Bitterness

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Can you guess what today’s sermon topic was on? πŸ˜‰ Yes, today we discuss bitterness! This is something I very much needed to hear and I am certain I’m not the only one. I believe it’s an extremely relatable topic. Again, these are my notes mixed in with outline points from a sermon series I am following. This one is part of the Soul Therapy series, if you’ve been following my other posts. Whether you have or haven’t been following, I’d encourage you to continue reading because I guarantee you it will be relevant in your life.

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In covering this topic, we’re basically going to break down that verse posted right above. First and foremost, we need to understand bitterness.

Bitterness: Deep controlling sense of anger and resentment, usually towards someone who has wronged us.

Resent is a Latin word which means to feel again.

So, we can deduce that resentment and bitterness work together in that we relive and constantly replay in our minds how people have wronged us. Bitterness and resentment, once let in, will only deepen. This is why the Bible advises us to watch out and avoid bitterness.

Bitterness poisons us, troubles us, corrupts us and plainly put, it’s a sin. Bitterness is poison to our souls; we are told this, yet we still consume it. It’s like reading a warning label on a chemical product and drinking it down anyway. Bitterness comes from being hurt by someone whether intentionally or non intentionally. Bitterness will grow and worsen and cause unhappiness. I would wager that all of you reading this know of someone in your life who lives in bitterness and they are one of the unhappiest people you know! Bitter people are constantly living in yesterday and it wrecks their today! If you reside in your past, you can’t be present in your future. You have condemned your own self to a life full of unhappiness and negativity. Sadly, bitterness doesn’t just affect us, it contaminates everyone around us and corrupts many. If we allow bitterness to reside in our lives, it will change how we interact with everyone in life. It compromises all of our current relationships/friendships and future ones as well.

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Bitterness is a sin and it can hold many captive. You can see when people are bitter; it’s evident in the way they relate to others, in how they speak, how they treat others and just how the live in general. Any sin will destroy you and bitterness is no exception. It will put a wedge between not only you and God, but between you and everyone else in life.

So, how do we get beyond the bitterness?

We confront it, we repent, we accept God’s sovereignty and we release ourselves! We confront bitterness by admitting we’ve been hurt/offended by someone and that we’re angry and resentful about it. We have to be honest with ourselves and quit trying to deceive ourselves. We will never be able to correct what we are unwilling to confront and this is why we must deal honestly with our feelings. Once we openly deal with our feelings, we can turn from our old ways of bitterness and turn to God for help!

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Are we obligated to talk to or confront the person or persons who have hurt us? Not always, but we should be asking the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us to where we should go and how we should deal with our bitterness. We may not always be led to confront or talk to the person or persons, but we should forgive them and move on. This is something I have personally dealt with and blogged about before. The hate, anger, resentment and bitterness will eat you alive. I often quote that meme we have all seen at least once, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” You’re the one dying a little every day while the person or persons you’re bitter towards are clueless; they don’t care and they’re free to live life while you have made yourself a prisoner in your own mind. Don’t give others that control over you, they don’t deserve it. I personally DID contact someone whom I was angry and resentful towards. I didn’t necessarily want to, but felt led to. I wasn’t looking to rekindle any friendship nor did I want to let this person back into my life, I just wanted to openly acknowledge how this person treated me and tell said person how despite all the negative they caused me, I forgive them. I’m not going to lie, it was HARD. It was so difficult, especially when I had been carrying this baggage around for years! There were many other things I would have loved to say as well, but the Holy Spirit kept me out of trouble and gave me the courage and strength to extend forgiveness. Now forgiveness doesn’t mean amnesia. We don’t have to forget to forgive and we don’t have to let the person or persons back into our lives. God allows things to happen in our lives for a purpose. He has a reason for every event, big or small. Most of the time we won’t understand why things have happened to us or are happening to us, but we can rest assured that God knows what is best for our lives and He is for us and never against us! We have all been hurt/offended by someone at some time in our lives; this is a part of life. Sometimes bad things happen to the best people, but we cannot let ourselves become bitter…we must get better!

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God elevated Joseph because despite how badly his brothers treated him and how cruel they were to him, Joseph refused bitterness. They intended to harm him but Joseph knew God had more in store for his life. Joseph knew God had a purpose for his life and a purpose for his pain. Another thing I say often is that all of the things we go through in life, especially the bad, equips us to help others. Our difficult times are giving us the gift to reach others and save them when their time comes. We go through the dark to become the light in someone else’s darkness. This is the basis of my blog! I have started it with the intention to use my struggles and pains to help as many people as I can! That’s the beauty of our pain! We can allow it to cause bitterness or we can allow it to cause betterness. 😜

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We must trust God and His plans for our lives, even when we don’t see the full picture. He has our best interest at heart. Don’t waste your pain and disappointment; let God heal you and direct you and keep serving Him. Release yourself from the spiritual and emotional prison you have put yourself in!

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One of the toughest parts of getting beyond bitterness will be forgiving the person or persons that hurt you, trust me I KNOW! In forgiving them, whether they are aware of the forgiveness or not, you will release yourself from the weight of the bitterness you have been carrying! Trust me, TRUST ME when I say I still struggle with bitterness trying to creep its way back into my heart, soul and mind…but we have to let it go and leave it in the past. Don’t let anyone’s actions rob you of your joy and peace or ruin your relationships with other people in life. Don’t give those people any more power to hurt you and don’t give them the power to control your thoughts. Bitterness is not winning. Those people will never care that you are living with bitterness, they’ll be living free while you’re holding yourself captive. Free yourself, then you’ll win! β€πŸ™Œ

I pray anyone reading this today will find the courage and strength to let the Holy Spirit guide them in ridding their lives of bitterness. It will be hard, but in the end it will be very much worth it! You’ll feel a weight has been lifted and you can not only breathe again, but LIVE again!

Much Love and God Bless! ❀

P.s. We often forget how many times God has forgiven us and how forgiven we are. We shouldn’t let bitterness keep us from extending forgiveness to others because we are constantly extended forgiveness ourselves.

Forgiveness

I’m certain that almost everyone, at one point or another, has struggled with my next chosen blog subject…

FORGIVENESS.

There are circumstances which can be easy to forgive, but then there are those very tough times that you almost have to force it out of yourself. Why can it be so easy and freely given on one hand and then completely the opposite on the other? Easy, there are some actions that are either done to us or someone close to us that just seem inexcusable. There are hateful words spewed about us or people we are close to that will never be forgotten. So what is forgiveness really? Does forgiveness mean we just accept the behavior and forget everything that was ever done or said and pretend none of it ever happened? My answer, no. To me forgiveness does not obligate you to forget anything and it most certainly doesn’t excuse a thing. I would never want forgiveness to be viewed as something that enables others to continue with their horrendous behavior. We can be the bigger person and choose to forgive, not only for the other person but even for ourselves. Carrying around hatred, resentment, hurt, sadness and all the other emotions towards a specific person(s), on a daily basis for extended periods of times, it can be draining emotionally and physically. It can alter your life in ways you may not even recognize. Sadly, in us holding on, it usually only affects us the most. Most of the time this other person who wronged you is out there able to live day-to-day without a second thought and you’re stuck here day today reliving the past and holding on to all those strong emotions. It reminds me of the quote I come across often, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” How true that is to me. Why give someone the power to continue hurting you every single day? There are some people who wrong us and show honest remorse, then there are many others who could not care less about how they have wronged you. They believe you should just accept who they are and get over it. Usually those are the individuals who have been enabled most of their lives; excuses made for their repetitive disrespectful, hateful, ignorant and disgusting behavior. These can be the hardest people to forgive, as they truly see themselves as a constant “victim” instead of owning their own actions. They tend to speak on the effect of their actions and conveniently leave out the CAUSE. Often they place the blame everywhere else except where it should be placed.

So does forgiving a person mean you have to forget how they’ve acted towards you and treated you? Does it mean you have to let repeat offenders back in your life? My answer, no and no. None of us are perfect or without fault. Our job is not to judge each other but help each other out. Forgiveness is something we should give freely because it was freely given to ALL of us…but that’s not to say we have to constantly take and accept the same abuse. You will always remember the words or actions, that’s pretty much inevitable, but it shouldn’t be something you let control how YOU feel as a person. Forgiveness can be very freeing and you can give it without letting the toxic people back into your life. If someone demonstrates an unhealthy pattern in the way they treat you, you are in no way obligated to allow that person access to your life. They show you on a consistent basis how they prioritize not only your feelings but others as well. Forgiveness can still be given without giving this person or persons a key to your life. This should not make you feel guilty in the least because you are looking out not only for your well-being but the well-being of your family as well.

Even the silent forgiveness can be a battle. You want to forgive someone in your heart,Β  but you just can’t seem to tell yourself that you forgive them. Truthfully I have struggled with forgiving certain people, as you could probably conclude from other blog posts of mine, but when I had finally forgiven after YEARS of holding on, it was like getting a breath in after being held under water. Some people I made aware I forgave them and others I have silently forgiven, but in both circumstances there are individuals I have not let back into my life and it was for the best. If these people don’t bring positivity to your life and help you grow as a person, what is their purpose? Why give them the honor and privilege of participating in and benefiting from your life?

I pray that anyone struggling with forgiveness finds a way to make it work for them. If you can’t bring yourself to do it for the individual(s) who have mistreated you, do it for yourself. Choose to improve your emotional and physical health and allow yourself to heal. Allow yourself to stop living in the past so you can be happy and fulfilled in the present. Don’t give those people any more power over you or your life. Forgiveness is something we have all needed extended to us at some point, but the important part is that the forgiveness is not taken for granted; you learn from it and show that by your actions and the way you continue living. It’s reminds me of what my husband tells our kids about saying sorry. What does sorry mean? Sorry means you feel bad for what you did and (the most important part) you won’t do it again. Someone who is honestly sorry and remorseful will show you by not repeating their negative actions. They will be sorry on their own, not solely for being called out for what they have said or done. They will allow you all the time and space you need; days, weeks, months and even years. They will know they have done wrong and caused pain and they will maturely accept the consequences of their actions. They won’t feel entitled to your forgiveness, they’ll feel blessed and honored you even chose to forgive them. It’s very easy, especially during this point, to tell a toxic person from a non-toxic person. A regretful person from a non-regretful person. While both types of people should be extended forgiveness, both are not owed a permanent residence in your life. I pray God guides you in your decisions and your forgiveness process.

With all of this said, NEVER cease praying for anyone, toxic or non.

Much love and God Bless. β€πŸ™

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