Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bitterness Can Destroy Us

Chuckle: "The odds of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on the floor are directly correlated to the newness, color, and cost of the carpet!!"
Quote: "Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it. Bitterness paralyzes life; love empowers it. Bitterness sours life; love heals it. Bitterness blinds life; love anoints its eye." --Harry Emerson Fosdick
    "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no root of bitterness grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Hebrews 12:15 NIV).
Have you noticed that some people just seem to be angry and bitter by nature? When we see folks in that state of mind, we would do well to consider what may have caused them to be that way. Also, each of us would do well to determine, with God's help, that we will not allow ourselves to become bitter.
Bitterness has a way of destroying our happiness and our appeal to others. The reasons for bitterness are sometimes difficult to identify and even more difficult to root out. It might be the result of abuse and other deep hurts received as a child -- hurts that seem impossible to forget. It might result from hurtful and demeaning remarks from a family member, friend, or coworker. It might come from being cheated or defrauded in some way. It can come from a sense of being treated unjustly.
Often the person who hurt you in some way is unaware of the extent of your bitterness. If not dealt with in a godly way, time, rather than diminishing the hurt, seems to sharpen the pain and drive the bitterness even deeper into your soul, causing it to fester and grow and take control of your life. It will cause you to be a pessimist rather than an optimist. It will cause you to see the glass as half empty rather than half full. It will adversely impact your attitude about everything.
Once bitterness reaches a certain level, it becomes easier to justify. You feel so justified in your feelings of anger, hurt, and disappointment that you even become comfortable with those feelings. You become suspicious of the motives of others and read something sinister into everything they do and say in order to feed your feelings of bitterness and self-pity. This type of bitterness can cause people to go for years without speaking or interacting with one another. It can destroy family relationships and even fellowship between church members.
If you are harboring bitterness toward someone, please remember it has the potential to destroy you -- your happiness, your influence, and your usefulness to your Lord. Such feelings toward others can interfere with your ability to worship our Lord in a way acceptable to Him. But the good news is that your anger and bitterness are not outside the reach of God's grace, healing, and forgiveness. I like these words by Henry Blackaby:
"When you allow bitterness to grow in your life, you reject the grace of God that can free you. If you are honest before God, you will admit the bitterness and allow God to forgive you (and heal you). Bitterness enslaves you, but God is prepared to remove your bitterness and replace it with his peace and joy."

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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