Dear Sons and Daughters,
“Bitterness is a result of clinging to negative experiences. It serves you no good and closes the door to your future.” – Leon Brown
The Urban Dictionary defines bitterness as, “A feeling of deep anger and resentment. Bitterness is an emotion which encompasses both anger and hate, often people who are bitter appear to the world as just going around pissed off at everyone and everything. However, bitterness is often a result of some past event which has hurt, scarred and jaded the person.”
Yes, bitterness is often the result of some past hurt, but we have the choice to choose bitterness or forgiveness. We have the choice to see the hand of God, even in the hurt or betrayal. The Bible says that God works everything out for our benefit, even hurt and betrayal (Romans 8:28).
The story of Joseph teaches us an important lesson about not becoming bitter after being hurt and betrayed. If you have never read the story about Joseph, you can read it in the book of Genesis, chapters 37-50.
Joseph was mistreated and sold into slavery by his brothers. He was lied on when he refused to compromise his principles and sleep with the wife of his slave master. He was jailed for something he did not do, helped others while in prison only to be forgotten by those he helped. Joseph had a reason to be bitter and angry.
When God finally vindicated Joseph, there was no trace of bitterness in his life. There is no Biblical or historical account of Joseph seeking revenge against Potiphar for imprisonment or revenge against Potiphar’s wife for lying on him. Joseph was not bitter against the prison warden or the cupbearer for forgetting him after his release from prison. Finally, the evidence that Joseph was not an angry or bitter man was when he first encountered his brothers who were responsible for all the hardship he had suffered.
Long before the Apostle Paul penned Romans 8:28, Joseph knew that it was God who kept him during the worst days of his life and used those days to bring conquest out of his life. Listen to what Joseph said to his brothers after revealing himself to them: “But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.” Genesis 45:5 (NLT)
My dear children, don’t allow hurt, disappointment or betrayal to make you bitter. Bitterness will make you blind to the hand of God working in your life. It prevents you from seeing His plan and possibilities for your life. It keeps you from reconciliation and restoration, destroys your passion and purpose, and keeps you from fulfilling your destiny.
If you have been hurt, disappointed or betrayed, it is time to forgive, let go and move on to your destiny. Stop focusing on the hurt and pain. Focus on what God is doing in your life.
One final quote from Dave Willis (The Seven Laws of Love): “Bitterness and Love can’t live together in the same heart. Each day, we must decide which one gets to stay.”
Bitterness or love, your choice!
From My Heart!
Purchase Bishop Jemmott’s books and sermons including his latest release entitled “Still Standing” here.