Destructive Little Foxes

by Melissa Myers
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Songs 2:15 NIV)
When my daughter Sara was a toddler, we developed a ritual for the times when her feelings would be hurt. She would come to me and, in sobbing wails, explain some insult from one of her playmates. I would kiss my finger, touch it to her heart, and then place a Band-Aid over it. The tears would immediately stop and she’d bounce away to play, never recalling the incident again. If only our emotional wounds were so quickly resolved in our adult lives!
Most of us hold our emotions close; we don’t want to appear weak or overly sensitive. Too often, it’s the little unspoken offenses (foxes) that build into a destructive result. Bitterness and the inability to forgive can consume a relationship. This is especially true within the church, where we hold a higher expectation of being loving and sympathetic. It’s never a good feeling to learn that you’ve offended someone and it may seem easier to avoid an awkward conversation when you feel insulted. However, when the air is cleared, our relationships are spiritually stronger and we are freed from the burden. Being vigilant in mending our wounds strengthens the church and encourages good fruits. Certainly not every minor insult need addressed, but when a thought becomes pervasive, we need to conquer it before it takes root.
As a sensitive person, I have learned that getting beyond a hurt is a conscious choice. When I invited God into the process, I was amazed at how easy it is to accomplish. Thankfully, we have God’s promise to “bind up our wounds” if we turn it over to him. There is strength in being vulnerable enough to acknowledge a hurt, share it, and most importantly, release it to God.
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 NLT)
Is there an offense burdening your heart today? Are you willing to step out in faith to resolve it? Will you accept your loving Father’s promise to heal?
“All of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted and keep a humble attitude.” (1 Peter 3:8 NIV)
Father God, give me the courage to show a tender heart and make amends when I’ve wounded a friend. May I have your strength when I need to bring an offense to light. Cover our wounds and make a path to peace as we seek to love one another.

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