We can allow our circumstances to drive us into places of bitterness and resentment. When we allow this to occur, we find ourselves drifting further and further apart from God. Chaos is a great source for bitterness to occur - especially when the chaos is caused by 'someone' rather than 'something'. It is hard to admit, but there are times when our pain takes us into a place where we become bitter against the 'someone' we might not want to ever form bitterness toward - GOD. We can all have dreams and hopes, then in almost a moment in time those dreams and hopes can be ripped out from underneath us - leaving us feeling a little bitter and hurt.
Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Direction determines destination - we sometimes head in the wrong direction in our lives and then wonder why we are not reaching our destination of being closer to God. We cannot get closer to God when we are headed in a direction away from God. We can count on our destination being chaotic whenever we turn our back on God and we choose to go our own way instead. We need to deal with our wrong choices - quickly confessing them, making a clean break from them, and then relying upon God to put us back on the right path - so our direction is changed. If our lives are not pointed toward the things of God, we will find our hope is built up. If our lives are pointed in a direction away from God, we might call this being led away by distractions. Distractibility is easier than we might imagine because whenever we make choices, even unconscious ones, that lead us off the path toward God. The wrong direction always leads to the wrong destination. When we are distracted we oftentimes interpret life through a very wrong 'filter'. We see things as they really aren't - making it easier and easier to grow more bitter and resentful of the issues that will creep up within our lives.
We don't always know when we have veered from the right direction. It often takes a period of 'discovery' to let us know that we are not headed in the right direction. In that time of discovery we can become very angry with God or others because we want someone to blame for our bad choices - not wanting to own up to our own choices. We begin to select the emotion of anger to lead us to a place of bitterness and resentment. When our choices are wrong, there is no one to blame other than ourselves - even when the choices were 'unconsciously made', they were OUR choices. Make a clean break - this is pretty telling, isn't it? We need to let go of the wrong direction - in other words, we turn around in the opposite direction and we begin to 'head back'. Did you ever retrace your steps? I seem to do that more and more as I get older, getting distracted along the way and forgetting why I was headed in a certain direction. Distractions only have power over us when we give into those distractions. If we choose to keep our minds and hearts directed toward one thing, we are remaining consistent and focused. To make a clean break between what has made us bitter and angry with God or others, we begin to allow focus and consistency to be built into our lives again.
I am not going to make light of the fact that bitterness is a hard thing to let go - it is in our lives because there is something we feel we are owed because we were 'wronged". Even when the 'wrong' is of our own choosing, we might feel 'wronged' - blaming God for 'letting' us get off track. How may we break free of this 'blame game' and let go of our bitterness and resentment? We make a clean break from those actions and thoughts - by turning away from them and refocusing on God again. God doesn't owe us anything - nor does the other person we have been holding in this place of bitter resentment. What is owed? Forgiveness - we let them go and then we turn to God to be restored. When we give God our anger and bitterness, he takes it and then helps us to let go of it. He begins to restore hope where hope has been broken. He begins to bring right order where disorder and chaos has sent us into a tailspin in life. To make a clean break requires a turning away from what has distracted us and to focus again on what is greater than any distraction this world can put in our path. Just sayin!
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