Overcoming Bitterness

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Alice, a good friend of mine, wrote me a letter that has meant a great deal to me over the years. She couldn't remember when her bitterness first might have occurred, but believed that this was not really the first time. Alice hoped that her bitterness might disappear one day.

Driving home from work, I felt empty and angry and I knew why. The moment I started hating one lady in the same group at work, I became her slave. I couldn't enjoy my work any more because she was in my thoughts. My bitterness produced many stress hormones in my body. And I became fatigued after only a few hours of work.

Bitterness is rooted in depression, anxiety and destroyed relationships. Indeed, bitterness is a common problem that all of us have from time to time in our life. But many of us are not so aware of our bitterness as we should. Bitter feelings can go underground. They often don't display themselves in active forms such as hitting, pinching, throwing things or slamming doors. They take more subtle forms like silence, irritation, resentment and hatred.

Bitterness is worse than disappointment. It can destroy any possibility of human relationships to continue. I remembered when I had been deeply hurt by the lady, much of time I was bitter with myself. I said wrong things, did wrong things and I failed. I had expectations and demands for myself that I couldn't meet. And I became angry with friends. Even I became bitter toward God by retorting, "Oh God, I don't need you to help me. I've done things by myself all my life and I will continue to go on alone. I don't need love and charity or anyone to care about me.

Then, I gradually became emotionally crippled and physically ill. I was afraid that God would not forgive me for having feelings of bitterness. I felt so guilty. I had all these bitter feelings inside me, and I knew that they were bad. I knew the Bible says about forgiveness but I was too bitter! It was not fair what that lady had done to me. It was at this point when I didn't even think God exists. But something deep in me said He is there. I surely didn't feel like it though. I prayed and prayed, but I didn't seem to find any release.

And suddenly, in the solitude of my room, without my calling on God, He was there. I quite clearly felt His presence, and understood that He was saying to me, "It is a sin to feel resentment toward oneself and others. It is I who give you peace and I will take away your bitterness when you come to me". Then in a brief quiet moment, without even understanding or realizing what it would mean to me, I said "Yes, I need help" to God. For the first time in my life, I felt that all resentments were disappearing within me.

Now there is no bitterness left in me. God has given me His love and forgiveness of sin through His Beloved Son, Jesus. God's Son came to die on the cross for our sins and wrong doings. The third day He rose again from the grave to give us life and eternal life. God fills my heart with His love so I can live in harmony with others. I have really experienced God's forgiveness. I have begun to exercise a spiritual influence on those around me to help souls to find Jesus. If you would like to know more about Jesus, please click here.

Esther L., May 9 2001

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