grocery story, or with the “friends” we’ve gathered via social networks, it’s time we let go of the bitterness, dig it up from the root, and live in the truth of grace.

Are you with me?! It’s time for the bitter to end!

Nourish and Be Nourished::