Everyone experiences both good and bad in life. The way we choose to “respond” to those experiences will determine if we become bitter or better versions of ourselves.
When I was in the 3rd grade, my teacher would pinch my neck because I was unable to respond to her questions correctly; I felt humiliated and rejected. It was such a horrible experience that insecurity, fear, and shame would cloud my thinking. I was so shocked that I could not muster the courage to tell my own mother. Later in life, I looked for ways to overcome negative experiences.
Rather than taking on a victim mentality, I chose to respond differently by asking myself this question: “Would this response help me or hurt me?” Asking myself this question helped me to make better decisions about how I would respond to life’s hardships and helped to put me back in the driver’s seat of life. I no longer had to play the victim.
We can choose to fall victim to the weapons of BITTERNESS by becoming:
- Wounded and Hurt– hurt people, hurt people. They hurt others because they are already hurt.
- Envious and Jealous– we mask insecurity with a wall of envy and jealousy.
- Angry and Resentful– anger is used to cover fear, shame and unresolved hurt.
- Prideful and Hard Hearted– pride coats our hearts to avoid feelings of inadequacy.
- Obnoxious and Offensive– are defense mechanisms for preconceived rejection.
- Negative and Self-centered– causes pessimism and desensitized tunnel-vision.
- Self-Pitying and Self-loathing– aka the “Pity-party” for one.
Or, we can respond by using positive weapons to combat a negative experience through:
- Worship and Prayer– Teaches us to lean on God rather than people.
- Encouragement and Edification– becomes our building blocks for a better attitude.
- Affirmation– serves as reinforcement for the positive attitude we build through edification.
- Positive mentality– motivates us to win rather than whine.
- Obedience– births the discipline to practice higher virtues as opposed to destructive habits.
- Nobility and virtue– teach us to exhibit good qualities and high moral standards.
- Selflessness and Self-sacrifice– put the needs of others before yourself. Be more like Jesus.
You can choose to be a better person by attacking negative experiences with positive weapons; which in turn honors God, others and yourself. Conversely, you can choose the curse that comes along with bitterness; ultimately, cursing God, others and yourself. The choice is yours!
“Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness — without it no one will see the Lord. Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling (infecting) many.” Hebrews 12:14-15 (Holman CSB)
Heavenly Father, I acknowledge this heaviness of bitterness in my heart from the hurts, and all the negative W.E.A.P.O.N.S. I used on others; as well as the hurts I suffered from them. I choose to follow Jesus when He said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34 NIV). Thank you for your gift of forgiveness so, I can forgive myself and others. Jesus, please cleanse my heart, mind, mouth and all areas of my being that have been defiled by bitterness. Holy Spirit, please transform me into a better person so that I may become more like Jesus. Amen.
Always choose “On A Bright Side”.
I love you readers with the love of the Lord, yet God loves you the most.
Smile and be a blessing. . .