Thursday, October 15, 2015

BETTERness or BITTERness


Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (KJV)

Job 1:21-22 (AMP)
21  And said, Naked (without possessions) came I [into this world] from my mother's womb, and naked (without possessions) shall I depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed (praised and magnified in worship) be the name of the Lord!
22  In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.

Take a moment and read the first two chapters of the book of Job. It is an incredible story. In a matter of moments, he lost everything! Satan's attack was thorough and absolutely ruthless! 

Consider this: Satan attacked Job's camels which were Job's means of TRANSPORTATION! Next, he attacked his oxen which typified his OCCUPATION. He plowed his fields with the oxen. The oxen allowed him to grow crops. Next, his sheep were attacked. He sheep also offered his means of INCOME/SUPPORT. Shearing their fleece brought income. Satan then attacked his FAMILY. He lost his ten children. He lost his home. His wife became extremely bitter towards God. Satan did a very thorough job in taking Job's possessions.

How would Job respond? Would he respond like his wife and become bitter or would he allow it to make him better?


Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (KJV)

No one wants to be bitter. It sneaks up on us. Bitterness is unforgiveness fermented. The more we hold onto past hurts the more we become drunk on our pain and the experience can rob us of the joy we can find in anything. Job did some very intentional things to overcome bitterness!


Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. 


Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

  Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.


 Job had three "buddies" that spent a lot of time criticizing him and falsely accusing him of sins he had not committed. It wasn't until Job prayed for those friends that his life took a turn for the better (Job 42:10). You must forgive those that have hurt you! 

You don't have to trust people that aren't trustworthy, but you must forgive them. Forgiveness really isn't for those that have hurt you. Forgiveness is for you! It releases you from the chains of bitterness. Forgiveness liberates you! Ask Jesus to help you forgive. 
No one knows how to forgive like Jesus does!

As long as you are allowing people or situations from the past to control your mind, you are giving them power over you! 


Here are my suggestions for overcoming bitterness:

1.  Forgive
Forgiveness does not mean "fake it 'til you make it"! It is not pretending everything is “OK.”  It doesn’t mean forgetting the hurt either. According to St. Augustine, forgiveness is simply the act of surrendering our desire for revenge; that is, our desire to hurt someone for having hurt us.   Forgiveness is the gift we give ourselves that enables us to stop picking at the scab and start making a plan for healing.

2. Make a plan
Forgiveness allows you to free up the energy you need to begin healing the wound. Your time isn't spent hating, it's spent healing! If the person who hurt you is willing to work with you, begin mapping out exactly what changes or effort you would need to see from that person to let you know that it is safe to reconcile. If you are on your own, focus your energy on making a plan for how you will strive to regain as much of what was lost/taken from you as possible. The more you strive to find alternative ways to recoup your losses, the less bitter you will feel even if the hurt persists.  It can be tempting to give into feelings that “there’s nothing I can do”  but resist the temptation. 

3.  Stop Dwelling and Retelling
When we are hurt, we have a tendency to turn the painful events over and over in our head or tell anyone who will listen about our pain–even over and over again. This seems to be a means of releasing pent up frustrations. It is fine to talk to people we think can help us heal the hurt, facilitate reconciliation or help us rebuild our lives, but other than that, we should do what we can to stop dwelling on the story of our injury ourselves and stop speaking of it so freely to others. When we are tempted to “dwell or retell” the best course of action is to refocus on what we can do–TODAY–to take at least some small step toward refining or actualizing the plan we’ve developed in Step 2. The more you are focused on solutions, the less you will experience the sense of powerlessness that comes from ruminating on the hurt. I know I am healing from a hurt when I stop rehashing it all of the time!

4.  Seek Grace
It can be next to impossible to heal some wounds without God’s grace. Bitterness causes us to shun God’s grace in favor of obsessing over the wound. We try to use our anger as a weapon. We feel it gives us strength, but it is actually eating away at us from the inside. If you are holding on to bitterness I encourage you to confess it to a close confidant (Jas 5:16). Please don’t be insulted by the suggestion. I know that you are the victim and you have a right to your pain. Still, holding on to anything except God’s love, mercy and healing grace separates from God and the life He wants us to have. Confession can open your heart to receive the healing that Christ wants to give you. It can help you surrender the pain and powerlessness and begin to discover new options. Stop hoarding your hurt. Make your desire for healing official by taking your tendency to dwell in the powerlessness to God first!

  Seek the grace of God to lay it down! 

 Peace, love, hope!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome word. I've had to learn that if I can't forgive them I can't be forgiven. That's alot of power to put in a person's hand who is probably not as shaken as you are about a situation. The love of many has waxed cold. People have therefore become desensitized to the effects on the feelings of others. I choose to snatch that power out of the hands of men wether they recognize it out not!