Originally published Monday, 25 April 2016.
If you’re reading this right now, I would gather that you either want to know how to be better and not bitter, or you want to help someone else in this case. Whatever your position, I’m glad you’re here. Because we need to have the conversation about it. And the reason being is so that healing can begin to take place. So…are you ready?
Usually, bitterness doesn’t just happen. It’s a bit of a process. It’s slow, sneaky, and it can be vicious if not checked. It often stems from some form of hurt, offense, injustice, or disagreement. And again, if these described emotions are not dealt with, then a root of bitterness will begin to grow. It’s inevitable.
But you have a choice. You can choose to be better and not bitter. I need to say that choosing to be or stay bitter is sinful. It’s true. And it’s not God’s way. But I think you know that already, and that’s why you’re here. Because you DON’T want to be bitter or you don’t want others you know to be in this place either.
So here’s how healing takes place. I’ll start with the biblical ways first and then I’ll share some practical tips on how to overcome and defeat this life-sucking, hindering spirit. Here goes…
Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ Jesus has forgiven you.”
Proverbs 20:22, “Don’t say, ‘I will get even for this wrong.’ Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.”
Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.”
Hebrews 12:15, “…Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
Romans 12:17-18, “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
Romans 12:19-20, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back, says the Lord. Instead, ‘If you enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing so, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”
Romans 12:21, “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”
Let God’s word have weight in your life and get rid of bitterness, my sister. It’s really all about letting God work on your behalf, while also taking the action steps to responding well as a Christian woman. Trust me. The devil would LOVE for you to treat those who have hurt you angrily and against what God’s word says. But don’t give him the satisfaction.
Now here’s the practical advice that I promised…
Watch out for self-deception. Because sometimes there can be an undercurrent of bitterness whereas you think you’re not bitter, but you actually are. The acid test to see if bitterness is creeping into your heart is dependent upon how you feel when the individual comes to mind or name is mentioned. What emotions arise? Is it anger and resentment or love and forgiveness?
Personally, I know the feeling of being bitter. I know the onslaught when the enemy brings it on and I know when it’s creeping into my heart. I can sense it. I can tell by how I feel. And the Holy Spirit convicts me when it’s present. But…I wasn’t always able to recognize it.
Before I started living the Christian life according to God’s word and with conviction, I allowed bitterness to run rampant in my life. Meaning, if I was upset with someone, that individual would know it to the fullest extent! Yet, it wasn’t until I learned through good teaching and the word of God that bitterness is destructive and a hindrance to my spiritual growth and productivity. And it’s sin. So guess what? I had to let it go!
And I want to teach you to do the same thing. Let it go! Don’t let it rob you of your joy, productivity, or love. Don’t let it steal your peace. Don’t allow it to cause you to be mean, angry, or slanderous and destroy good relationships. Don’t forget, our great enemy Satan comes to steal, kill, and to destroy, but Jesus came that you would have life more abundantly.
So LIVE. Live the abundant life in Christ, my sister. Don’t let the enemy rob you of your right to forgive, love people deeper, and dwell in peace as much as possible with others as the Bible states. Instead, choose to be the bigger person, let go, and MOVE ON. Because guess what? Most likely, while you’re still angry, that individual or individuals have moved on.
With that being said, instead of waking up thinking about the offense or the person who hurt you, set your thoughts on things that are pure and lovely, and on things above, not on things on the earth as Philippians 4:8 and Colossians 3:2 states. Think about how Jesus would want you to respond.
I want to say this before I close this post. If you’re bitter right now, or if you feel it creeping up inside of you, I urge you to carve it out of your heart today. Circumcise it with God’s word and get free. Also, if you haven’t made things right with the individual who hurt you, do so. And if you have done so already, remember…let it go and move on.
It’s time to be free. Make the choice to be better, not bitter today. Do it for you and for others.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon. And those who endure unto the end, shall be saved. Let’s be ready from the Inside Out.
Question: Are you bitter right now? How is it making you feel? Write here or you can email me directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org to talk and pray about it today.
*Also, don’t forget to JOIN me for my “LIVE” call Let’s Talk on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 @ 8:30pm (CST) – Check your time zone and join me as I talk on the topic, “How to Find Balance in a Busy Season.” So jot down the number to call: 218-936-3436, FREE Access Code: 12345#, and let’s talk soon!
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