United Church of God

Letter From Doug Collison - January 8, 2020

Letter From Doug Collison

January 8, 2020

From the Pastor: Weekly Word 1-8-2020

Greetings Brethren!

I heard a word today that got me thinking. Maybe you've heard of it too. It is the word "ruminate". To ruminate means to go over something in our minds over and over again. It's derived from the word ruminant, a kind of animal that chews a cud such as a cow or a sheep.

A cud is food that has already been swallowed but then is regurgitated from the 1st stomach of a ruminant in order to digest it further.

So when we ruminate we're chewing on something in our minds...we're bringing it up time after time in our minds and thinking about it.

This can be good or bad. We certainly want to dwell on the good. Scripture tells us to focus on the pure, lovely, virtuous and praiseworthy aspects of things (Philippians 4:8).

But what happens when we ruminate on real or perceived injustices? What happens when we ruminate on the faults or perceived faults of others? When this happens we end up poisoning ourselves and the others around us.

Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

Hebrews 12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

A "root of bitterness" is something poison that grows in us. It's planted from a negative feeling, thought or an idea. Typically it's grown from unresolved resentment or anger toward someone or some situation. This is a common occurrence among all people and it happens in all aspects of everyone's life.

Verse 4 tells us how to kill the root of bitterness....pursue peace with all people. Get rid of the attitude or emotion by actively seeking out and talking to the ones who we believe to be the source of our anger or resentment. Resolve the situation before it takes root. Either expel it or digest it. But don't keep bringing up this poisonous cud and chew it over and over again.

Take care and see you soon!