Freedom to speak words of love to all.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
I have not seen this mushroom often in my life, and only in some of the denser forests in the Rocky Mountains after a season of abundant moisture. This is a highly toxic mushroom (Amanita muscaria flavivolvata). It is very beautiful, but can cause a lot of damage if ingested—even death.
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
Hebrews 12:15 New Living Translation
One of the most touted freedoms in this country is the freedom of speech. People want to say what is on their mind, sometimes no matter what the consequences to themselves, their relationships or their community. While this freedom certainly has much value, it is so easy to let bitterness take root in the heart. The tendency to take everything personally so as not to allow differences in beliefs has run amok in our society. We have lost our ability to truly relate to each other.
“These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.”
Jude 19 New Living Translation
As followers of Christ we are to watch out for the root of bitterness that can lead to poisonous words, whether that bitterness is found in others who do not have the Spirit living in them or whether it takes root in our hearts. We are to build up one another in love, not with poisonous words of hate. We are called to exercise our freedom to speak love.
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.”
Philippians 2:1-2 New Living Translation
Lord, help us to see every person as your special creation regardless of differences, and help us to remove all bitterness from our hearts so we may only reflect your love to all. Amen.
Copyright text and photo Desiree Bustamante