Do you ever scan magazine covers when you’re waiting in line at the grocery or convenience store? It’s hard not to. The headlines grab us–who’s in, who’s out, who’s this week’s hottest scandal. Even for those of us not following the gossip train, it’s almost impossible to not look and see what we’re missing.
And then there are the beauty secrets.
All the magazines have them. How to have fab abs. How to lose 10 pounds in a week by eating watermelon. How to have youthful, glowing skin without spending a fortune. If it was free advice on healthy living, and if it was true, who wouldn’t want to know these things? Lots of “if’s”, but still. Inquiring minds want to know real beauty secrets.
So here’s one: How To Release The #1 Stressor That Ages Us Faster Than Sun Exposure.
And the good news is that you don’t have to buy a magazine to get the answer. It’s Beauty Secret #27: Burn Off Bitterness.
Bitterness is something we want to purge. It’s like a cancer that slowly eats away at us from the inside out. Bitterness takes root in our mind and soul, and then it spreads. And it begins affecting every aspect of our lives. Bitterness dictates how we feel and interact with other people. It can sour our thoughts about ourselves. It takes a physical toll on our bodies through stress, anxiety and continual unrest (aka lack of peace).
What causes bitterness? Bitterness brews in feelings of resentment. We’ve been wronged. We’ve been hurt. And the person who did this isn’t suffering the way we are. Or they aren’t suffering the way we think they should. Bitterness festers inside of us and morphs into anger, extreme disappointment, and dissatisfaction.
We have to burn off bitterness before it consumes us.
How? The first step is to recognize we’re harboring bitterness. The other day I saw my friend and said, “Hey, how are you?” Her response, “I’m a seething volcano of bitterness. How are you?” Well, at least that’s a start. She got it out by being honest that bitterness was taking root.
The second step to burn off bitterness is to let go. Let go of the anger. Let go of the resentment. Let go of the need to see the other person suffer like we have. These bitterness burdens weigh us down and send acid through our veins. We need to break the chains that bind us and let go of the past. We don’t have to forget what happened. But we can’t be imprisoned by it anymore. The truth is that our bitterness is eating away at us and killing our joy. It’s not doing anything to the other person.
The hard part of letting go is forgiving the other person. Again, this doesn’t mean forgetting. It means putting them in the hands of God and saying, “God, You deal with them in Your timing and Your way.” This was hard for me to do. Until I realized that the wrath of Almighty God would be far better than anything I could come up with. Of course, I’d like to be there watching as wrath poured down. But even if that person seems to prosper, I know that everyone faces the Judgment Seat at the end of their life and will have to answer for their deeds. That means them. That means me and you. So just as Christ has forgiven us and allowed us to enter the presence of Holy God, so too we have to let go of our bitterness and forgive others. God will step in and take over as He sees fit.
The final step to burn off bitterness is to march forward in life as if we’re power walking to the coffee shop four blocks away (or the chocolate shop in my case). We’re free! We’re no longer drowning in a sea of bitterness. We’re no longer chained to the past. We can truly rise above our circumstances and continue on our journey toward new life. That other person no longer has a hold on us because we’ve let go. We put that person in the hands of God and we’ve dropped our feelings of bitterness, anger and resentment. Pump those arms and work up a sweat marching forward. Feel the burn!
Beauty Secret #27–Burn off Bitterness. Get it out (acknowledge it). Let go and forgive. March forward with God’s power. Rejoice as you burn off the bitterness!
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger… forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
May I pray?
Lord, we’re not always aware of the bitterness we’re holding onto. Then one day our feelings explode and we realize bitterness has been brewing inside of us and wearing us down. Father, show us today any bitterness that may be taking root in our life. Help us to get it out and let go. Help us to forgive as You have forgiven. Not because we have to forget what happened, but to release any grip the bitterness has on us by keeping our minds trapped in the past. Lead us forward in Your strength as we break free once and for all and burn off the bitterness. Amen.
Q4U: What is an area of bitterness that is or has been the hardest for you to burn off?