Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Eph. 4:31
God’s faithfulness has always been a source of wonder and blessing to me, especially in the face of my sinful knee-jerk reactions! A few weeks ago, my husband and I disagreed over a subject which elicited tears and hurt feelings from me and as well as frustration and hurt feelings from him. As we ended the discussion on in conflict, I found my heart becoming bitter and I could feel myself withdrawing from my relationship with him, my typical reaction to a disagreement that I don’t “win”!
Yet, I knew my all too human reaction was counter to how my precious Jesus would react in the same situation. Therefore, I needed God to change my heart. So, I prayed about my bitterness and asked my adult daughter to add her prayers that I would intentionally put my bitter feelings aside to obey my Savior and respect my husband’s wishes on the subject about which we disagreed. Later that very day, God in His faithfulness presented me with an opportunity to discuss the quality of love and compromise that sustains a marriage or any other vital relationship.
As I shared the kind of love that God had cultivated in my husband and I for the last eighteen years, I could feel my Lord’s presence and the reminder of the Holy Spirit within me of just what a blessing my husband has been to me. The fact is, he’s really an awesome guy; human, flawed like everyone else, but awesome in my estimation. He is thoughtful, far more patient than I ever am and he has a gentleness that I would do well to emulate! As I continued in the discussion with my friend, I realized just how minor my disagreement with Bob was and that it really was not worth wasting the time and energy in disagreeing. While that is not always the case, in this instance, it was the truth. My willingness to respect his opinion and restore relationship was far more important to me than holding on to my bitterness and “winning” my case.
I had a choice. I could choose to let go of the bitterness, or allow the bitterness to take hold and spoil the precious relationship we shared. God in His grace and faithfulness, reminded me of my choice when He allowed me to share just how much my relationship with Bob meant to me. He demonstrated through my own testimony why I should not choose bitterness. His grace in showing me why I should let go of the bitterness was tender and merciful in the extreme. My heart was overwhelmed and the bitterness disappeared like fog in the sunshine.
Thank you Lord for your faithfulness in showing me my bitterness and then giving me the strength to let it go. Amen.