Reflections On The Journey
|Posted on October 24, 2022 at 8:40 AM|
Monday Meditation – Bitter or Better 10/24/2022
When was the last time you hit a rough spot in your life? You know what I am talking about – a time where you were given a poor health diagnosis, faced a rocky relationship, faced daunting difficulties in your job or something equally challenging. When these issues crop up (and they inevitably do), we have two choices we can make.
The first choice is to be bitter about it. We may feel resentment toward others who are not facing the same problem. We can be angry at those persons who seemingly caused the problem or be mad at God for letting this happen. When our thoughts turn negative we can become bitter.
It’s often slow and sneaky. Bitterness often stems from some form of hurt, offense, injustice, or disagreement. And if our emotions are not checked, they can become vicious. A root of bitterness will begin to grow. It’s human nature.
It’s probable that we all know someone who has become bitter. They may be perpetually grouchy and seemingly unable to enjoy life. Their bitterness may show in angry speech or distorted actions toward those around them.
Choosing to be or stay bitter is sinful - it’s not God’s way. The Bible shows us this:
Proverbs 10:12 tells us that “Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.” Proverbs 20:22 says: “Don’t say, ‘I will get even for this wrong.’ Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.” Hebrews 12:15 remarks: “…Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
You probably know deep down that you should avoid bitterness, and yet it can creep in easily. Maybe that’s why you’re continuing to read this blog. Bitterness is destructive and a hindrance to our spiritual growth and productivity.
I have found that when I start to feel bitter I need to let it go. It’s not easy, I know. But don’t let bitterness rob you of your joy, productivity, or love. Don’t let it steal your peace. Don’t allow it to cause you to be mean, angry, or slanderous and destroy good relationships. Our great enemy Satan comes to steal, kill, and to destroy, and one way is by encouraging bitterness.
So the better option is choose to make ourselves better.
I know that I should find something I can learn from the negative events to make things better. Did someone else commit a wrong? If so, maybe I need to let it go and forgive them. Perhaps I made a mistake. If so, I probably need to forgive myself and learn from it so I don’t do it again. Maybe I failed to fully research my project and because of that I went off in the wrong direction. If so, I need to learn from that too. Or perhaps I sinned in some way which contributed to my downfall. In that case an examination of conscience may be needed, along with a good confession. The point here is I need to examine myself and see what I can learn from the situation and what I can change in the future.
Live in the abundant life in Christ. When things don’t go the way you planned, don’t let the enemy rob you of your right to forgive. Love people deeper and dwell in peace as much as possible with others as the Bible states. Let God’s mercy flow over you and through you. Choose to be the bigger person, let go, and move on. Try to set your thoughts on things that are lovely and pure, and on things above, not on things below.
Scripture has some advice: Ephesians 4:31-32 says: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ Jesus has forgiven you.” And Romans 12:17-18 reminds us: “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
So when things don’t go the way you want them to and you are tempted to become bitter, think about how Jesus would want you to respond so that instead you can become better. Perhaps a blessing will return to you as a result.
Have a blessed Monday!
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