“You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. You didn’t come to learn Christ that way. You were taught to put away your old self, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor. In your anger do not sin. He who has been stealing must steal no longer but must work. Do not let any unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for the building up of others according to their needs. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. 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 Christ has forgiven you.”
~ Ephesians 4:17, 20–32, Paraphrased
Last week I wrote about what to do when other Christians hurt you.
One of the worst ways to react to hurt is to become bitter, for there are few things that are as toxic to the human spirit as bitterness.
Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick.
It hurts you, not them.
In addition, bitterness not only consumes your mind and spirit, but it always ends up unwittingly destroying other people.
Because of bitterness, many Christians have shipwrecked their faith, deceiving themselves as well as others.
“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
~ Hebrews 12:15, NIV
Bitterness will throttle your spiritual progress and open the door for God’s enemy to both use and abuse you.
If you are having trouble forgiving other people, try this practical exercise, which may help you to release and forgive them.
* On a sheet of paper, write the names of every person who has hurt you. Leave five spaces below each name.
* Underneath each name, write what they did to you. And consider: did they do it with malice in order to injure you or with good intentions?
* When you are finished, raise the paper up to the Lord and tell Him out loud that you are releasing these people into His hands, forgiving what they did to you.
* Burn the piece of paper and thank the Lord for His release while you watch it turn to ash.
* If what they did to you comes back into your mind, tell the Lord that those people are His and you have released them.
* Refuse to nurse the hurt, feed it, coddle it, and take it with you. Let it go, and let God handle it from now on.
If you missed it: What To Do When Other Christians Hurt You
Want to delve deeper?