Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bitterness - Pulling it out by the roots

Bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.

Bitterness is a frozen form of anger and resentment.

Bitterness grows out of our refusal to let go when someone or something is taken from us.

Bitterness is being constantly hurt by a memory and is holding onto a hurt until it has a hold on you.

My motto is "You can get bitter or you can get better".

When you are offended or disappointed by others and allow the hurt to germinate in your heart, bitterness and resentment will take root.

Hebrews 12:15 (contemporary English version) says, "Make sure that no one misses out on God's wonderful kindness. Don't let anyone become bitter and cause trouble for the rest of you."

I confess that sometimes I have to work at not feeling bitter. The days that I am selfish and only worry about myself are the times I can always find something to be bitter about. As far as I can tell, there is nothing good about being bitter.

Bitter as a taste is not a good thing. It's not anyone's preferred taste. Any time we use bitter as an adjective, i.e. bitter pill to swallow, bitter loss, bitter failure, bitter enemy, it's a negative thing. I don't think there's anything positive that comes from bitterness.

The good news is that it starts as a seed. A seed of a thought, a seed of hurt, a seed of loss. I know when it's there. It's as though I can actually feel it being planted. What happens from there is my choice. Do I water it with resentment or replaying old wounds? Do I fertilize it with feelings that I deserve to be angry or didn't deserve to be hurt? Do I watch it grow as I replay old hurts over and over in my head?

How do I get rid of bitterness? For me, the best thing to pull bitterness out by the roots is praise and gratitude. How can I feel hurt when I focus on how much I am loved by God? How can I think that I deserve to hold onto bitterness when I focus on all that Christ gave up for me? How can I feel sorry for myself when I realize how precious I am to my heavenly Father?

I have to weed it out by the roots. I can't cut it off and just hope it doesn't grow back. I can't remove some of it and hope the rest won't regrow. I have to tear it out before it burrows into my heart and suffocates my joy.

Today I am doing some weeding. And writing it out makes it easier to see the bitterness for what it is.

oh, and for the record, bitterness is just not very pretty...

1 comment:

Jinglebob said...

Great post!

About Me

My photo
Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.