When I began this blog, I was purposeful to make sure I did not throw out the Christian catch phrases or stamp a scripture on someone’s pain without heartfelt explanations.
In church circles, we are told not to be bitter – what a horrible thing it is, how it is destructive, and then of course, the scriptures pertaining to such.
But when you are hurting really, really bad…like with my-child-died kind of hurt…you need more reasons to not be bitter.
Oh, yes. I value the scriptures. They are foundational truths to build our lives upon. And if God had to prove himself to me, he sure has over and over again.
Yet, sometimes, unknowingly, Christians can almost be flippant with their application in terms of quoting them and moving on.
You mean like the Priest and the Levite who walked by the wounded man on the side of the road? Heck, they didn’t even look. At least giving someone a scripture is better than nothing.
Well, do we want to do the bare minimum? Or do we want to do (and be) the most we can be?
The Good Samaritan did look. He stopped. He did not move on. He did more to help the wounded man. Not just at that moment, but thought about the days ahead.
I also wanted to keep my blog posts short since I don’t have the time to read long posts, either. I like tidbits of solid information. So, I apologize for so much background today.
Back to bitterness.
When I lost my son, there were “other” situations that came about, exasperating my already weak, emotional state. It is called secondary grief. But that’s for another day.
When we’re hurting, we think with our hearts and our heads and it goes back and forth during those tumultuous days.
Somewhere in the emotional chaos, I knew because I knew, I could not get bitter.
It’s like that splinter in your finger. Ever have one that is long and deep? Your first reaction is to protect. But then you know you have to have it dug out and it is going to hurt. If you don’t, it will get infected.
That is a small example. Any wound not taken care of can cause serious problems. Even amputation.
Bitterness is like that.
It begins to fester when the pain you feel turns to resentment, anger, revenge, and any other number of things.
When I first realized I could get bitter over the circumstances I felt (and they were numerous), I wouldn’t allow it. And the only way to combat it is to trust God no matter how bad it hurts.
Here is where building your life on the foundational truths of scripture is important. I had believed already and had spent my life building. Like building your house on the rock – the wind and rain came in great strength – and the house did not fall.
But then the emotions come flooding in and things can look quite different. That’s when we have to reach out for what is true no matter how we feel.
I have seen bitterness on people. They are miserable. And if God says he is with us when we are hurting, supplying all we need to get through it, well, we have to take it or leave it.
Bitterness takes root if you let it and it will grow. It is destructive, clouding good, healthy thinking (despite circumstances), unable to filter out the lies, pulling you down with the weight of its growth.
Bitterness takes away a soft heart and hardens it.
I have scars. Some things will not be corrected or resolved on this side of eternity. I have changed and I know it. But I continue to face each day as it comes, knowing God is with me, and it’s not the end of the story. Because God has more to come.
I hope you will know it, too.
Photo credit: August Brill via Decorators Guru / CC BY