The world is full of injustices. Perhaps an inheritance did not materialise. Lies were told about you that had an adverse effect on your circumstances. Promise made that you worked towards and were broken costing you money, and had a detrimental effect on your future. A broken marriage or a business you’d worked hard to build failed, leaving you in financial ruin. A child made choices that grieve you deeply. An accident or serious illness occurred leaving a change in your future plans. Money you loaned that has never been repaid. Even incidents involving the church and the people there may have affected you.
How we respond to life’s injustices can be with bitterness which will only poison your soul. Choosing to let go of bitterness and trust God to help you move on, is the only answer that will enable you to cope.
How do you handle bitterness or disappointment?
By choosing not to be bitter, your life can get better. Here’s how you can go from bitter to better:
- Be honest with God and Yourself. Share your thoughts and feelings about the injustices, loss, hurt you have suffered. God does care, and will not be angry by any negative thoughts or feelings you express with how you are feeling.
- Tell God about your bitterness or hurts. Ask God to forgive you for bitter responses, and ask Him for His grace to enable you to let go of them. God loves you deeply and unconditionally, and that He is the one who can help you through to a right way of thinking. He is the one you can trust and depend on as He will not let you down.
- Don’t try to change the past. Accept that it is in the past and it is over and gone. You do not have the ability to change the past. Refuse to give the thoughts dwelling time but change your thoughts and focus on something positive. It is part of YOU renewing your mind.
- Forgive those who have hurt you. Ask God to help you recall those you need to forgive. (Don’t go grave digging be realistic) Release any thoughts of retaliation. Instead of using your energy to nurse resentment, use it to think of creative solutions to the problem and ways to improve your relationship with the people who hurt you. Choose to forgive them and ask for God’s help. Don’t think I will wait until I feel like it as it then may never happen. Respond from obedience, and not negative emotion and hurt. Pray for the people who have hurt you irrespective whether the situation is resolved or not. In fact the person could be dead or the situation not possible to discuss, and ask God to give you grace to respond in a right way with them when you encounter them.
- Forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made. If you need to forgive yourself, ask God to help you see how he sees you, and embrace his love. Confess any sins you haven’t yet confessed to God, repent of them, and accept his forgiveness, knowing that once you do you are truly forgiven and don’t need to fear that those sins will stand between you and God.
- Be patient. When God changes us it’s a process that moves at His speed not ours. Be kind and gentle with yourself as you move forward, free from bitterness. Stay close to God moving at his pace, as He walks beside you.
- Expect a better not a bitter future. Recall God’s promises to help you, and take the time to celebrate and thank him whenever you see evidence of his restorative work in your life. Initially, you had to choose to forgive each person simply as an act of your will; despite at times feelings didn’t align with your decision to forgive. Right feelings will come after your decision as God helps you through a process. You will find that no longer does the negative emotion control you or your thoughts as you have come into a place of peace and rest.