Friday, July 3, 2009

The bondage of bitterness

Originally posted July 15, 2008:

Yesterday I shared a little of my own journey in discovering and dealing with the bitterness that has taken residence in my heart.

How can you tell if you harbor bitterness? Here's a simple test you can take. Ask yourself these questions:

"Is there someone who, when I think of them, I feel hurt and wish revenge?

Is there someone who, every time I see the person or think of the person, a sharp pang of resentment flares up as I perceive how they have done me wrong?"

Now don't just keep reading. Stop and really ponder these questions.

Is there is anyone in your life (or past) who still brings hurt to your heart?

If you are like me, and you take some time to really dig deep, you just may find there is a bit of bitterness lodged in your heart with regard to that person(s). You may also discover that you've been pretty good at covering it up. I've learned that bitterness lies just beneath the surface....just like roots. You can't see them, but they are there. And man can they be powerful!

Ephesians 4 has been a guide for me during this process of discovering and dealing with bitterness. Verse 31 says to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander.

Do you see the command there? Get rid of.....

To get rid of we need to dig out the bitter root. We need to recognize if we have bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander. We need to confess it.

After weeks of reading about bitterness and resentment and praying about it and talking about it, I finally got down to the business of confessing it. There is freedom in saying out loud, "Lord, I confess I have bitterness toward _____ for _____."

I know that people live in bondage to a lot of things: alcoholism, drugs, pornography, greed, depression, anxiety and eating disorders. But it didn't dawn on me that I was living in bondage too.

Remember that bitterness toward another person affects you more than them. While you might view your anger as justified and your hurt and resentment as your way of hurting the one who hurt you, bitterness will ultimately harden your heart and affect your relationships.

When I read that I could be free of the bondage of bitterness I almost cried for joy. Dear friends, lets claim the beautiful truth that Christ has come to set us free....lets walk in freedom together.

1 comment:

Amber said...

beautiful post thanks for sharing