Human beings are capable of many emotions. But there are two emotions that are especially strong and significant. One is healthy and good. The other is extremely dangerous.
Those two emotions are Bitterness and Love.
I hope you know what it means to truly love someone. To give of yourself to another without expecting anything in return. This is the type of agape love which God has for us. It’s an expressive love with demonstrates it’s commitment. It’s active and living and it’s more than just a feeling.
But then there’s bitterness. Bitterness is what grows in a persons heart when forgiveness is abandoned and left unchecked. Bitterness is what’s left after you’ve been hurt and betrayed and there seems to be no solution in sight. Bitterness will destroy you from the inside out.
Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
Many times bitterness is the result of unresolved anger. We could be angry with God, with ourselves, or with others. Anger that is not dealt with can easily become a dangerous bitter root in our hearts. We must be honest with ourselves when we are angry and pray asking the Lord for strength. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, we can have insight into the reasons we are angry and how to deal with them.
But this must be understood: Bitterness and Love cannot live together in the same heart. Each day, we must decide which one gets to stay. Each day we must decide whether we’re going to be bitter or better. Because it’s not about what happens to us that matters. It’s about what happens in us that counts.
Forgiveness is a something we must do for ourselves. Forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It’s about us releasing our resentment to God and allowing Him to deal with it. Forgiveness isn’t even about fairness. In fact, if you wait for everything to be fair before you forgive then you’ll never forgive.
Forgiven people, forgive people.
If you don’t learn how to forgive then a root of bitterness will begin to grow in your own heart and it will ultimately destroy your peace, contentment and happiness.
Jesus told us that if we refuse to forgive others that our Heavenly Father will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15).
Each day we have a decision to make. We either live our lives through love or bitterness. But we can’t do both. Because bitterness and love cannot live together in the same heart. And every day we must decide which one gets to stay.
Don’t let bitterness destroy you on the inside. Choose to be better instead of bitter.