Bitter to Better
Have you ever tried to warn someone about a friend you know really well and it end up causing more harm for yourself than good? Or maybe you have dated someone who puts on a mask for the outside world, but you feel like only you saw the true colors? Or Or, maybe there is someone who has never talked to you, but they have resentment towards you because of what one person said?
I have found myself in all of these situations several times. You can get so caught up in trying to tell other people what awful things people have put you through. I found myself saying well “she did this” and “he did that” a lot.
I kept getting so upset every time I would hear someone say “she so nice”, “he just seems like such a chill guy”, “ I could never see him/her being like that” and so on.
Every time I would hear this it would make me so angry. Even though I knew these sayings were completely false, I couldn’t say, oh no your wrong, see he/she has done this to me. No matter how long you know people and what they have done, others will never understand until they are in the same situation.
I made several mistakes trying to tell people my thoughts and warn them of everything they had put me through. There was actually even a point where every time I heard their name I wanted to burst out all the negative things they had done. I wanted so badly for others to see what I had gone through.
Then one morning, everything had changed. I realized I didn’t necessarily want to rekindle these friendships or relationships. I didn’t miss all the fighting and heartbreak it caused me. I didn’t want revenge on them in any way, nor did I want them back in my life. I was just bitter, very bitter. So bitter it was consuming all my thoughts and energy. I had become consumed with trying to get other people to see what I saw.
That was all I wanted was for people to see how I was treated. It was like I wanted a trophy from others seeing how much I went through and that I was the actual better one in this situation. Not saying I was always the good one in all situations I have encountered, but in those where you honestly feel like you did all you could and you have no idea why this person would do this to you. So yeah, I wanted a trophy, and a huge one at that.
But then I thought did everyone believe Jesus was Jesus when he parted the waters and helped the sick and blind? No, they didn’t. They hung him on a cross with nails in his hands and thorns on his head. They laughed and said mean comments. Most yelled “he saved others,but he can’t save himself! Why can’t you get down.” But
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
- Luke 23:34
See here I am thinking I deserve a trophy. Why? Why do I deserve a trophy when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords never got one, instead he got thorns and nails.
The bible also says
“My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”
- 1 Corinthians 4:4-5
Even though our conscience is clear and we know what the other has done to us, that doesn’t mean we are to judge them for it and go talk badly about what they have done. He even says he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness, meaning he will eventually spread the truth on what you’re dealing with for all to know.
I finally realized I could not hold on to such bitterness anymore for what I had been through. I could not waste anymore time or energy on trying to get people to see things through my eyes. Being so bitter was keeping me from being focused on what God needed me to do, which is exactly what the devil wanted. All those bad thoughts had been planted by the devil. That day on my drive to school, I realized was the last day I would allow bitter situations to consume my thoughts and steal my joy.
A really good friend of mine told me, “Erin, all people’s true colors will eventually reveal themselves, you can’t force anyone to see them.”
Boy, she was right. Although bitter thoughts still come to mind, I am better.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
- Ephesians 4:31-32