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Think about it. When you don’t feel good about yourself, you use things like work, food, relationships, money and mood-altering substances to build a wall to keep people from getting too close. Of course, this isn’t the answer to your problem because lasting relationships can only be built when you stop hiding and become transparent with others. When you try to hide your problems from others, your troubles are magnified, and you become bitter at the world around you.

Bitterness will lead to a miserable life. Succumbing to the temptation of bitterness is not a lifestyle that anyone should want to live. Hiding your troubles causes you to keep the focus on what others think. But even worse than pretending with people is pretending with God. Until you face the truth about yourself, you will find it hard to talk to God. You will feel lonely and alienated.

The great African American poet Maya Angelou said, “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” Someone who is bitter is angry and unhappy because they cannot forget terrible things that happened in the past. A bitter experience causes deep pain or anger. Losing a job or an unhealthy relationship can cause a person to become bitter. The bitterness can be revealed as a facial expression or even in conversation with others.

Bitterness is a complex emotion that often is the result of having been disappointed time after time. Disappointment is another complicated emotion. It involves sadness, a sense of loss and expectations not realized. If you think about disappointment, you realize that anger may be in that mix, as well as feeling angry that things didn’t work out better or that your needs did not get met.

Well, how does someone combat bitterness in life? It begins with forgiveness. The Bible teaches that “a peaceful heart leads to a healthy body.” Forgiveness starts the process of healing. If you want to be mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy, don’t give place to bitterness. Remember God is always with us during times of our greatest needs. So Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten