Miriam Webster defines bitterness as “caused by or expressive of severe pain, grief, or regret”; with a definition like that, who can’t relate? Maybe it is the unexpected death of a loved one. Maybe it is the wrongful loss of a job, or the long road of unemployment you currently walk. No matter what loss or death of dream we face, bitterness is always a temptation; yet the scriptures tell us there is another path to take.
In Psalm 34, we find a man who is no stranger to heartache. David made his share of mistakes, and had many things happen to him that weren’t his fault, yet his response to both is the same: “I will bless the Lord at all times” (Ps 34:1). Rather than choosing to clinch his fist in bitterness and turn from God, he opens his hand in praise to the very God who formed him and will continue to guide his every step. David makes the decision to not allow emotions or circumstances to rule in his life: He chooses to bless God. How might I choose blessing over bitterness in my own story? How might I choose to lift my hand in praise rather than shaking my fist over things I can’t change? May our praises be more than mere adoration but an act of faith and obedience, trusting the God is faithful, no matter how I feel.
Have you fallen into the trap of allowing bitterness to take root in your heart? Put a name on that bitterness and give it to God. Ask God to give you blessings in place of the bitterness.