Proverbs 4:23 "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."
For the entire month of May I have been speaking about heart issues in our series Heart Surgery. I truly believe that just as the condition of our physical heart determines the quality of our natural life, so also the condition of our spiritual heart determines the quality of our emotional and spiritual life. And this is why we are encouraged to "guard it, or look after it with all diligence".
BITTER vs. BETTER
- When life doesn't go the way you planned it, do you grow Bitter or Better?
- Are you Bitter or Better as a result of going through that loss?
- Are you Bitter or Better now that she/he left you?
- Are you Bitter or Better as a result of the suffering you have endured?
- Are you Bitter or Better at your father for abandoning you?
- Are you Bitter or Better as a result of what your uncle did to you?
- Are you Bitter or Better as a result of how your mother treated you?
If I am honest, I have grown Bitter far too many times when life hasn't gone as planned. I have allowed the pain, the hurt, the disappointment to drive a thorn into my flesh more than I care to admit. And it's usually very subtle and can be hidden pretty easily, especially if you are good at covering it up.
So, what about you ... have you allowed your heart to become Bitter at times rather than Better?
I believe it starts with being HONEST with yourself, others and God. And saying, "I'm bitter, help me not be!" Then I believe that REPENTANCE is necessary. True repentance, not just "I'm sorry, please let me off the hook!" But, true repentance, which is a Godly sorry that leads to real change. Then ultimately it's DOING what you would do if you weren't Bitter ... whatever that would be in a given situation. (i.e. You send a letter or make a phone call to the relative that hurt you and say, "I forgive you!" Or if that isn't possible, then just right a letter and drop it in the mailbox addressed to that person with no address on it.)
Taking this step isn't saying to that person, "what you did was okay," or "let's be best buddies now," or "everything is fine now." But what it does do is release YOU from the Bitterness that is killing you.
I say all that, when most of the time growing Bitter has nothing to do with the other person at all ... it's about you and it is just something that you need to take to God ... just between you and Him.
I encourage you to grow BETTER not BITTER when life throws you a curve ball.