Thursday, September 24, 2009

Surviving the storm of bitterness and resentment

I'm going to stray from my blessings blog for one day. I'm not going to rant and rave though about things that bug me. I'm going to write about something that I've really been learning over the last few months and I hope that maybe others can benefit from what I've learned.
I heard a pastor speak about this so I'm going to use a lot of his words and interject some of my own too.

Life isn't fair. People that you are the closest too are often the ones that hurt you the most. I was recently hurt deeply by someone that I called my best friend. I realized today that I've been holding on to bitterness and resentment towards her for nearly 5 months. Having feelings of bitterness and resentment are not herfault. They are my own. Yes, I was mistreated and talked about, but I have chosen to have feelings of bitterness and resentment.

There can be many causes to the bitterness and resentment that we hold towards other people. Some of which are: 1) What people say about us and 2) What people do to us. Job is the PERFECT example!

There are many consequences to harboring bitterness and resentment towards another person. Some of which are: 1) Resentment is UNREASONABLE. Job 5:2 says "resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple." 2) Resentment is UNHELPFUL. Job 18:4 says, "YOU tear YOURSELF to pieces in your anger." Nowhere does that verse talk about the other person. I've realized that my resentment has caused issues in my life while this other person has gone on with hers. I am only causing myself harm by harboring resentment and bitterness. And 3) Resentment is UNHEALTHY. Job 21:23-25 says "One man dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease, his body well nourished, his bones rich with marrow. Another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good." WOW! I want to be the first of those two people. The one that lives to a ripe old age and has a happy and fulfilled life. I DO NOT want to be the 2nd of those two people. The one that has hatred and bitterness in their soul that ends up never being able to enjoy the good things in life. You only hurt yourself by being bitter towards another person. Studies have shown that a bitter spirit can create many health, emotional, and mental issue within a person's body.

THE GOOD NEWS IS...there are quite a few cures for bitterness and resentment also!! Some of which are: 1) Reveal your feelings. Talking to a trusted friend or even God is a good way to get your feelings out. 2) Release the offender. You'll never stop hurting until you learn to forgive. Forgiveness isn't saying that what the other person did was okay. The way that I was treated was not okay. However, there is still room for forgiveness. I need to let go of my desire to get justice or to make her person pay. I've come to realize that even though I may think that what I'm doing to get back at her is RIGHT, it isn't if it's causing pain, stress, or anxiety in my life. I need to let go of the strong hold that is in my life of unforgiveness towards her. I need to pray for her! Job's misery ended when he started to pray for his enemy. And 3) Refocus your heart. Changing your focus can do wonders. You can't always resist a feeling, but you can always replace that feeling.

I don't want to retire from life due to my bitterness and resentment. I don't want to miss out. I don't want my entire life consumed by getting back at her. Life is way too precious and way too short to worry about other people that have harmed you in some way. Forgive that person and let go of it! Trust God to help you give it up. Listen to Jesus' words in Luke 6:27-28, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."


  1. Wow Joc, that is awesome! Really good reminder of what not forgiving can do. Really good word! Thanks for being so transparent! It's funny, my bible study talked about that this week on our homework and it was so good! Love you friend!

  2. Very good word. Encouraging, uplifting, and honest. Love that. That phrase "retire from life" hit home. Thank you for sharing.