“See to it that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble.” Heb 12:15 NIV
Releasing yourself from bitterness calls for: (1) Choosing to forgive. “Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:32 TM). Whether or not the person who hurt you apologizes, is dead or alive, or is still hurting you, your only option is forgiveness. By forgiving, you set yourself free to enjoy life. (2) Releasing the wrongdoer from all expectations. By changing your expectations, you reclaim your peace of mind. Whether or not the other person changes is his or her business—move on! Requiring a certain response keeps you bound to them. Paul says, “Christ has set us free to live a free life…Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you” (Gal 5:1 TM). (3) Transferring to God all expectations for your needs. His Word says, “God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Php 4:19 NAS). Note the word “all.” God can supply the people, resources, and opportunities you need to live a joyful life. (4) Asking God to bless your offender. Yes, it’s difficult, but Jesus said, “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Mt 5:44 NLT). That kind of prayer puts you in the driver’s seat of your life. (5) Doing something nice for your offender. Ask God how you can bless them. “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will…conquer evil by doing good” (Ro 12:20-21 NLT). You defeat anger and bitterness by believing and acting on God’s Word.
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