How should we deal with bitterness?
By Marcia "Katie" Stowe Baker - TapWires News Service
Bitterness can destroy our lives and those we love. Here are some scriptures that might be helpful if you are dealing with bitterness in your life or these will be helpful to share with someone you know and love.
CAUTION: Much prayer is required before approaching someone who is harboring bitterness because they can sometimes turn on you! Make sure that you are hearing from the Lord ... timing is very important!
OR - you are likely to have this scripture thrown back in your face from Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV): “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
How do we know when the "time" is right? That is why prayer intervention is so important. Sometimes we must pray for a long period of time before the Lord will give us the peace that the time is "now" to speak with a loved one.
It is also important not to confuse grief with bitterness. Many times the two are linked together. Sometimes in a divorce situation, it will be just the opposite. The bitterness will turn to grief, which in turn will lead to depression. That is always the perfect time to speak lovingly to a person because at this stage they are more apt to listen because they also love and respect you.
Bitterness is one of the most difficult things in a person's life to deal with and it can destroy not only the person who is bitter but those around them as well. It can also cause physical illness.
The solution? Forgiveness. Why is this so difficult for most people? As a Christian this should be one of the most simple things for us to do, and yet, it is sometimes one of the most difficult decisions for us to make. Again ... why?
Does being angry at someone make us feel better? No!
Is it because we want to think that we were the one who was "right" in the situation and so by being angry and bitter we feel "justified" ?
Is it because if we forgive that person or act that we are admitting that possibly we did have something to do with what caused the situation in the first place?
Is it because if we forgive then that would make others think that the other person was right and we were wrong?
Whatever the reason, there is a more important reason to forgive and rid your life of bitterness than even your physical health and that is your spiritual health. The Lord tells us in His word:
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your father will not forgive your sins."
WHOA ... so there you have it! It is plain and simple. If you want to be physically whole again and if you want to have fellowship with your heavenly Father, then you must choose to do what the Lord has commanded you to do, even though in your whole being you do not wish to forgive.
So then, how do you pray and how do you forgive?
First of all, the Lord already knows the entire situation so you are not going to be telling him anything new, so just admit it to the Lord that you don't want to forgive. What? Tell God that you don't want to forgive because they hurt you so badly and you just can't forgive them?
YEP! That is exactly what you must do. Admit in your prayers to God that you don't want to forgive but then the very next step is to tell Him how much you love Him as your Father and that because you love Him and because of the sacrifices He has made for YOU, that you want to be obedient and you know you must forgive. Tell Him,
"Father, I ask you in Jesus' name to put your love in my heart and remove this bitterness from me. Put your love in my heart so that I can forgive so that I too will be forgiven. I long for fellowship with you Lord and so I choose to forgive."
The next step is one of the hardest and that is to call the person who has wronged you or to meet with them and tell them that you forgive them. Surprise! They may feel that they were the person who was wronged, but don't get into any arguments, just say "I choose to forgive you and if I have wronged you in any way, I ask your forgiveness. Please forgive me too."
Sometimes it is best to at this point just to walk away and then let the Lord deal with that person because now you have done what was expected of you so it will do no good to stay and get into an argument. Because you have prayed before going to this person, the Lord will direct you as to which step is next in the relationship.
What should you do if a person has passed away?
I have always recommended that you write that person a letter. There is something healing when you put your thoughts and feelings into words and write them on paper. Then after you have written the letter, read it aloud and say, "Father I forgive _____," and then burn the letter. You have now poured out your heart, forgiveness has been granted and the fire has purified and removed the hurts and pains so that now you can move on with your life.
I pray that these words will have helped someone today who is dealing with bitterness in their life or in the life of someone they love.
Wishing each of you a very blessed day and may His peace surround you in every way this day and every day!
Just Me ... KatiePrayer, Christianity, Forgiveness, Love, health, Health, Healing, Bitterness, Grief, Fellowship with God