P E R S O N A L ✞ R E F L E C T I O N
This verse is fairly straight forward, however, it's a message we all need to hear time and again. I'd like to reflect a moment and share with you all my own personal experience with this verse. My example comes from my independence in life, I had been such a "take on the world alone" type of person. I had felt those around me let me down, couldn't keep up or never had my best intentions in mind. So I took it upon myself to go it alone and not depend on anyone other than myself. There were even times I had cast God out on my lonely journey, truly keeping my head down working and isolated.
You can imagine the difficulties I might face having that mentality and then also wanting to be in a committed relationship. Strong independence and doubt in others capabilities doesn't really coincide with a healthy, equal, team type partnership. In my views towards others, I began to let bitterness enter my heart and judged everyone nearly the same. Yes, I was cruel to judge and not give chances or believe other people could not accomplish what I could on my own. I was cruel to cast God aside even when I had accepted him in my heart years ago because I thought my way was best. All that time I thought I had been accomplishing goals and getting further in my life... Until, I realized the goals I had sought after were selfish and empty. They provided no happiness, no substance, and they certainly had not helped anyone else.
I remember sitting on the edge of my bed and beginning to shake my head back and forth as I came to the realization that none of what I was doing was right. Placing my hand over my face I sighed deeply and looked up towards God... I knew I was on a lost soul's path. I emphasis the last part of the verse, "but a cruel man hurts himself." And it was true, I was hurting deep inside because nothing gave me the type of gain in life I thought I'd been looking for. By casting others away, harboring bitterness, never giving chances... I was creating a wall around my soul of darkness - a slippery slope indeed.
Our God and the gracious God he is, even in this moment of failure and disappointment - he was there for me. Reassured I could do better, I could chip away at my inner walls built on bitterness; it may take time but our God is patient. 2 Peter 3:9 I've been working on this ever since that day I sat on the edge of my bed in so much emotional agony.
I am delighted to say God has opened my heart and soul back up to receive the love and energy of others. My journey is ongoing and there is much more for me to learn and work on. My heart is pure by the love of Jesus, my sins washed clean as I ask for forgiveness. The same can be true for you, it's never too late to work on yourself and ask God for his love, guidance, patience and forgiveness.
Bless you all,