Do you have a rumination partner?

I caught a little quote from Positive Mind this morning on someone's social media feed and it gave me a moment to just consider the message: "If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." I don't always remember to focus on the lesson, do you? Sometimes it is just easier to focus on the hurt and let that ruminate a bit. Problem is that ruminating just increases the amount of 'acidic influence' of the hurt. Maybe what we need most is someone in our lives that won't let us ruminate our way into a bitter heart!

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (Hebrews 12:15)

God actually commands us to 'watch out' for the root of bitterness - not just in ourselves, but in each other, as well. We are sometimes more sensitive to someone's 'ruminating' than they are themselves. It is easy for the one doing the ruminating to focus on the hurt repeatedly but be totally oblivious to what all that ruminating is actually doing to their spirit, emotions, and their bodies. When we have an accountability partner in our lives, there is a good chance they will 'call us' on our behavior. When they do, it is time to 'spit out' that stuff we have been ruminating on and rid ourselves of all that foulness that goes along with it.

The bad part of bitterness is that it never just affects us - it affects all those around us. Sometimes I think we justify our 'hurt feelings' a bit too easily, allowing that rumination to begin. We were wronged, even if no one else sees how 'wronged' we were, so we are going to focus on just how wronged we were over and over again. If someone else is willing to listen to us list all the ways we were wronged, all the better. When we share the hurt with another who is not going to encounter us about our focusing on the hurt instead of the lesson and we will find ourselves with a 'rumination partner'!

We are to look after each other - so not one of us fails to receive the grace God has for us in the hurt. The lesson comes with an ample supply of grace - the grace to let it go, the grace to forgive the other person, and the grace to rebuild the relationship once again. When we have an accountability partner, they focus us on the grace that is available, while the rumination partner focuses us on just how 'right' we are to be ruminating in the 'wrong' done to us. We need a partner who consistently points us toward grace and away from the 'rumination pit'! These are the individuals that help us change our focus from the hurt toward the lesson. Just sayin!

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