But, What Do I Do With the Bitterness?

There is an old saying, “You either get better, or you get bitter.”  And, there is some truth in that.  But, to some degree we all deal with feelings of bitterness.  Bitterness comes from being wronged, being defiled, being defamed, being rejected, and from numerous other sources.  While we attempt to avoid being in those situations, they will come our way sooner or later.

Bitterness can last a long time.  It may go underground for awhile and then resurface at the least provocation.  It may stay hidden from view, but still eats away at us from the inside.

Now we need note there is some distinction between bitterness and holding a grudge, although they are close cousins.  We seldom hold a grudge against a non-person, but we can harbor bitterness from any situation, whether a person is involved or not.  A grudge is associated with an unresolved grievance, whereas bitterness is more of an emotional state that may grow or shrink with each situation we face.

Bitterness can grow with age.  We are bitter at not having achieved the goals we set when we were younger.  We are bitter because our health issues are growing.  We are bitter because we cannot do the same things we once did.  We are bitter because we have lost so many loved ones and friends to disease or death.  The list is quite long…

But, the real question is what do I do with it?

Well, we can keep it.  After all, bitterness, while hated, can become a familiar and welcomed friend.  We grumble, complain, and voice our bitterness, and for at least a moment, feel good about doing so.  Unfortunately, individuals infected with bitterness can do little to help anyone else, which is easy to understand as they are spending full-time worrying about their own woes to be concerned with anyone else’s.

No, keeping it is not the answer.  Well, maybe we can just forget about it.  Sounds like a good answer, and would be if it really worked.  I’m afraid, however, forgetting about it may not offer a permanent solution.

There is really only one answer here that continues to work and do the most good – give it to Jesus.  That’s right, lay it right at the feet of Jesus, and leave it there.  Then once we have dealt with our own bitterness we are then in the proper frame to help others.

Is it a one-time thing?  No, we often have to bring things to Jesus.  But, isn’t that being weak, if I have to always call on Jesus for help and can’t fix it myself?  No, it’s a sign of strength and maturity.  Who best to straighten out our difficulties and mental state than the one who designed it to begin with.  King David was one of the most fierce fighters of all time, never having lost a battle, yet he called on the Lord for help on a daily basis.

So, what do you want to do?  Do you want to hold onto your bitterness, or are you ready to let it go?

One Response to “But, What Do I Do With the Bitterness?”

  1. Bea McGuire Says:

    Such a much needed blog! I am thankful that in my own life I learned how to let bitterness go. It took years I might add but I think I finally realized that it can take hold even when we aren’t aware. How I wish I had learned this lesson years back! It is easy for me to recognize the “signs” in others now because I’ve been there….done that! Thanks for such an inspirational blog. As always…….

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