Ah, the battle of wits between Westley and Vizzini. If you don’t know what this is, stop reading and go watch “The Princess Bride” right now.
At this point in the movie, the hero, Westley, challenges Vizzini to a battle of wits. He presents Vizzini with some iocane powder which is supposed to be an odorless, tasteless, and extremely deadly poison. Vizzini tries to figure out which goblet has the poison; would Westley put the poison in the glass next to him or the one in front of Vizzini? After Vizzini makes his choice and picks one with poison in it, Westley reveals to Buttercup that Vizzini would have died either way because he put poison in both cups. Westley had successfully built up immunity by slowly drinking a little poison at a time over several years.
Now, from a medical perspective… that don’t work. You can’t build up immunity to poison. If he had really been taking small doses of poison for years he would have either already died or he would be frail and sickly from constantly ingesting small amounts of poison.
But I don’t have to tell you all this, you can obviously tell the difference between something that was made up for dramatic effect and real life.
Can’t you? Can I? Looking at my life, can I honestly say that I know that and act accordingly?
While we don’t go around drinking small amounts of poison, we do something just as dangerous. We carry around a poison from our lives and don’t do anything about it expecting everything to get better.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviors. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:31-32
If we hold on to our bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, or slander we are doing no better than slowly drinking a sip of poison and hoping that one day we will become immune. It really doesn’t work that way. You want to know the secret of how not to die from poison? Stay away from it. If poison comes toward you, move away. We can’t be passive in our fight against this.
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. – Proverbs 4:25-27
Look ahead, mark it out, stay on it, keep your feet from following evil.
We buy the lie and delude ourselves into thinking these small things don’t affect us. Or that the evil that someone else has done to us would be too difficult to deal with and it’s much more comforting to hold on to that bitterness.
The truth, though? The truth is that whatever is inside will be what comes out. If you hold on to that bitterness, you will be a bitter person.
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. – Luke 6:45
What steps do you need to take today to let go of bitterness, rage, or anger?