Cross Bearing Comparing - Root Of Bitterness

My respect and honor for those like Rick and Denise Renner ,who have pressed through, and laid it all down to establish  The Church, in a very hostile atmosphere at times, has deepened a great deal.

My heart for my own Pastors, who have had their faith challenged by crisis, illness and even the death of loved ones, has grown as well. They never gave up, never backed away from The WORD, but kept building what The Lord told them to build despite the challenges in their own souls and lives.
We are all members of one body, each doing our part, each given our cross to bear, and gifts to deploy in that body. We have heard so much about comparing our "ministry" with another, or our gifts with another. We have heard so much about envy, jealousy and coveting another persons position in life, whether that be social or economic.
 But what about "cross bearing" comparing. Having struggled with a couple of the things mentioned above, I think this particular stumbling block has been most prevalent for myself, and I think is the root of why many people struggle with some of the other things, like envy and jealousy.
What do I mean by cross bearing comparing? 
Why can it be an open door to jealousy,envy,strife? 
What does it look like? 
Why does it keep so many in bondage to things Jesus bore THE CROSS, to free them from?

Cross bearing comparing can be divided into two separate types of cross bearing.
1. The things we are called, by The Lord, to take up and follow Him
2. The things we have allowed to cling to us, that we should be resisting and learning to overcome.

This post will not get too much into the damage and trouble the things in number 2 will cause a believer, but I will say they will hold us back and keep us far from Gods best for our lives. 
For the purposes of this post, I will stick with the act of Cross Bearing Comparing and why it keeps so many believers in bondage, and if coupled with other issues in the soul, cause them to become very bitter in the deepest part of their souls.

Bitterness can stay hidden for a very long time, not only to others, but even the person themselves. It is given a chance to take deep root and grow un-noticed until the fruits of it begin to bloom, then things can get painful and ugly.
Let me describe a person that may be in danger of falling into this very common trap.
Many times this person can seem very humble, even very spiritual. They may have many troubles in their lives. Often they have had childhoods that may have not been the best. A cycle of poverty may run through their family line, or struggles with certain illnesses.

They will often find themselves drawn to prayer ministries or other ministries in The Church that they see as more spiritual. They may even pray very fervently for others, and have an anointing to do so.

They may not say it or express it, but they see others that look like they have it easy, as somehow being less spiritual  or not important enough to be tested as hard as themselves.
They begin to ponder in their heart the  plush and comfortable  lives other believers seem to have. As time passes, they begin to resent those who do not carry "the burden for the church", that they feel like they have been called to carry. 
They have embraced the struggles, past pains and battles, as their cross to bear, and begin to compare what they see as the lack of burdens others seem to have to carry. 

They become so focused on the weight of their "cross" that every trouble, every attack of the enemy and every set back is seen as more weight added to their already  overburdened shoulder. 

Eventually they will become angry with anyone with any joy or success in The Church. God forbid if they see Pastors or Leaders enjoying the fruits of diligent and successful lives, because that will really stir the stew of bitterness that has been cooking in their soul for so long.

They can even begin to believe that not only are others not carrying a heavy enough cross, but that they must carry the spiritual "slackers" crosses for them. Like they have a duty to carry the burden of the entire church on their cross, because "no one else is".

I know this seems like a made up extreme example:

However I assure you this is not only a very real issue many have in The Body of Christ: It is also a very accurate description of myself and the things I saw unfold in my own soul.

Let me switch gears a bit here. If you are somebody who has this struggle, at any stage of its' development, you probably felt some stirring in you as you read this. Something in you rejected it. Maybe you felt some anger and can't understand why.

That is okay. You are not alone, there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands of other believers, just like us, that are wonderful candidates to be set free by Gods Grace and Love.

Along with all the things I mentioned above are various types of walls we set up to protect our souls from anymore hurt or disappointment. That is one reason we spiritualize much of our pain.

If we make every infirmity and hurt, part of the cross we bear, then we never have to face them.
The problem is, those walls only allow that root of bitterness to grow in a dark environment and if we think it is part of the cross we are called to bear, then we will never overcome them, with The Power that THE CROSS made available to us.

My next post I am going to try and describe further the things we tend to add to the cross Jesus did indeed call us to bear. I pray that it will help you, and myself, unload the burdens that we were never meant to carry.

Remember Jesus said:

Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-2 (AMP)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls

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