Monday, April 22, 2013

Bitterness

I read somewhere that our taste buds are most sensitive to bitterness. We taste sweet, sour, and spicy, but are particularly attuned to bitterness. The smallest amount overwhelms our palates. What I was reading hypothesized that this developed because many toxic substances are bitter. People who immediately spit them out lived longer and passed this trait to their children.

I've been realizing over the past few months that bitterness has the same effect on the soul. Joy, anger, and sorrow all have their seasons, strengthening and fading as events pass. But bitterness overwhelms. Like a slow poison, it colors everything - politics, friendships, economics, family, even relationship with God. The bitter heart expects disappointment, is critical of all, sees the cloud before every silver lining. It is not satisfied, no matter how many blessings are poured out. It criticizes others for daring to have undeserved wealth, power, influence.

Bitterness feeds on pride. "I know better. I would never behave as they do. Can't they see how hypocritical they are? Who would DO something like that?" Not I, Lord. Surely not I.

If you've successfully weeded bitterness out of your heart, how did you do it?

1 comment:

  1. Having an array of health issues, I've had to sit on the sideline many times when I'd much rather be off exploring, working, travelling, etc. I had to resign from a job that I loved, and I'll admit it makes me sad/angry when folks complain on facebook on how much they hate working. I JUST want to work. I JUST want my body to work so that my doctors will let me GO to work.

    However, this year, I've moved past a lot of that. I've turned those thoughts into a prayer, "Lord, thanks for ______ and that you've blessed them with a job/vacation/house/etc!" I've chosen to show gratitude for the blessings of others. I fervently believe gratitude is one of the most powerful responses, it can take discipline, and grossly underutilized. But once we get the ball rolling...bam. :)

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