“Resentment is usually attached to a specific person for a specific incident. Bitterness is usually the collective feeling of all our resentments. But however you define these words, they are part of the same problem.”- Lysa TerKeurst
In Chapter 13 (“Bitterness is a Bad Deal That Makes Big Promises”) of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, Lysa TerKeurst notes the true nature of wrongs we deem were never made right. Lysa describes such wrongs as incredibly stealthy in their ability to sit and quietly seethe. And they continue to stew. Until that one more wrong foisted upon us gives them permission to finally scream.
Furthermore, the lens of unresolved past hurts manipulates our reactions. Thus, a bitter lens produces a bitter reaction. And a hysterical reaction arises from a historical basis. In addition, Lysa explains the insidious nature of a bitter stance:
“Bitterness . . . is like liquid acid seeping into every part of us and corrupting all it touches. It not only reaches unhealed places, but it also eats away at all that is healthy and healed in us. . . . bitterness over one thing will locate bitterness hiding inside of us over other things. It will always intensify our reactions, skew our perspective, and take us further and further away from peace.”
Above all, Lysa cautions, the enemy of our soul just loves the way our bitter world view blocks our healing. As a result, that prevents the display of God’s goodness. Also, our bitter stance corrodes the soul. It eats away at our perspective. And, Lysa stresses, most of us fail to connect the heaviness and unsettled mess ebbing and flowing in our lives with our lack of forgiveness.
In conclusion, Lysa wryly observes that she’s looks at a bitter person and thinks the following. Wow, I want to know more about the hope of God in their life. That’s why we need to make our bitter parts more honest and aware of our true selves.
Today’s question: Do you see bitterness as the collective feeling of all our resentments? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Humanity without humility”