This last week of the Spring Cleaning series is about bitterness. I didn’t realize when I planned the series a couple of months ago that bitterness is the area I still struggle with the most. Perhaps by putting it last, I keep the door open for myself to continue to release bitterness and step into a healthier life.
Bitterness is one of the hardest things to clean out of our lives because there is entitlement attached to it. When we are bitter, we often feel justified because somebody did something or said something to elicit it from us. After all, we’re pretty nice people, right? If we are bitter, it’s because someone else did us wrong. That’s the lie we tell ourselves anyway.
Even nice people struggle with letting go. That’s what bitterness is, a letting-go issue. We harbor it and tend it, which makes it grow. As it grows, it becomes more powerful in our lives. Before we know it, we are stuck with a big, fat, bitter mess.
There are a couple of circumstances in my life that have been fertile ground for bitter, resentful feelings over the years. Only after acknowledging these feelings as a problem was I able to begin moving into the spring cleaning phase with them.
Things bothered me before without examination. I let them live like a splinter under the skin of my soul, accepting them as part of who I was. In time, I realized I didn’t like myself when I felt this way. Recognizing and acknowledging these feelings was the first step in releasing them.
CONFRONT OR RELEASE
The next part of the process meant deciding if I was going to confront the person causing my feelings of bitterness or simply release it into God’s hands. After asking my husband for his advice and praying about it, I decided that it would be best to release it. I am not against confrontation, but in this case, it would have done little good and likely caused undue strife.
Frankly, I am still in the midst of this endeavor. I am doing better, but I haven’t totally released my bitterness about a particular situation. God is meeting me and giving me grace on the journey. Each time something arises that makes me feel resentful, I stop and turn it over to God. Bitterness isn’t born overnight and it won’t die overnight either. It’s a process.
…be sure you want to open that door before you open your mouth.
You may decide that approaching someone about your resentment is best. And it may be. Just pray and weigh the cost in doing so. You can’t unsay what you’ve said, so be sure you want to open that door before you open your mouth. I realized that my bitterness was partly my own fault for not making better choices in the past, so I couldn’t lay the blame entirely on someone else. This is why I chose releasing instead of confronting.
BENEFITS OF BUSTING BITTERNESS
Time and energy are precious. One of the benefits of clearing bitterness away is that we can recuperate time and energy otherwise wasted on being bitter. Besides feeling more peaceful, we will have more emotional resources to spend on what’s positive.
As a Christian, I want my life to be an example of love and grace. When I drag around bitterness and resentment, I’m hindered. Jesus died to set me free from my sin, including the sin of harboring resentment. To hoard bitterness is to reject the full redeeming power of God’s love. I have to let it go in order to fully embrace God.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled…
May your heart find peace as you seek God’s help in addressing bitterness in your life. It’s a process and with His help, we can get rid of it and live a better life.
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Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.