As I shared in the previous post, Bound by Bitterness?, bitterness is something which can plaque us at any time. Still not sure if you are bitter or not? There are six things bitter people do. Some may do a few. Some do all. Read through the list and see if any of these things may describe you and begin the process of ridding yourself of your bitterness.
Justify their bitterness.
Justify means show or prove to be right or reasonable. When we have been done wrong, we tend to share our story to make sure we are heard. Some express their frustrations but bitter people explode it.
You want to be understood. You share your story every time you get a chance. You share your story of woe and your learn people are willing to express their empathy. Yet, you enjoy their sympathy.
You explain your actions. Justify your overreactions. You explain your shortcomings justifying because of the way you were treated. You have every right to be the way you are but do you really want to remain this way?
Become overly critical.
You go to churches and criticized everything. Sheep bites hurt. Your critical opinions are on display in the break room. You make known your dissatisfaction with your work place, your church, your family, and your friends. The simpliest things are magnified and many times blown out of proportion so you can justify your reactions to what you are critical. Everything is wrong and no one can do it like you can.
In fact, if you were in charge or if you had your way, things would be different. Your way is the best way and everyone else’s way does not come up to the line you have. You have every right to be the way you are but do you really want to remain this way?
Secretly celebrate misfortunes.
News travels fast today due to social media. Because we live in a society in which we think it is fine to broadcast our minute by minute actions causes those who are bitter to them have a front row seat to their drama.
“Did you see on Facebook that . . .”
Did you see on Instagram that . . .”
“Did you see on Snapchat that . . .”
If it is not social media, it is the local gossiper. Sharing to you the person’s misfortunes and mishaps. You celebrate. Not publicly but you relish they are getting their due. They are getting what they deserve. You throw your own party with an attendance of one secretly celebrating their misfortunes. You have every right to be the way you are but do you really want to remain this way?
Write-off Entire Groups of People.
Hurt people hurt people. It is inevitable you will get hurt. You will be pained by one or more individuals. Pain causes us to overreact in protecting ourselves from being hurt again. We protect ourselves by writing-off entire groups of people in order for us to never get hurt again.
We write-off churches. We write-off businesses. We write-off our families. You avoid anything and everything which could cause the hurt to never happen again. You have every right to be the way you are but do you really want to remain this way?
Struggle to See Bitterness in the Mirror.
You believe your bitterness is invisible. You think no one sees you but all of your business is out there. Sadly, everyone see it but you. People ask about the person who hurt you and you change the subject. You avoid even mentioning the name. You have deleted any and all things related to that person.
You are asked how you are coping and you get tense. You are bitter. You don’t see it because it is personally hard to identify but everyone else can see it. You have every right to be the way you are but do you really want to remain this way?
With whom or at what are you bitter? A parent? A mother? A father? Their actions? The manager, supervisor or business which let you down? A church? A pastor? An ex-spouse? An ex-friend?
How do you kill the root of bitterness? You pull the roots up and kill them with forgiveness. I know. Forgiveness is hard. . . really hard. Forgiveness is not fair. It doesn’t add up. Yet, in God’s economy it adds up to most importantly to benefit you.
Don’t forgive today.
That is right. Forget about forgiving. Yet, try to forgive. Simply, try. Tell God how you don’t want to forgive but today you are going to try. Ask him for help. Let him know you need him to help you forgive. Give up on forgiving and let today be the day you simply try.