Overcoming Bitterness

Bitterness is one of those things that I haven’t wholly overcome, but I’m at the point where it’s healthy and helpful to clean out the festering pockets of infection and allow it to heal.

I’m not really sure where bitterness comes from exactly, but if I had to guess, I would say it’s like a small cut that gets infected. If your body is healthy and working properly, it’s no big deal to fight off a small infection. But if you’re sick at all, or the germs are particularly active and you forget to wash it off… bad things can happen.

My bitterness usually stems from envy. It’s often relationship envy. What’s a bit ironic is it’s never been my relationship with Chris; just everyone else. I’m jealous of my friends being closer friends with others or drawing away from me. I’m jealous of people who have different relationships with their families than I do with my family. I’m jealous of the “in groups” at work and church, I’m jealous of people’s abilities to have close groups of friends, I’m jealous of people having family to spend time with where I live, and I’m jealous of people being able to not care about the stupid things I’m hung up on.

And that’s just the relationship category. It touches nothing of my envy of other people’s life events timelines/possessions/social savvy. It’s a bit obsessive really, but it can really throw me off.

I get upset because I’m hurting.

When I’m hurting, I usually fail to appropriately express it.

When I do express it, I’m usually hurt because people do not respond with the kind of compassion I’d like them to; with the compassion and love that only God can offer.

The truth is, I am a mess.

The truth is, I will never overcome bitterness on my own.

But… the truth also is:

“No love is higher, no love is wider
No love is deeper, no love is truer
No love is higher, no love is wider
No love is like Your love, oh Lord”

This morning at church, we talked about a need for a revival of the church (in fact, the above lyrics came from the 1904 Welsh Revival). What I felt in myself was a need for revival in my own life; I wanted a change to discard my cynicism and bitterness. In all my life, God has broken my bitterness about things and replaced them with His joy, only when I was ready to let go and acknowledge Him. I could be at the crest of something beautiful, if only I accept His love.

Traditional Welsh and English version of “Here is Love Vast as the Ocean”:

Modern worship version (Matt Redman’s version was just a tad too fast-paced for me after hearing the traditional):

Pray for revival. Pray for people to experience God’s love and be moved toward Him.


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