Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Don't Get Bitter Get Better!

Ruth 1:20
“Don’t call me Naomi (pleasant),” she told them, “Call me Mara (bitter), because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.

After you’ve been through so much in life it’s easy to become bitter with resentment. We’ve been in a season of loss and misfortunate events for so long that it becomes easy for us to give up and resign ourselves to an existence of bitterness but each and every day we have a choice to either become bitter over what we have lost or we can become better by going forward to retrieve what we no longer have.

If anybody had a right to be bitter it was Naomi. She lost her husband after they moved to Moab to survive the famine. Ten years later her two sons died as well. All she had left were her two foreign daughters in laws. She urged them to go back to their homeland of Moab because she doesn’t have any more sons for them to marry. Oprah leaves but Ruth clings to Naomi and says one of the most loving and unselfish things a person could say:

Ruth 1:16-17 (New International Version, ©2011)

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

That’s a friend! One of the things that helps you not get bitter is when you have a good friend that refuses to let you go it alone. Your Ruth could be a spouse, a relative, a church member or a friend that refuses to let you go it alone. Sometimes, you need to be a Ruth to someone else when you see them slipping into a state of bitterness. You need to tell them, “I will not leave you!” I’m glad that Jesus is my Ruth. He told me, “I will never leave you nor forsake you!”

Naomi makes herself better by:

Going back home to Judah and Bethlehem. She goes back to Praise (Judah) in the House of God (Bethlehem). When you feel yourself getting bitter it’s time to get back in the House of God (church) so you can give him Praise in spite of your situation.

She goes back during harvest time. Keep your ears open to where opportunity is during this recession. Sometimes, you have to go where the harvest is instead of expecting the harvest to come to you.

Naomi encourages her daughter to go to work ; to find favor by gleaning. Naomi is too old to do the work but she is resourceful enough to show Ruth where to go.
She coaches Ruth on how to get a man. Who is it that you are supposed to be mentoring or coaching? In this season you’re in, it could be that God wants you to pour your best into someone else to get you out of your bitterness.

She benefits from the blessing of her protégée by becoming the great, great, great…Grandmotehr of Jesus.

Dear God,
Help us not to become bitter but to become better by moving from a place of loss to a place of harvest. Send Ruth’s in our lives to bless us with their loyalty while we bless them with our wisdom. Together, we will get through this famine and make it back to our harvest.

In Jesus Name,

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