I don’t know about the rest of you, but I can be a very bitter person. Any time that I feel that I have been wronged, I seek vengeance. This vengeance can come out in passive aggressive ways like sarcasm or avoidance. It can also manifest itself with anger. Sometimes my way of dealing with being hurt is to make the other person hurt by manipulating their feelings.
“Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good. “ Job 21:25
Where do all of these feelings come from? The world and the great deceiver, Satan. We are told to look out for ourselves. To protect ourselves at all costs. If this means hurting someone else, then so be it. They hurt us first.
“For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” Acts 8:23
When we are full of bitterness, we are captive to sin. That is interesting. Throughout my entire life before being saved, I was completely embroiled with sin. I never saw it that way. I just saw it as I was seeking things that made me happy. Things that could satisfy my need in the moment. These things never filled up my heart. I had a deep sense of longing that could never be quenched by the things of this world. But, everyone else seemed to enjoy them. So I must seek them too.
“Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple.” Job 5:2
But, after a while I started looking at believers and becoming jealous. How could they be so happy? They are depriving themselves of the debauchery that is our world. What is it about their lives that I cannot have? Where does that real joy come from? I wanted it. But, I could not obtain it. I was still bitter, full of shame, and still living in lies. I pretended that I was the same as them.
Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. Hebrews 13:18
Honesty. Wow, that has changed everything. Being truly honest has allowed me to finally repent for my sins. I was honest with myself and with God. Since then I have been honest with others. My sins were forgiven and I truly accepted Jesus into my heart.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
My shame did not immediately disappear. I had to let go of the control of my life. To let God and everyone else know that I was truly powerless and that I had surrendered. Since that time God has put me at peace. I have given my marriage over to Him. I have given my wife over to Him. I have given the relationship that my wife has with another man over to Him. When I did this, I lost all bitterness, shame, and vengeance.
My wife is a child of God. She has strayed due to the things I have done and from some poor advice from friends. I will be so patient with her. I am choosing to stand because she has stood for me for 12 years. It is time to show her unconditional love.
Joseph in Minnesota
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