Following God One Step at a Time

Letting Go of Bitterness

on October 6, 2013

Welcome! If you are looking for “Letting Go of the Past”, just click on it in my archive list on the right side of this blog.

Today, I am thinking about bitterness,  the sermon topic at church this past weekend. 

It was actually called “Life is too short, to hold onto Bitterness”,

but the message was actually about “letting go of bitterness”. 

Bitterness, for me, brings up bad feelings when I think about another person.  Bitterness causes me to have a negative attitude about a person.  Bitterness makes me want to avoid that person.  Bitterness seems to be connected to unforgiveness.   I have worked a lot with forgiveness.  I keep trying to forgive, but some unforgiveness remains.  Maybe the key to forgiveness, is letting go of bitterness.

Thinking about bitterness is new to me.  I don’t use that word normally.  The sermon this weekend has me really thinking about it.  What is bitterness?  How do we get bitterness?  More importantly, how do we get rid of it?!

Maybe what we did this weekend at church will help you let go of bitterness.  On a piece of paper write, “I want to let go of the bitterness I feel toward –” (Here list the people you feel bitter toward, or those you haven’t been able to forgive).  Then fold that piece of paper several times, and burn it.  At church we had burn barrels (which I suspect is something that only people from rural midwest towns are familiar with).  You can throw it in your fireplace, or fire pit, or outdoor grill.  If you don’t have a way to safely burn it, then tear it up into small pieces and throw it to the wind, or in a creek or river.  The idea is to put a visual with your mental exercise of letting go of the bitterness.

Now, I will confess that this one exercise of burning the piece of paper, did not entirely get rid of my bitterness.  It did make me aware of the bitterness I feel towards a few people (5 on my paper).  It also has made me think about bitterness, and realize it is a feeling I didn’t know I had.  It was hidden.  It is sure hard to let go of something that was hidden.  Were you aware of your bitterness?

The more I think about bitterness, the more sure I am that it is the key to forgiving.  I am definitely going to think about how I can let go of bitterness.  If you have any experience getting rid of bitterness, I would appreciate it if you share with us in the comments below. 

I love it when a sermon at church teaches me something new, and gets me thinking!  Now I have another “To Do” on my “to do list” — Let go of bitterness. 


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