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Bitterness and the Toothpaste TubePosted Friday, February 1, 2013, at 7:53 AM
I've heard it all my life (well ... as far back as I can remember, anyway) -- "Squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom up!"
So I tried it recently. It really works!
I'm sure we all have those things that we are told over and over again but just don't think about on a regular basis. Things like: watch the bridges, they'll freeze before the road does; don't use the cruise control if it's raining; don't leave the water running while you're brushing your teeth; don't shake that can of pop before you open it; and so on.
There are other truths we may have a hard time grasping. Things like: steam burns; the handle of that pot may be very hot; use a potholder when you take the cake out of the oven; be careful when you bite into that pizza -- the cheese is still steaming (ouch!); and so on.
One of my favorites has always been: "Remember to put the seat down on the toilet when you're finished." Of course, most men don't "get it" until THEY are the ones to sit down with the seat still up. Then it suddenly and mysteriously becomes crystal clear.
Many of the "old sayings" are "old sayings" for a reason: they have stood the test of time.
Still, there are other sayings that might not hold as true as the aforementioned. Things like: don't cross your eyes or they'll stick that way; or don't go out with your head wet or you'lll catch a cold.
There are a few old sayings that just might make us all a bit more at peace with ourselves and others, if we would but listen. Things like "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger" or "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Fact is, when we hold on to bitterness, hatred, and anger the emotional wounds we have suffered will be reopened time and again. Whatever happened to cause the pain will continue to hurt us.
We can learn to let go of the past and release our anger and hatred - if we really want to. If we don't, the bitterness and resentment may poison our souls.
So remember, squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom up ...
It may the first step on the path to getting past bitterness and anger toward others.
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Bob Stewart is pastor of Union Baptist Church. His long-running column ranges in topic from matters of faith to observations about life in Saline County, politics and the sights to see in travels throughout America.