I keep hearing and reading about people who are so plagued by their past, they can't function normally in the present. We are watching A Christmas Carol, and I'm noticing how Scrooge was the bitter old man he was because of how his past hurt him. I am reading The Shack-Mack is so paralyzed by his daughters violent death that he has a darkness that keeps him in a depression. I've been watching Monk-a detective so weakened by his wife's murder that he can no longer function normally in society, brilliant as he his.
I see these, and extreme as the premise in these fictional works seem, I can see a bit of truth to their coping mechanisms in my life. I have been hurt by people time and again over the course of my life-people that I should have been able to trust. My personality is characteristically introverted. I enjoy the company of others, but I tend to deal with things internally, and being around groups of people frequently without any alone time tends to wear me out. The combination of my already introverted personality coupled with having trouble trusting people, means that if I don't intentionally keep putting myself out there, I am at risk of becoming bitter, depressed, or unable to function normally just like those in the fictional works that I have been reading and watching recently.
So how can I be intentional about not allowing bitterness to seep into my life? I need to forgive those in my past in order to move forward. I need to make sure I am spending time with God each day. And I need to be intentional about showing love to others. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." I need to be intentional about living out these verses. Today I am thankful for how God speaks to me even through fictional works.