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Is a Dead heart the same as a bitter heart?

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In Tim Burton’s 2005 “Corpse Bride,” we meet Victor and Victoria. Two very young, timid people who are engaged to each other through an arranged marriage. Victor, during the wedding rehearsal, stumbles through his wedding vows and generally seems unsure of things. He is sent on his way that evening to practice his vows, and he goes walking through the woods, speaking them to himself. After a while, Victor gets them right and puts the ring on a branch’s finger… At least what he assumes is a branch finger.

Turns out, it is the hand of a long since departed young bride named Emily. Emily is desperate to be a bride because her fiance murdered her to steal her money. Now I don’t know about you, but that would make me pretty upset. Pretty bitter at the guy who had done this. Emily’s bitterness takes on the face of her wanting to be loved. She is bound to this idea that a wedding and a husband will fulfill her and make this bitterness go away. The movie progresses as we get to know Victor, Victoria, and Emily better.

It all comes to a head when Victor is about to drink poison so he can marry Emily, and Emily sees Victoria. Looking at them with the look of hope being dashed. She stops Victor and tells him she’s sorry. She is sorry that she has allowed what happened to her to almost do the same thing to someone else.

As Christians, we are told not to hold onto bitterness. We are determined to forgive. This has to be one of the hardest things as humans that we are told to do. Forgive someone who wronged us? But we are right. We are the ones who were wronged. So and so did XYZ to us, and everyone knows that you were in the right. But holding on to bitterness means 1 of 2 things.

1. You will hurt someone else. In your struggle to be right… Even if you are totally and entirely in the right and have every reason to continue to be bitter, if you don’t resolve this, you will be in the wrong.

2. In Matthew 6:14-15 it says

“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

… Oof. There is no getting around this. If you hold onto bitterness and do not forgive someone, then you will not be forgiven. That’s a hard concept. You see why now a bitter heart is similar if not the same as a dead heart. Don’t let your grudges, and wrongs affect your life. God wants to do so much through you, in you, and with you. But your heart has to be healthy. It can’t be a dead heart held down by anything.

Question of the week:
What was the first movie you ever watched that made you stop and think?

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