Imagine a pitchman promoting their product like this:
“Can I interest you in something that never offers a moment of happiness, prevents you from moving forward in your life, poisons all of your relationships and always causes internal pain?” “Ummmm . . . NO THANKS!”, you’d respond.
No one would knowingly choose any of those things. Right?
But you and I occasionally purchase this horrible product and have these tragic results in our lives. The seduction of bitterness can be strong. Sadly, the ministry is FULL of hurting people who have chosen the prickly path of bitterness. Your dreams are forfeited as long as bitterness occupies your heart.
Here are 6 things you can do to kick bitterness to the curb:
- Express gratitude to someone regularly. Gratitude and bitterness can’t co-exist.
- Confront the person or situation causing your bitterness. (WARNING: Use good judgement. Sometimes this pours gasoline on a fire.)
- Pray for the person or situation causing your bitterness.
- Control what/who you think about. As adults we can do this. Focus on productive and positive things.
- Surround yourself with people who are not bitter. Bitter people gravitate toward other bitter people.
- Confess your struggle with bitterness to someone else and invite them to hold you accountable in overcoming it.
As you know, at times life can be so hard. It might be helpful to pray this prayer by Chuck Swindoll:
Our Father, as we acknowledge Your Son as Lord over all, it is with a sigh, because we cannot deny the pain or ignore the difficulty of earthly trials. For some people the reality of this is borderline unbearable. But being sovereign and being the One with full capacity to handle our needs, You are strong enough to carry our burdens and, in return, to give us the perspective we need.
Quiet our spirits. Give us a sense of relief as we face the inevitable facts that life is difficult and that there will be those moments when life will not be at all fair. Erase any hint of bitterness. Enable us to see beyond the present, to focus on the invisible, and to recognize that You are always with us. Remind us, too, that Your ways are higher and far more profound than ours.
Thank You for the joy of this day. Thank You for the pleasure of a relationship with You and with a few good, caring, loving friends. And especially, Father, thank You for the truth of Your Word that lives and abides forever.
In the strong name of Him who is higher, Jesus the Lord, we pray. Amen.