Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus


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This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you,24 abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.—Matthew 5:23-24 (MSG)

It took me a long time to get used to coffee. I got through college and my early professional career on Mountain Dew, and there honestly wasn’t much that I saw in the stuff. Also, I believed what my dad told me when I was little that it would stunt my growth.

One night, though, I was driving home from a wrestling gig and I was seriously tired… so much so that I stopped at a gas station to take a cat nap. I thought I was gaining street cred like Mick Foley, but it was really just one step up in safety from a rest stop.

Anyway, when I woke up, I decided to go in and get a drink. It was cold out, and I thought I would get one of the fake cappuccinos out of the machine, since it would be flavored and taste better. From the first sip, I fell in love. My wife doesn’t understand the phenomenon, since it’s basically a cup of hot milky syrup, but I love the stuff.

When I make coffee at home, I have to fill the cup almost 1/3 with my creamer, and if it’s out in public, at least 6 packets of Splenda. I just can’t take the bitter taste of coffee. If you can drink it black, that’s awesome. You are nails. To me, it’s like heating up the leftover oil they drain out of your car at the shop.

If I hate the bitter taste in my mouth of coffee, why am I so comfortable with holding on to unforgiveness. The taste is just as bitter… I heard a saying once: “Bitterness is like drinking rat poison and expecting the rat to die.” Bitterness stems from unforgiveness, and neither is healthy.

If you are bitter towards someone today, don’t let that hinder you from your worship this morning. Don’t drink the communion of rat poison and expect the person that you haven’t forgiven to suffer. Reconciliation is what Jesus did for us on the cross to make us right with God. We should follow His example and bring reconciliation to others.


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