Living in Bitterness

I have a friend who’s going through some incredible bitterness. It’s hurting him deeply, and it’s keeping him from experiencing the joys of life.

Why does bitterness affect us the way it does?

First, bitterness keeps you from experiencing the joy of life. You simple can’t be filled with bitterness and filled with joy at the same time. Those two experiences are incompatible. If you’re going through bitterness, you aren’t experiencing the joy God wants you to have.

Second, bitterness keeps you from living a life of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of the reparative choices in life. Give thanks and you’re going to look at life differently; give thanks and you’re going to find healing in your soul.

Bitterness keeps you from counting your blessings and thinking of the good things of God. Anyway you look at it, that’s bad.

Third, bitterness keeps you constantly living in the past. My friend is dealing with experiences that occurred a lifetime ago. He’s not solving present problems because he’s still trying to solve past problems.

Jesus talked about the importance of not worrying about tomorrow. He said today has enough problems of its own Matthew 6:34). If that’s true about worry, it’s certainly true about bitterness as well. Each day will have enough sadness and hurt of its own. There’s no reason to add to today’s sorrow by piling on hurts that come from a lifetime away.

Today is probably going to have as much difficulty as you can handle. Why would you make it more difficult than it already is?

How do you overcome your bitterness?

Ask God to help you get rid of the bitterness in your heart. Pledge to Him your desire to live for today and get rid of your bitterness. Find a real friend to share your hurts. Look for every opportunity to be thankful. Practice thanking God for every little thing that blesses your life.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” — Mark 9:35 (NIV)