Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bitterness Vs. Forgiveness

Today I have been thinking about bitterness and forgiveness. I guess it doesn't sound very hard until you are actually put in a position in which it is very hard to forgive. I remember a certain time in my life something happened to me, and I struggled with bitterness. I was hurt and I became angry; I knew I needed to forgive, and I wanted to, but I felt like I couldn't. I really tried, and there were times I thought I forgave, and then something would happen to trigger a memory or stir up old feelings again, and I would feel that same hurt and anger rise back up in me. Needless to say, it took a long time for me to get over - time and lots of prayer. If you have been badly hurt, the only way you can learn to forgive is through time and prayer. It is so hard for us to forgive, but Jesus can forgive. So if you have the Holy Ghost, that Spirit can help you to forgive.
"Bitterness is like eating poison and waiting for the other guy to die."

When I really take time to think about what Jesus did on the cross for us, it was so incredible. He took the penalty for our sins. I'm sure everybody can think of horrible sin that has been committed, either by yourself or others. Can you imagine all the sin ever committed and that ever will be committed put on you? Jesus took all that guilt and shame for us. And he took it for the person/people who hurt you. It was the greatest sacrifice, the greatest display of love, and the greatest act of forgiveness ever known. The word 'forgive' is mentioned 56 times in the Bible.

2Corinthians 2:10-11 - "To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."

Forgiveness is not only good for the other person, but really, for you. If we don't forgive somebody, we will become bitter. Bitterness is a horrible thing that ruins lives. I've seen sweet people get hurt and come out bitter - when bitterness takes over somebody it is an awful thing. We will all get hurt in life and all go through trials, so remember: The same sun that can turn milk sour, can make apples sweeter. What will it do to you? If we're not careful, it can make us sour. God can use the bad thing that has happened to you and make it something beautiful. I'm sure it would have been hard for Joseph to see that when his brothers took his coat, threw him in a pit, and then sold him into slavery. But Joseph kept a good attitude and spirit, and God used him to help save his family from the famine, and made him a great man. Not only did Joseph forgive the sin of his brothers against him, he returned it with kindness. It's amazing what God can do with our lives if we'll just forgive.

6 comments:

Love Caps 4 Cancer said...

Jen,

Thank you for writing this post. It really is something I needed to read right now and is very encouraging!

I love reading your blog...I should comment more! ;)

You are such a great inspiration and an awesome godly example!!

<3,

Carisa

Jennifer Connell said...

Hi Carisa!

I'm so glad it could encourage you since the main purpose of this blog is to encourage others. :)

And yes, you should comment more! I love to hear from readers! Thanks for the compliment! Love ya, keep in touch.

Jen

Hanna said...

Sooo true...so true. Good post Jen.

Anali V. said...

Hey love,
Great post and it is extremely right.

I also like to think of bitterness and anger as a hot coal that you want to throw at another person. You get burned while trying to do so!

jen lord said...

TWIN!! ;)

Wonderful words of wisdom! This was truly "Another great post by Jennifer Connell"!!

I love how you threw in what is probably in my top 5 favorite Bible stories (if I ever made a list): the story of Joseph.

Jennifer Connell said...

Hanna - Thanks.:)

Anali - I really like the thought about the hot coal. I never thought about that before; it illustrates anger and bitterness well.

Jen - TWIN! I miss you! Thank you for your kind words! I love the story of Joseph too.