The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Orange Juice and The Toothpaste

Several years ago my wife and I led a support group for boot campers. We tried to create an environment of learning and not teaching. We would use anything we could think of to create examples and drills that were easy for me and others to understand. We did one called the orange juice and the toothpaste. I got this idea from personal experience many years ago when right after brushing my teeth and went to the frig and got a glass of orange juice. Needless to say, right after I brushed my teeth the orange juice tasted nasty. I thought something was wrong with it or it had spoiled so I threw it out and wasted an entire jug of Sunny D over a false perception.

If you haven’t tried this then I would suggest you do it to get the full affect. This was a perfect illustration concerning what anger and bitterness does to us. It changes our perception. Then everything in life is tainted and we can no longer see the truth nor do we even want to hear it. We can’t enjoy the juice (life) no more because our perception has now been distorted. So we can either continue pouring out and disregarding all the juice that comes into our life and wasting the time and money or we can deal with the toothpaste. (Anger and Bitterness)

I have worked with so many people over the last six years that had the stupidest husbands and the lousiest wives. Neither one could seem to do anything right. Once they got rid of the anger and bitterness they could finally see how messed up their perception had been. It slips in so easily and slowly and will continue to grow until we face it and deal with it.

So, how do we deal with it? Most of you know the answer to this. The answer is forgiveness. Many people want to hang on to their anger because they feel it gives them purpose and reason to live. Some think it gives them strength, power and control. The honest truth is that is does exactly the opposite. Many people don’t want to forgive because they don’t understand what real forgiveness is about or how to do it. As many of you know it was one of the highlights of your life when you experienced true forgiveness. As I’ve heard before, anger and bitterness is like drinking poison trying to kill someone else. Just a reminder…God will not forgive us if we don’t forgive others. I don’t know about you, but I definitely need forgiveness from God daily.

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