Defeating Bitterness

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Bitterness. The word tastes sour as I'm typing it now. The past 6 months have been full of it. Bitterness towards people, towards places, and towards events. It's heavy. It's gross and has the ability to make you feel as if you are wearing a backpack full of 100 bricks with those "things" that are bothering you written all over each one. Did I mention that it's also a backpack that is impossible to take off? And that it gets even heavier at night, and the weight moves to your chest when you're laying in bed and have time to think it all through? Bitterness is all-consuming. It also doesn't leave any room for God either. It's selfish. It's an exact representation of the enemy trying to take over. And as one of my best friends, Gina and I say, "Satan is just plain rude." 

When I got back to school and started a fresh semester I began working to get rid of it all. I realized that ton of events from my freshman year had me feeling bitter towards my school. This scared me, quite honestly. I didn't want to have a problem with Liberty University. I didn't want to dread waking up 160 miles away from home every day. After all, I had picked Liberty for a reason, and I wanted to love it again. 

I kind of had a "moment" where I realized that all of this pent up anger and sadness was useless and draining. One day during a bible study, once again, Gina said,

“Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person.”

 Dang, that hit me hard. What was I doing drinking this poison, and carrying around this 100-pound backpack that was only hurting myself? Ain't nobody got time for that. At the same time I heard this, I also realized that I was working so hard to grow in my relationship with Christ but that I wouldn't be able to do that if I was hanging onto my past. 

The past several weeks has been a time of reflection and healing. I tried to just give up all the anger and hurt I had in my heart by just saying "whatever, I'm over it." But y'all, you have to let yourself heal. You can't just flip your hair and say "I'm over it." You have to reflect on the parts of your past that you really don't want to think about. You have to pray about it. You have to let yourself heal in order to move on. It takes time. It takes strength that's bigger than us. Strength that only comes from our God. 

“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 4:31-31

Seriously, do yourself a favor and let go. Stop wearing that backpack. Forgive the person who hurt your heart. Smile and say "hi" the next time you see them and don't take it personally when they don't say anything back. That's when the bitterness rushes back. Let the person deal with their own anger. Rest in the fact that you giving up your resentment is pleasing to the Lord. Don't be scared to reflect upon that one event that you just can't seem to forget about; understand the impact and purpose that it had in your life and then decide to put it away for good. It's easier said than done, but when it is finally done, the quality of your life will skyrocket. 

You don't deserve to carry a backpack full of bitterness. Let yourself breathe again by healing the hurt and then putting the anger aside. Life is just too short. Now go eat a donut and smile because life is full of joyful moments that are just waiting to be appreciated.