Bitterness Is Not Plastic Wrap

Do you know what it is like to lie supine and cry, how the hot tears trickle into your ears and make them all itchy?  Well, I was having one of those tears-in-the-ears moments recently, mentally recounting a wrong that had been done to me.  Clearly, I had been wronged.  Wait.  Change that to: clearly, I had been very, very, very wronged.  Each time I reviewed the situation I strung another very to my necklace of grievance. 

“Help me, babe,” I cried to my husband.  “I hate being this way.  Bitterness is clinging to my soul.” 

“Bitterness does not cling,” the wise man quietly replied. 

Those four words arrested me.  Bitterness Does Not Cling. 

Bitterness is the bowl.  A bowl is incapable of clinging; it cannot attach itself to you.  I was the cling-on.  I had got a firm grip on the bowl of bitterness and I was not letting go.  Wow.

“So how do I stop clinging to bitterness?”  I asked.

“Just Stop It.” 

“Just stop it – just like that?”

“Quit clinging to your bitterness, Carol. Let It Go.” 

Bitterness has no adhesive abilities.  It has no grip on me.  If I can remember this, it will change my life. 

Bitterness is not plastic wrap.

Forgive our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Hold fast that which is good.

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8 thoughts on “Bitterness Is Not Plastic Wrap

  1. Your husband is very wise.
    Jay Adams’ teaches a biblical counseling principle that is life changing found in Eph. 4:22-24. Basically..
    PUT OFF: (which is what your dear husband taught you to do)
    RENEW YOUR MIND: (which is the direction you were headed. Find out
                                     what God’s Word says to do and renew your mind by
                                     it)
    PUT ON: Put on the biblical behavior
    If you look through the rest of the chapter you will see many ‘put offs and put ons’. Towards the end in verses 31-32 you will see it personalized for your exact situation.. “Let all bitterness… be put away from you”…v. 32 shows you what to PUT ON…. be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another…  and then the RENEW is… JUST AS GOD IN CHRIST ALSO FORGAVE YOU. If you read the entire chapter you will see the theme is ‘unity’ in the body of Christ.
    So, the next time the bitterness rears it’s defiling head in your thought life.. immediately put it off (stop the thought process), renew your mind in scripture and what God says, and then put on the biblical response (for bitterness it would be acts of being kind to this person who has sinned against you, tenderhearted towards her/him, forgiving her/him).
    Don’t you LOVE God’s Word?! It’s our own personal counselor and it’s absolutely FREE!               PTL!

  2. I echo Georgene – your husband is very wise. My 11yo daughter and I recently had a discussion about forgiveness. She said she thought it was wrong to forgive someone if you didn’t feel it – being dishonest. I explained that we have to be obedient to God’s commandment to forgive regardless of how we feel emotionally. The feelings may or may not come after our decision to forgive, but we are commanded either way. Not easy. At all.
    Carrie

  3. Mmmm.  Yes.  Good thoughts also from your commenters.  Your husband sounds like mine.  “Just stop it.”    How can they make it sound so easy?  “His yoke is easy and his burden light.”  We’re the ones that make it tough on ourselves!  May the blessing of a pieceful heart fill your day today!

  4. (((Carol)))  I am so sorry you’re struggling with this.  When I struggled with the bowl of bitterness that threatened to pull me in for a long swim a couple of years ago, this verse really helped:  Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  I thought there was a translation that read “let no bitter root take hold” but I couldn’t find it just now.  That was my prayer which became a constant refrain, “let no bitter root take hold.”  I visualized a root of thorny bitterness choking out the grace in my heart and then prayed for God to help me “just stop it.”  God was faithful and I give Him praise for the healing in my heart.Thank you for sharing this with us.  I still struggle with bitterness when I’m wronged.Blessings,Sandy

  5. Wonderfully wise words, and so simple. It’s truly a blessing to me, the simplicity that can solve the seemingly insurmountable. . . And it baffles me that these are not always things that I can see and figure out for myself!
    My prayer for you is that your ears are no longer itchy with tears and your bitterness bowl is washed and long gone!
    I felt a pity party beginning this morning so I got busy house cleaning, sometimes ‘just stop it’ takes a distraction to get going!

  6. Oh man! I struggle with this too, Carol!  I think I am usually losing too.  And yes, your husband also sounds like mine.  He says that no counseling session HAS to take a long time.  You find the sin, see what God words says about it and DO IT! Ouch!  But I doanwanna! is usually screaming inside of me somewhere.
    Pastor Wilson’s checklist always gets me…If I’m having imaginary conversations in my head or going over my list of wrongs done to me…I’m bitter.   
    And it really is because I have no idea what God has forgiven me.  Off to read Ephesians 4…AGAIN!  ((hugs)) to you!

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