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Last week we considered four principles for battling bitterness. Let’s continue reflecting on the Biblical principles evident in this track by Andy Mineo.

5. HAVE THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE

Mineo changes his perspective:

“I get bitter, kinda cold like the winter,

It’s so hard for me to forgive him then I remember that I’m a sinner

“Plus it’s stupid cause, I’ve been so forgiven,

That if I hold a grudge, I don’t show He’s risen,”

Making the shift from having the wrong perspective to having the right perspective is central to the work of forgiveness. Those who are bitter tend to regard themselves as deserving of better treatment than they have received, apparently unaware of what justice requires of sinful man. We must never demand better treatment on the grounds of what we deserve; our lives merit eternal punishment. Having the right perspective involves reflecting on the degree to which we have been forgiven. Forgiveness of others should flow naturally from an awareness and appreciation of how much God has forgiven us. Instead of saying “I deserve better,” say I have been forgiven much.

Those who are bitter tend to be preoccupied with their own needs so much that they are unaware of the needs of others. Paul instructs us to look out for the interests of others, regarding them as more important than our own interests (Phil. 2:3-4). Rather than focusing on how someone’s offensive behavior affects us (looking out for ourselves), choose to reflect on the struggles that person may be experiencing (looking out for others). Instead of saying “that really hurt me,” ask how are they hurting?

When we are tempted to nurse bitter feelings, we must forcefully remind ourselves that whatever has happened does not alter the fact that we are secure in Christ’s love and significant in His plan. Reading Scripture & meditating on our riches in Him will further help us to grasp the truth that our needs are met in Him. Instead of saying “I need you to do this or that to make me feel some type of way,” say my needs are met in Christ.

“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes (James 4:14).” Don’t waste your life being bitter.

6. PRAYER

Mineo’s prayer:

“Holy Spirit, teach me to be just like the Son,

Remove the roots of bitterness don’t stop until your work is done.”

“God I don’t wanna be bitter, teach me to forgive, let me see my own sin”

This is where we acknowledge that “it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). Meaning, it is God who works in us to bring forth in us the desire and the effort to fight bitterness and, thus, work out our salvation (Phil. 2:12).

Ask the Holy Spirit to do His rich work of opening up your inner life and revealing hidden bitterness. Ask God to keep you from being bitter. Ask God to let you see your own sin instead of focusing on another’s sin. Pray for God to help you have the right perspective when evaluating events that you see as offensive. Pray that you will never forget the magnitude and the cost of your own sin, and the great price that Jesus paid on the cross. Pray that God will give you a heart “full of mercy” (James 3:17). Pray that the Holy Spirit would grant repentance.

“Sometimes things just happen in life that don’t make any sense, but, bitterness is a choice” – Andy Mineo

 

What are some ways that you retaliate to being offended? What are some other ways we can fight bitterness?

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