These Two Words Are Poison

bitterness

The secret to an impossibly joyful life is letting go of two awful words.

They lurk in your heart like wild, angry beasts, looking for the right opportunity to devour you. They are toxins, too, seemingly innocent until they take over with a cancerous vengeance. If you have these two things in your heart, you cannot experience joy.

These words are bitterness and unforgiveness.

Bitterness comes:

  • When you’ve been hurt far too many times to count.
  • When others succeed and you don’t.
  • When you’ve been harshly judged.
  • When you can’t get the one thing you want.
  • When God disappoints you.
  • When people take advantage of you.
  • When your life doesn’t measure up to your expectations.
  • When you’ve been abused by someone who was supposed to protect you.

Which of those “when” statements resonates with you?

Unforgiveness comes:

  • When you feel the person who wronged you deserves your wrath.
  • When you can’t let go of an offense.
  • When you can’t get over the injustice of a betrayal.
  • When you feel the offense is just too large.
  • When you’re mad at God because He didn’t punish the perpetrator the way you saw fit.
  • When you like the feeling of unforgiveness. It gives you power.
  • When unforgiveness gives you control over someone.

Which of those “when” statements resonates with you?

Bitterness and unforgiveness will not only prevent joy, but they will make you walk backwards, lose ground.

If you can’t get rid of bitterness and unforgiveness, those you love will suffer. You are not designed to take on people’s offenses. You are not meant to carry them. That’s Jesus’ job. If you hold on, inevitably your bitter and unforgiving heart will lash out at the ones you love the most.

Prayer: Jesus, I admit that I hold bitterness and unforgiveness close. Help me realize how toxic they are to my desire to have a joy-filled life. I choose, for the sake of my loved ones, to give You those feelings of anger, to let go of my desire for vengeance. Please take the bitterness. Please help me realize how much I’ve been forgiven so I can offer that forgiveness to the villains in my life. I need Your help. Amen.


This is an ongoing Thursday series based on the book Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. It’s the book I wrote that details how exactly we can grow in our relationship with Jesus in a life-altering, hope-fueling way. It’s everything I know about discipleship and growth.

12 STEPS TO IMPOSSIBLE JOY-goldenrodThis particular blog post is ripped directly from my free ebook, 12 Steps to Impossible Joy. I’d like you to have it. Just click the button below to receive the free PDF.

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