Mine is a card-playing family (don’t worry, I don’t gamble, go to casinos, etc). I enjoy nearly every game I’ve ever learned, including many forms of rummy. In some ways, life resembles rummy in a least one important way – the cards you choose to hold in your hand matter!
We’ve all likely heard that we must “Play the hand we’re dealt in life.” And certainly that’s true. If we’re given a child with a birth anomaly, for example, we must accept that “card” and learn to deal with it as part of life (our overall “hand”). What I’ve come to learn however, is that in addition to those cards which cannot be discarded, I often choose to hold on to different “cards” that make the overall hand much worse.
For example, to my hand of the unavoidable hardships God has allowed, I’ve added the cards of “resentment,” “disappointment,” “anger,” and “bitterness.” The truth is they don’t really “match” anything God would have me hold and they won’t help me win the game. In fact, they only make the game of life that much more difficult.
The beautiful thing is I have a choice about those types of cards. I don’t HAVE to hold on to bitterness. By leaning on Christ during the hard times, I can choose to give up anger and resentment and throw them in the discard pile. No, discarding resentment, disappointment, and bitterness won’t remove the other cards we’ve been dealt, but our hands will sure look a whole lot better without them!
Take a look at the mix of cards that make up your current hand. Are you holding on to any that the Lord would have you discard?
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Ephesians 4:31)
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