Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bitterness

Ungratefulness and unforgiveness create the soil from which bitterness sprouts.  When somebody does something wrong to us we want revenge. We understand innately that a wrong incurs a debt that must be paid. When we take revenge, we feel better but now the other person wants revenge, what’s to stop this from becoming an endless cycle of retribution. 

When we don’t take revenge, anger can develop into a deep sense of bitterness towards that person specifically and life in general.  We tend to not take revenge because the results are usually disastrous, but I’m obviously not arguing for revenge, so stay with me.  People tend to feel this bitterness at work because people often feel they have no recourse for revenge against a boss who does them wrong.  

 Bitterness is a self-affliction brought about by unforgiveness and it causes many problems if you let it take hold (Hebrews 12:15).  Forgiveness is the antidote to the venom of bitterness.  Forgiveness requires divine power, so you will need to ask God for this power in order to grant forgiveness.  This takes great faith since we are allowing God to deal with that wrong (Romans 12:19-21).   

When we choose to forgive, that offence will be paid for by the person him or herself in hell, or that wrong will be paid for by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  When we choose to forgive we are absolving all ability of direct revenge or harboring bitterness.  Since we tend to not take revenge we do nothing and nurture a grudge.  

 Bitterness (unforgiveness) is critically harmful to our soul and erodes our character.  At the least, unforgiveness says to a person that you are no longer choosing to conduct a relationship with them.  God critically wants you to have healthy relationships as much as it is in your power.  Unforgiveness means the person does not get a second chance with us.  The reason this erodes our character is that unforgiveness is like a toxic substance that corrodes as long as we hold on to it.   

Forgiveness also allows us to release the burden of the pain to God, otherwise we hold on to the pain of the offence and it has to opportunity to hurt us over and over.  Forgiveness of others; therefore, is vital to your soul.  Otherwise you will waste away into one more of those bitter adults.