In our old house we had a cat door that backed up to a field. One night we woke up to find 4 raccoons checking out our master bedroom upstairs while we slept. When we discovered them in the middle of the night, Mark got some food, let them curl up the foot of our bed, and scratched their bellies until they fell fast asleep. OR…he tore out of bed as fast as he could and started beating their butts with a pillow until they scampered away as fast as their paws could carry them. Probably you believe the second ending because you realize that a raccoon in your house is dangerous and disgusting.
There’s a quote that says, “You give a raccoon cat food and pretty soon he’ll be back for the whole cat!”
I think that feeding a raccoon is a lot like harboring bitterness in our hearts. Bitterness is dangerous and disgusting to our souls. If we allow the seed of bitterness to grow in our hearts, soon it will destroy everything about us. What started as something simple like feeding a racoon, will come back to take what is valuable to us…our character, our integrity, and our passions. Bitterness is insatiable. It doesn’t settle, but will continue to feed on whatever it can get. It’s not something that can co-habitate with the things of God. It will eat them away from you. Literally.
I’ve never met anyone that aimed to be a bitter, angry person, and yet, even as you read this, you can think of someone in your life that you would describe this way. How did they get that way? Why did they allow that awfulness to take hold?
It all begins in the little things. The way that we think about someone, and then slowly, what we speak about them. And then we begin to allow a piece of bitterness to get a hold of something in our heart. It’s about one brick of unforgiveness being stacked on the next until there is a wall that is coming between us and EVERYTHING.
Bitterness ruins the whole being. It’s the whole cat being destroyed and devoured. It’s got to be dealt with quickly because just as a racoon is a thief, so is the devil. He wants to destroy and devour your soul, so whatever it takes, don’t feed the raccoon.