Had a bad day lately?
Here’s what I learned in a very short amount of time (as in minutes)!
I let bitterness seep in.
When I did that, all sorts of hell broke loose. I started getting frustrated with every situation that had come my way in the recent weeks (and some snuck in from way back in the day)!
It took just a small drop of negativity to trickle in and tarnish every corner of my being. It snuck in through a smallish crack I didn’t even realize was there. It must have been sitting there on the precipice, just waiting for a sliver of a chance to take hold.
And it did.
One minute, I’m having a great time with my family and then this frustration, this hurt, this hard…it slid down into my heart and took hold.
I was suddenly feeling all the feels! Sadness, hurt, disappointment, frustration, resentment, bitterness, anger – oh the anger!!!
In an effort to be authentic here – self- righteousness – yep, I felt that too.
After all, I’d been the one slighted here! I’m the one suffering because of this other person. She’s all good! I’m the one left to hurt (not only me but I was also angry for my loved ones as well)!
I just got tired of being okay with it, with just accepting what I have to accept. I wanted to lash out and put her in her place.
I wanted to hurt her, the way she hurts others.
…it makes me sad too.
That’s the thing about bitterness. It takes only a wee snippet of it to spread through you like a wildfire. It took root immediately and morphed itself into all the other negative emotions.
It took over before I even realized what had happened!
I don’t like that feeling! I don’t enjoy allowing someone else having that kind of effect on me. I especially don’t like grieving the Holy Spirit!
This all happened in about a twenty-minute time frame. I am thankful God doesn’t allow me to wallow in my sin. I’m thankful He loves me enough to show me what’s happened and get back where I needed to be.
He didn’t leave me there in my sin.
Am I still tired of the situation? Do I wish I had some control over it? Do I want the other person to do the right thing in this situation?
Yes! Yes, to all of it.
However, I know I control nothing! Best I can tell, that’s a good thing!
The situation is not likely going to change anytime soon. I have to continue to be patient.
She is not likely to change soon either – I will continue to pray for her heart and mine concerning her.
Bitterness is nasty. It looks ugly on you too. It causes wrinkles (okay, that’s not a scientific fact, but I think it does)!
I went from my usual happy face to a grump with a furrowed brow and downcast mouth in a matter of minutes.
I literally felt the hardness the ugly thoughts were creating both inside and outside.
I’m thankful I recognized it, called it what it was,(sin) took a deep breath and got rid of it before it ruined our evening (and frankly probably days or weeks)!
Has bitterness gotten a hold on you? Are you unforgiving? Are you refusing to offer mercy and grace? Are you standing proudly in your self righteousness?
You can be free of the chains that bind you! Recognize what’s happened, and ask for forgiveness. Stop looking at the other person as the guilty party and address your sin.
Jesus died on the cross and rose again three days later for sinners just like you and me (and the people who hurt us)!
There will always be disappointments and people who are hard-hearted – just make sure you aren’t one of them.
“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.