Originally posted July 16, 2008:
I heard this statistic recently: 70% of people are angry about something. As we’ve discussed this week….bitterness is the unharvested fruit of anger.
In Andy Stanley’s book "It Came From Within," Andy says that the antidote to anger is forgiveness. “Forgiveness is not a feeling; it’s a decision. Forgiveness is a way of life for the man or woman committed to keeping their hearts free of anger and bitterness. Forgiveness is the means by which we are to do away with our bitterness, rage and anger.”
Forgiveness is a tough topic.
Forgiveness requires action on our part.
Forgiveness cannot take place unless we have a genuinely repentant heart.
I so desire to immediately be rid of bitterness, anger and resentment in my heart. I want to wipe my hands and be on my way. But in my desire to deal with these emotions, I need to reconsider my motives and determine if I truly have a heart of repentance.
Wikipedia says that resentment will often manifest itself through the lack of forgiving, the unwillingness to let go and forget.
I talked with a wise older friend today and she encouraged me to look beyond the symptoms that are appearing in my life and get to the root of my bitterness….there could be issues from my childhood or my past that are causing me to respond with an attitude of bitterness and resentment. What am I unwilling to let go of and forget from my past? What hurt and pain am I clinging to?
The more time I spend reading, writing and learning about bitterness, the more I want to run in the opposite direction.
But as a woman striving to live wisely, I have no choice. Tom Drout says, “We cannot live with bitterness because it will first manifest itself in our spirit, then in our emotions, and finally in our bodies.”
If I want to build my home, build my family, build my relationships, I must deal with the issues of the heart. I must ask God to show me where I have unforgiveness lurking in dark corners. If I do not choose to forgive, I will walk in bitterness and that bitterness will affect my spouse, my family members and my relationships with those I care about.
Lets determine to be among the 30% of people who have chosen to replace their anger with forgiveness. Lets walk in the peace and freedom that comes from choosing forgiveness. It’s not a feeling. It’s a choice.
Lets choose wisely today.