How to Move Your Life from Bitter to Better

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

Two words. Only one letter makes them different. But that one letter puts them at opposite ends of the attitude spectrum.

A Negative Mind Will Never Give You A Positive Life Concept text on background

Bitter implies a negative response to life’s circumstances: anger, hurt, resentment.  

Better implies a positive, pro-active response to life’s circumstances: courage, confrontation, commitment.

Bitter implies victim-hood. Better implies victor-hood.

One word determines which will prevail: Choice.

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The Bitter Heart

bitterness-angry-man1Have you ever been around a bitter person? Everything about him shouts miserable, angry, resentful, unforgiving, antagonistic, and even hostile.  In fact, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “bitterness” as “exhibiting intense animosity, harshly reproachful, and marked by cynicism and rancor.”   

Bitterness is one of the greatest enemies of the human heart. If allowed to remain in our hearts, bitterness will harden them and prevent us from reaching not only our earthly destiny, but also–and far more serious–our eternal destiny.

Bitterness has many causes, but regardless of the cause, there are four key ways to remove bitterness from your heart:

1) Express your bitter feelings to God. Be honest and don’t hold back. God knows your feelings anyway, so why try to hide them? One of the reasons God called David “a man after his own heart” is that David was totally honest with God. Whenever David needed to, he vented his feelings before God, and God listened and heard and helped.

2) Forgive those who hurt you in such a way as to incite bitterness. Remember that God will not forgive you unless you forgive others (Matthew 6:15). In the grand scheme of things, holding a grudge is stupid because it hurts you more than the one who offended you.

3) Leave the matter in God’s hands. Do not seek revenge. God says that vengeance belongs to Him alone (Romans 12:19).

4) Pray for the person who hurt you. As you do, you will begin to see that person in a new light and from God’s perspective.  Before you know it, your bitterness will have disappeared, leaving love and compassion in its place.

Copyright 2015 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

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Photo Source: Courtesy of Cortney Garrett