Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
There are certain times in life you got to make a stand. I decided that the proverbial “line in the sand” that I would be fighting for that evening was the amount of sugar my 4 children could consume after a night of barely touching there amazing, homemade, deliciously flavored dinner.
My kids cooperatively decided that I was a horrible dad. I mean I had REALLY gone over the top on this one. My youngest son (Brennan, 4 years old) even said, “Dad, you’re the worst dad ever!!” You would’ve thought I told my kids they weren’t allowed to eat or drink again for 5 days or that I told them Santa Clause wasn’t real….I mean, they were MAD!!!
Ironically all that I had done was tell them that they could only have two “after dinner treats” instead of the usual three. Hence the “fit-throwing” and “dad cursing”. I sent the kids to bed early, and then Michelle and I went on our merry way enjoying the evening.
Holding a Grudge
Later that night we had a conversation as we discussed (through laughter) how silly it was that 4 year old boy tried to poison us with his words with his infamous: “Dad, you’re the worst dad ever”, comment. Really? Worst Ever??
We had a good laugh about it and then my wife jokingly made a comment that put it all into perspective; “Well, at least they went to bed early and we had more time to hang out and talk together tonight.”
I looked at her and said, “Yes! That’s it babe. He (Brennan) was seeking to punish us, and if we sit here miserable and depressed, he wins. We can’t let him win! WE CANT BE BEAT BY A 4 YEAR OLD!!”
So much of our life is lived out of real pain we accumulate from living life:
- Pain from our addictions
- Pain from relational meltdown
- Pain from expectations
- How awesome we thought something would be vs. The reality of how unawesome it really is
- Pain from leadership that has failed us
In those key moments of pain we have a choice: Get bitter or get better.
Scripture warns us of the defiling effect of bitterness: “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up to defile many.”
Holding onto to anger, bitterness and grudges becomes a “grace-killer” in our life. It takes so much energy, focus and passion to stay mad and angry that it robs the individual holding onto the grudge to have the adequate energy and bandwidth to pour into what matters most: BECOMING A HEALTHY INDIVIDUAL!
I’m so glad that I decided not to hold a grudge against my son. Since that fateful day (the day I was “THE WORST DAD EVER”), we have played together, laughed together, played transformers together, played trains and trucks together and have had some of the best times I can remember.
What do you have to let go of to move forward into all the health and wholeness that Jesus offers?
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What has been your experience with letting go of bitterness?
About the Author: Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together. Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
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Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 16, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com