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Less Bitterness {Day 3}

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Less Bitterness | Letting Go | Moving On | Seeking Forgiveness | Life Goals | 31 Days of Less & More challenge

This is Day 3 of our 31 Days of Less & More challenge.  To read all the posts in order, start with Day 1, then visit the Overview Page to see the whole series.  

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There is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it through our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment. —Dieter F. Uchdorf

Have you ever known someone who always seems convinced that no matter what, they have received the short end of the stick?  Maybe it is a child who is convinced that whatever their sibling has is better.  Perhaps it is a parent or grandparent who looks back on their life with nothing more than anger and regret, able to see only the missed opportunities and misdeeds by others.  Or maybe it is a friend who harbors continual resentment against anyone she perceives as thinner or prettier or more successful.

Perhaps that person is you.

It has certainly been me.  In fact, not so long ago I experienced a professional disappointment when some colleagues—the proverbial “mean girls”—shut me out of an opportunity I had already been invited to.  It was totally unfair and I was so angry and bitter that I could hardly see straight.  I wanted retribution but there was none; instead, I simmered.

I learned the hard way that the seeds of bitterness, left unchecked, can harbor into a full-blown anger that becomes all-consuming.

Sometimes—often—that anger is justified, righteous even.  Someone has betrayed or belittled or dismissed or hurt us in some very real way.  We have every right to be mad.  We have every right to stew and seethe and let our hatred simmer.  After all, we are right.  They are wrong.

But bitterness and anger, even the righteous kind, is almost always destructive.  It festers and eats away at us.  It destroys our happiness and steals our joy.  And ultimately it hurts only ourselves, and not the person we are angry with.

Letting go of bitterness is a conscious, intentional act.  For me it meant recognizing my anger, then making the conscious decision to let it go.  It also meant a lot of prayer—not only for me, but for the people I was bitter towards.  I specifically prayed that God would soften my heart and remove my anger, and I also prayed that God would bring peace to that person who–at least to me–seemed so mean.  At first it wasn’t easy, but ultimately I found that it was impossible to stay angry at someone I was praying for every single day.

Be sure to read Edie’s corresponding post about More Forgiveness HERE.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE:  

We’ve all been on the receiving end of wrongdoing and sometimes that wrongdoing is incomprehensible. For most of us though, the offenses done to us by others on a daily basis are minor.  But when those build for weeks and months and years, they become toxic and not dealing with it now sets you up for unexpected outbursts of anger and resentment later.  Someone has probably already come to mind that you need to forgive or that you need to “let off the hook.”

 

Identify one person who has wronged you and become a source of bitterness in your life.  Write a letter detailing what you are angry about and how that hurt you.  End the letter by writing down how you intend to let go of your bitterness.  Don’t send the letter, but make a commitment to pray for that person every day this month.  Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below how writing that letter changed the way you feel about that person.

 

Less Bitterness | Letting Go | Moving On | Seeking Forgiveness | Life Goals | 31 Days of Less & More challenge

I’m so thrilled to have my sweet friend Crystal of Money Saving Mom joining our challenge this month!  Be sure to check out her incredibly insightful reflections on having less fear and more courage from yesterday’s post!

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Is there something in your life right now you are feeling bitter about?  Are you ready to let it go?

18 Comments

  1. October 3 at 09:35AM

    Prayer is such a powerful antidote. Sometimes it’s the only thing I can muster, too. Thank you for this straight-forward post! I hope you get a blessing for it.

  2. October 3 at 10:10AM

    I really needed to read this today. I’m wrestling with these feelings today and trying to really get them under control. I’m glad I came across this post.

  3. Holly
    October 3 at 10:15AM

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been holding on to a lot of bitterness and I know I need to let it go. Loving the 31 Days challenge so far!

  4. Julie
    October 3 at 10:43AM

    Amen! This post really resonated with me. Thank you for saying this so eloquently.

  5. Bee
    October 3 at 01:09PM

    Well it’s been a long time coming. But I finally let go of some anger & resentment. I wrote my letter and it made me very emotional. I can finally breath. Thanks!

  6. October 3 at 01:10PM

    Love the truth of this post. It is far too easy for our sinful selves to allow bitterness to creep in and take root. Before we know it, it is choking out our peace and happiness.

  7. October 3 at 01:54PM

    Yikes. Sometimes I forget how much I like to be a mud piggy (wallowing around in my anger) that writing this “letter” wasn’t really easy. Thank you for this post!

  8. Dana
    October 3 at 03:13PM

    I actually did this activity not too long ago. The wife of my boyfriend’s best friend (boy that’s long) has always had an issue with me. She’s gone to far as to ban me from her home. Even though she’ll never read the letter it felt so great to let all those negative feelings out. It was almost as if this hug weight had been lifted from my shoulder.
    I definitely recommend this to anyone. It sounds like a waste of time at first, but it helps so much.

  9. Sandy
    October 4 at 01:27AM

    It’s amazing how God puts just the right thing in your life at just the right time. I’ve been praying for someone for three years now. Praying for a softened heart because they truly hate me. They have hurt me and tried to hurt my loved ones but the more I pray the more I love this person. I will not stop praying and also said tonight that by this time next year this person will love me like I love them…my God said so…I just have to do my part.

  10. October 4 at 09:12AM

    I couldn’t do the challenge. In the midst of it, bitterness is too great! I did write a post about bitterness and forgiveness in the midst of it all, though.
    Thanks for this challenge, though. God is using you ladies to make me come out of my comfort zone and do things that I would never have done a year or two ago.
    Here’s my post. I hope you’ll read it.
    http://tigersandcoffee.blogspot.com/2013/10/day-3-bitterness-and-forgiveness-in.html

  11. October 26 at 11:02AM

    When I have to get my son ready for school he refuses to get ready. He does great for daddy though. But I don’t know what I can do to encourage him. I can not even bribe him. Only time he does his routines on his own is if he has his heart set on something and he wants to do them.

  12. Jackie McCall
    December 13 at 04:02AM

    Have just found this post and think I need much more – would love to receive a daily post! Thank you.

  13. August 31 at 10:28AM

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