By Practical Christianity Foundation, (PCF)
Many teachers, counselors, preachers, psychologists, and other professionals talk and write extensively about bitterness. There seems to be no shortage of agreement about its debilitating effects in the life of anyone who chooses to harbor bitterness. Whoever chooses to nurse bitterness continues to feed upon its poison, supplying a "woe-is-me" attitude to the ego which is the only guest at its own self-pity party.
There is a more serious issue at stake for the Christian, however. Bitterness is not only debilitating, but also a chain of steel keeping the child of God in a bondage of time, the past.
We admit that anything which causes bitter feelings is a very serious issue. We are not suggesting to simply slip into denial and forget that it ever happened. All the necessary spiritual, clinical, and professional steps must be taken to deal with the issue and its consequences.
However, to allow bitterness to grow root and remain a permanent resident of our heart and emotion is damaging, wrong, and ungodly. A time already lived out can never be unlived. The past cannot be undone. Yes, its consequences can and should be addressed in the correct way with the right help.
But to live in the past harboring bitterness is to turn oneself into a bondage of time contrary to the freedom we have in Christ. So, a Christian who is bound by bitterness is a living contradiction, free in Christ but bound by the past.
We cannot change the past. But the past can ruin our present and future unless we begin to live in the victory and freedom Christ has secured for us. Bitterness is a powerful emotion which exposes our inability to change the past. But as God's children, we should not worry about it because Christ our Redeemer is our Overcomer!
So, what will it be? Freedom, or bondage? A point to ponder!
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