I want to start off this post with a prayer over your heart. I’m about to share with you something that may be silently and subconsciously affecting your life in a way you wouldn’t have seen before today.
Father God, I pray over the woman reading this post. I pray that you would open her heart to hear what I’m about to say. I pray that the Your Holy Spirit would work in her in a way that only You can. Amen.
I don’t know about you, but I recently recognized how bitter of a person I am. Bitterness is holding a grudge, resentment, anger and disappointment, or as Webster’s defines it, “a lack of sweetness.” Bitterness and pettiness go hand-in-hand most of the time. One leads to the other. I’m also beginning to realize that pettiness is a behavior that’s glorified in American culture right now. When a guy breaks up with you, the first thing you want to do is call your best friend and be “petty” and post things on social media that are not-so-subtly about him. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re out of college and you still think about those middle school bullies sometimes, or the girl you hated in high school, or fill in your blank here. You get satisfaction from posting and reposting things that remind you of these painful times in your life, but for what purpose? Why do you feel the need to jab at the girl who has forgotten about what happened in high school? Why do you get pleasure from publicly proclaiming that your ex is a terrible person?
Pause for a second.
It hurts me and convicts my heart to ask myself these questions as I write them. Are you not an imperfect person? Am I not an imperfect person? Why are we casting stones at the woman caught in adultery when we, ourselves are adulterers? (See John 8) What is our mission here on earth as Christians? And what the heck does this have to do with mental health? I’m glad you asked, keep reading.
God does not allow us to stay tied to habits or people that prevent us from making Him our number one priority.
“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:2
Have you ever asked God for a sign? I know, I do it too, it’s embarrassing to admit! Sometimes, God gives us signs, yet we ignore them. We sit here, imperfectly human, and totally lost, like a sheep walking away from its shepherd and wait for a sign when we’re already being shown one. Look! You have consistent and daily panic attacks. You can’t get out of bed. You have suicidal thoughts. Here’s your sign!! What is going on? Have you ever thought that the bitterness you’re harboring in your heart is training your mind to think negatively day after day? Ever thought that your petty behavior is rooting you in something other than God?
I want to say somethings once-and-for-all:
- Your purpose here on Earth as a Christian is not going to include bitterness.
- Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
- Your petty behavior will only cost your mind more trouble.
- Proverbs 4:23-26: “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. Don’t use your mouth to tell lies; don’t ever say things that are not true. Keep your eyes focused on what is right, and look straight ahead to what is good. Be careful what you do, and always do what is right.”
- You need to resolve your bitterness with yourself, with others, and with God in order to have complete and total peace.
- Mark 11:25: “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.[f]”
These are your warning signs and your action plan. Here’s the bad news: forgiveness is hard. It doesn’t always happen in one day. It is a daily act of repentance and acceptance that God can handle. (Matt. 12:21-22) Here’s the good news: God knows your heart, mind, and soul. (Jeremiah 17:10) He’s already forgiven you. (2 Corinthians 5:19) We’re imperfect, and He knows that. He just asks that your heart be on Him.
Go get your peace, sister.