Healing from Bitterness
May 16, 2011
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A close friend hurt me deeply a few years ago and I’ve been angry and bitter ever since. My attitude is hurting all my relationships. How can I find healing from my bitterness?
Healing is available for your pain
I have good news for you. You’ve already begun the process of healing. You have admitted you need it.
The first step toward healing is to recognize that bitterness is making you sick and to determine to get well. As long as a person pretends to be healthy, as long as he/she denies having a problem then he/she will remain stuck in bitterness.
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:1-6, New International Version)
The second step (and all the rest on your journey) toward healing is to act better than you feel. If you wait until you feel like seeking God’s healing touch, you may never experience it. Here are three things you can do.
- Receive God’s forgiveness – give him all the guilt and shame in your heart. Believe that Jesus’ death on the cross is “payment in full” for all your sins and put your life into God’s hands. Allow his love and grace to heal the wounds in your soul.
- Be kind – take a genuine interest in the one who hurt you. View him or her as a loved one to be won back rather than an enemy to destroy or a person to ignore.
- Be compassionate – intercede for the one who hurt you. Pray for God to heal his or her pain. Ask Jesus to relieve his or her hurts as you seek your own soul’s healing.
- Forgive as God forgave you – blot out the record of the offense in your heart. Depending on how you were hurt you may never forget what happened, but God can help you change your attitude toward the other person. Accept Jesus death on the cross as “payment in full” and leave the final settlement of the transgression in God’s hands
Hanging onto bitterness has been compared to holding a burn coal waiting for the perfect time to throw it at the one who offended you. It burns, maims and scars you and the other person is unaffected. I’m glad you’ve decided to seek healing from bitterness. I pray that God will restore your relationships and make your life better than ever before.
A fiery coal burns you if you hold it
Perhaps others can share more advice in the comments. If this post has helped you or if you believe it might help someone you know, please share it. Thank you.