Do you harbor bitterness?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Feb 11, 2014.

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Do you, or are you still harboring bad feelings toward another?

  1. Yes ...

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  2. No ...

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  3. It's only been recently that I game to grips and let it go ...

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  4. Forgiving and forgetting is hard for me ...

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  5. I know what the Bible says, but, the hurt remains as does the bad feelings ...

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  6. I am working on forgiving ... pray for me!

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  7. There are somethings that come easier than forgiving the past and others!

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  8. My heart is absolutely clear of ANY bad feelings!

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  9. If I have bad feelings toward another, I don't know it, and would appreciate prayer to find it!

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  10. My answer was not here, see my comment ...

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    Is there someone, or something in your life that you have had a difficult time letting go of, and letting God have?

    We all know that we have been told to "Forgive" one another ... yet, forgiveness is often easier said then done!

    Again, the best part of participating in a poll is the ability to confess and still remain anonymous. Your comments and honesty may serve to help others come to grips with past things, unforgotten and unforgiven! THANKS :thumbs:
     
  2. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I'm a student of the sermon on the mount....the WORD reins in my life.:wavey::jesus:
     
  3. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    Praise be to God!

    I expected nothing less from you my brother! I have asked God to serch my heart, and at times I sense there may be some bad feelings hidden away, but only he knows for sure what the deepest part of my heart holds! God bless you real good! :thumbs:
     
  4. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Dude...you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and then you are to love your brorher as yourself. That is the Key. He is the Word and he has become flesh to teach you this and to be the one to atone. What a splendid gift. Gvlorify in that and forget the rest.....that dorsnt matter. And because of that I can smile and greet the day....even though I live in poverty, physical pain etc. There is joy. What can I tell you. :godisgood:
     
  5. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Yes, to be honest, RD2 - I used to harbor a lot of bitterness towards a small handful of people - probably about 5 or 6.

    Why?

    Stupid/scornful/arrogant/belittling things they said and did mostly to others - occasionally to me.

    I couldn't stand them. I didn't want to hear others talk positively about them. It was to the point that when I heard their names - I got bitter and mad - even if just in my own heart.

    In my opinion - they were judgmental jackasses - whose only talent in life seemed to be degrading others - especially in spiritual terms and bad-mouthing others. And to make it worse - they are leaders in the community and the church.

    How coincidental that you should bring this up - because I have been delivered from this bitterness.

    When? Two days ago.

    How? We had a guest pastor at church and on Sunday night, he spoke about what unforgiveness does to a person.

    I won't into the whole sermon points - but here is what convicted me to the point that I repented of very specific unforgiveness and silent bitterness towards that handful of people.

    He said, "Petty unforgiveness hinders us terribly. We OWE too many people debts we can never repay (our parents, SS teachers, family, mentors, colleagues, friends....). We owe TOO MUCH to too many people to be unforgiving to others and refuse them the same consideration that's been granted to us over and over again."

    All I could think of was the too-numerous-to-count people in my life who have been patient with ME and helped mold me and taught me so much! You see, I'VE BEEN a judgmental jackass!! I've been stupid and scornful and arrogant and belittling. I'm sure I've hurt people - and been forgiven.

    Sunday night - I just let it go. I repented of of it all. Turned my back on petty unforgiveness.

    It's a relief I can't begin to explain. I had no idea how much it was choking the life out of me.


     
    #5 Scarlett O., Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  6. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    Before I became a Christian in March, 1993, my life was built on bitterness, anger, and revenge. Those were the first sins God had me deal with once I became His. It wasn't easy. I was in recovery from disordered gambling, and when I got to the Fourth Step, "Made a searching and fearless moral and financial inventory of ourselves," those were among the first types of items I wrote down.

    Then came the next few steps:
    Things were fine until I got to that last one. I had to be willing to talk to all those people? My inventory was incredibly long -- 42 pages, handwritten on a legal pad. There were a lot of people to deal with, and I didn't want to, initially. But my sponsor, a Christian like me, and the Holy Spirit told me I had to at least become willing. With a lot of prayer, I did, eventually. It didn't happen overnight. In fact, between the Fifth Step, done with my sponsor, and the Eighth Step, about two years passed.

    Then came the Ninth Step: "Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." That was actually doing what I'd taken two years to get to the point of being willing to do. Making that first contact was difficult. It is hard to look someone in the eye, someone you've lied to, cheated, stolen from, hurt emotionally, or all of those things, admit that you've done them, and ask for forgiveness. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life -- and I flew combat helicopters!

    But you know what? As that person listened, and looked me in the eye, and heard my faltering, stumbling, mumbled words, something marvelous and miraculous happened. They began to smile, they began to open up the personal space between us, and they began to love me for what I was doing, and then those wonderful, beautiful words came out of their own mouths: "I forgive you."

    Now, true, not all of them did. Some continued to harbor their own resentments, bitterness, anger and hurt, and no matter that I had dealt with my portion of the issue and offered my heart to them, they were still stone inside, and could not, were not able to speak those words. Some like this wouldn't even let me see them personally, they even uttered epithets over the phone when I called them and asked to see them, such was their continuing hurt, pain and anguish over what I had done, even if they had their own part to play in some of that. That was a hard, difficult moment for me, but it was also necessary for me to see what unforgiveness does, no matter who is refusing to give it up. I would pray that God helped me somehow know I did the right thing, and then prayed that person can come to the point that God had brought me.

    Nonetheless, I would continue to try. I prepared in my heart to forgive others as well. Few people can go through life creating havoc and dissonance in others' lives without those others also having some small role in accepting it into their lives. It's possible, or course. Murder, assault, theft, burglary, etc., are pretty much one-sided. I doubt many on this board have done those things, but if we have, we can achieve peace, lay aside bitterness, and live with a clear conscience by at least trying.

    If there were those who are deceased or are unreachable, I'd write them a letter, even though it couldn't be sent, I would keep it for a few days, review it during that time, then do just as I did with that inventory: In big red felt-tipped pen, I wrote diagonally across the page, 1 John 1:9 and burned it.

    It is finished.
     
    #6 thisnumbersdisconnected, Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2014
  7. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    Well said, as usual, Scarlett O.

    My answer on the poll RD2, was no, I don’t harbor bitterness. But some days it is not as simple as that.

    Yes I have forgiven, and no I don’t harbor bitterness. But certainly I still feel hurt. Some days the pain is more than others. Some days I can forget and not think of past hurts, but then come other days when something triggers a memory and the pain is as fresh and intense as the day it occurred. And when that happens I have to start all over again forgiving and letting go of the bitterness.

    I wish I could just let it go once and forever, but it does not seem that easy.
     
  8. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Let me tell you something else he said Sunday that helped me.

    He said forgetting is impossible. And pain and remembrance is just part of it.

    He had a loved one who was killed by a wreckless teenage driver. He said whenever he felt like getting angry all over again - he would tick off a list in his head of people who have forgiven him and to whom he could never repay a debt to for many things.

    He ticked off that list (a LONG list) to us - it was meaningless names to us - but you could tell that those people meant the world to him. So even though the names meant nothing to me - his grateful attitude as he listed them and even tears came from him - that's what moved me.

    Also he said this: "If you own 500 acres of land and I own just half an acre right in the middle of yours .... you have to allow me a right-of-way to get to my property. It's the law. It's the same with the devil. You may be a Christian - but if ANYTHING in your life has been turned over to the devil for ownership - he has access to that part of you any time he chooses."

    Don't allow him access ... period."


    All I could think about was that I WAS allowing the devil access to my emotions by harboring bitterness - bitterness that I was justifying!!

    Imagine that - I didn't tolerate bitterness in others, but boy howdy did I ever JUSTIFY it in myself.

    How sick.

    I told the pastor that I was going to make a list of those people in my life who have displayed grace, mercy, patience, love, guidance, kindness, and more to me all across my life and practice what he practiced.

    He said to me, "Get ready. The list is going to be longer than you can imagine as God brings them to your mind."
     
    #8 Scarlett O., Feb 11, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  9. HAMel

    HAMel
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    Lets bring this conversation close to home..., okay? For sure, some of you are dealing with this same situation so don't be looking down your nose as in shock.

    What about a 32 year old daughter that spent 12 years in Christian School, graduated from a Christian College, has been married and now divorced with one six year old child..., treats her parents with out of control contempt, displays anger at every opportunity and has burnt down so many bridges they will probably never be rebuilt. She does head up the Children's Church and to the rest of the world..., is just as nice and pleasant as anyone would like to meet.

    ...it's been extremely frustrating.

    Yes, I've first hand knowledge of this as it's my daughter and this attitude has been going on now since about the 11th grade!

    Yes, we can forgive but enough is enough! ...perhaps a good talking doctor for her? Well, until she sees the need there isn't much anyone can do. I just hope and pray the Lord doesn't get her attention through a catastrophic event.
     
  10. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Brother, my prayers are with you, as I'm sure that is an extremely difficult relationship to bear. You're right, until she sees the need to change, to seek help, to let go of whatever bitterness and anger fuels this unbiblical attitude, there isn't much anyone can do. That doesn't mean there is nothing anyone can do. You can pray, and you can seek the fervent prayer of others, and I would be happy to join you in that prayer.

    You can also show love, even in the face of her belligerent tirades. I don't know how you currently handle those, but I know that it is difficult for anyone to sit or stand through one of those and not feel righteous anger in responding defensively. If you don't do this already, try this: When she starts in, let her go for a few sentences, then politely ask if you may interrupt -- because you know she will continue until she runs out of steam if you don't. Once she stops, say something along the lines of ...

    "I know you feel justified in expressing yourself this way, and maybe, somehow, you are. But if at some point you want to talk about the 'why' and try to resolve some of these difficulties between us, your mom and I are available. Just let us know. But this is counterproductive, and if you want to continue seeing us, please refrain from talking to us like this. We love you, above all else, and if we have wronged you somehow, let's try to resolve that so we can move forward with Christ's approval."
    I obviously have no idea what she says or how she says it, so if this is a truly naive suggestion, I apologize. But if something along those lines might work, by all means feel free to use it. God bless.
     
  11. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
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    I think at some point we all do.
     
  12. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Scarlet O: "He said forgetting is impossible. And pain and remembrance is just part of it."

    This IMHO, is a point that is often omitted when discussing forgiveness.
    I spent many a session agonizing over "REMEMBERING" a past issue because I thought that meant that I had NOT forgiven. Don't know if it was the presentation, or just the way I interpreted it, but in my mind -- "once you forgave, you forgot."
    It hit me one day that I could "remember" the offense w/o it affecting me; I COULD remember, but it was simply a fact, non emotion related. (Not talking about dwelling on the memory!)
    Sorta like remembering that yesterday was Tuesday - no emotion or mental stress involved, just a fact!

    Once the fact was driven home that "rememberance" and "non-forgiveness" were not synonomous, I was freed from the agony of desperation I had been feeling.
     

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