Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. — Ephesians 4:31-32
For most of this week we will look at attitudes we might have on our plates. Bitterness. Pride. Apathy. Fear. Self-Pity. Until we stop and take an inventory like we are doing this Lent, we do not always realize those things are there.
Today we look at bitterness. Joanna Weaver says, “Bitterness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” You may get angry when someone hurts you or when you do not get your way. Bitterness happens when anger takes residence. Hebrews 12:15 warns, “See to it…that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble.” Do you know any bitter people? The thing that hurt them got so big in their lives that it became part of their personality. It is isolating—who wants to spend time with people who spew hatred and resentment all the time?
So today, take an inventory. Are you harboring bitterness against anyone? Have you forgiven those who hurt you? Forgiveness does not mean we think what the person did was okay. It means we release that person to God for Him to judge. We no longer drink the poison. We no longer hold on to the anger.
Keep a piece of paper or the notes app on your phone available. Pray for God to bring up the names of those you need to forgive. Write them down, then later pray the prayer below or your own prayer to release them to God.
Depending on how deeply someone hurt you, this may be a process. You may feel peace, or you may need to continue to release this person to God each time you think of him or her.
To Think/Pray About Today
Prayer: Lord God, I repent of letting bitterness into my life. Whether it is a small root or has completely taken over, I repent and ask forgiveness. Help me forgive those in my life who have hurt me. Right now, especially, I forgive _______ for hurting me. If there are others I need to forgive, bring their names to me now. (You might pause for a while here.)
I release these people to you, as only you are the judge. Forgive me, and cleanse me of bitterness, and give me love, joy, peace, patience, and all the fruit of the Spirit. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Cedarville United Methodist Church