Scripture for today: Matt. 6:14-15
To battle bitterness, you must get on the road to “betterness,” implementing these three steps:
Own up to it — Tragically, some have buried their bitterness for so long that it’s part of their DNA and they’re oblivious to it. Others are keenly aware of the hole they’ve fallen into, but they’re just too proud or afraid to admit it.
One person in the Old Testament who wasn’t afraid to voice her bitterness was Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law. Having lost her husband and two sons she said, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20). Rather than call Naomi’s bitterness into question, God led her and Ruth into a blessed situation in which her daughter-in-law remarried and became part of the bloodline of Jesus Christ by giving birth to a son named Obed (Matt. 1:5).
Go to God with it — After facing up to our bitterness, we must then bring it to God. After all, He’s the only one who can effectively dress the wound and bring about healing.
Hannah from the Old Testament is a great example. Enjoying a good home and loving husband, she appeared to have it all. Yet something was missing – children. This void made her so miserable that. “She, greatly distressed, praying to the Lord, wept bitterly” (1 Sam. 1:10). In that same prayer, she vowed that, if God blessed her with a son, she in turn would dedicate him to a lifetime of service to the Lord. Soon after that, she gave birth to Samuel, who went on to become a great leader in Israel’s history.
Let go of it — “I’ve had a few arguments with people,” acknowledged comedian Buddy Hackett, “but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re out carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing.”
Turn your bitterness into “betterness.”
This devotion is based from Gaddis’ book “Manage Your Emotions.”