You can only pretend that the oozing acid of bitterness in your heart does not exist for so long. A smile and the distraction of company at church, being a guest at someone’s house for dinner, or attending your child’s soccer game are opportunities for the façade of a happy person to be on display.
The trouble with bitterness is that it doesn’t just affect the person whom you believe has caused your bitterness. It spills out and splashes its burning pain all over the people who are near you most. And it destroys your own precious heart. Innocent people share in your victimization.
As a wife, this means that your bitterness is constantly harming your children. As an employee, this means it trickles out towards your colleagues or customers.
Bitterness begins inside the person who feels they have been treated unjustly. And that may be a very real and horrible truth. I certainly don’t minimize the circumstances that have lead to a person becoming bitter, but I know that the condition of a person’s spirit of bitterness is the weakest response we can have to pain. The strength of God in our lives is the only option to turn our bitterness into breath of life within us.
Are you tired of being angry all the time? Does your biting tongue and spirit that wants someone to pay for it all defeat you on a regular basis? Is the weight of your heavy heart causing strife in your home? It doesn’t have to. Release it. Release your bitterness to your Heavenly Father. Allow God to deal with the people in your life. Relinquish your need to have all the answers or even see your expectations fulfilled. Open your heart to the possibility that God can and will heal, restore, and bring about a new thing for you, even in the midst of the circumstances that face you this day. You can be bitter, or better.
You must put away all bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and slanderous talk-indeed all malice. Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgives you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Make Ephesians 4:31-32 your prayer. Put away the bitterness. Be kind. Have compassion. Forgive. Why? Because you and I have been forgiven MUCH. Much more than we will ever know.
Bless and honor God by your obedience out of gratitude to Him for His love and sacrifice on YOUR behalf, friend. Jesus paid it all. He paid for the sin of that person in your life who has hurt you. Just grace them! Don’t continue to make them pay over and over again. It only imprisons you, in the end. And if you find that your bitterness is also aimed towards God, know that He can handle it. He loves you anyway. Confess it, and ask Him to remove it. Faith believes that God is good, and that He is not the source of your trials, but that He has a plan for your life that can be more than you ever imagined. Trust Him.
There is no room for joy in a bitter heart. Joy follows obedience. As you read this, will you open your hands and heart in obedience to release the suffering, the disappointments, the hurts of others and the path of your life onto the shoulders of God who brings beauty from ashes? You will find no greater joy than when you give your bitterness to God who will replace your heart of stone for one of flesh, grant you peace that passes all understanding, and restore the years the locusts have eaten. It’s the right thing to do, and you can never go wrong by doing what is right.
YOUR TURN! How have you experienced the joy that follow obedience in your own life? In what way can we show love to someone who is affected by bitterness? How can I pray for you? I love to hear from you!!
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory. Psalm 115:1
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