Ever just sit around in self-pity or bitterness and think life isn’t fair? Maybe you didn’t get the job you wanted, a friend moved to another city, or your relationship with someone just ended. Many things in life occur that we are not prepared for or foresee coming. However, when uncontrollable things happen we do get to control our reaction. Are you bitter or do you use this situation to make you better?
Lets look at Ruth in the bible. Her husband, that she loved dearly, passed away. Was she sad? Yes, I’m sure, and that’s normal. But was she bitter? No, she chose to stay and take care of her mother-in-law in a time of trial. The results were huge. She worked in man named Boaz’s field and later married him. Ruth had children and in later generations Jesus, the Savior of the world, came through her lineage. Just think what would have happened if she had become bitter and stayed in a state of self-pity when her first husband died? Her life would have been so different. Ruth chose with God’s help to be better, not bitter.
So what about you? What will you choose? I know what you are thinking, “Julz, you don’t understand what situation I am in.” Hey, I have been there and I understand. Here are some steps that I have helped me recently trade bitterness for betterness.
1. Write out a prayer.
Take time and write a prayer to God with every thought and feeling. Tell him everything about your situation and how it makes you feel. I do this a lot. Even if you tell God you are mad at him for _____ reasons, or life isn’t fair because of _____. God already knows what you are thinking, so you’re not surprising Him with your words. Once you get it all out there you can see the root of the bitterness and really know where you need God’s help.
2. Get into the word.
The Lord always speaks to me when I search for Him in scriptures. Paul says in 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” (NIV) Our Father cares for every part of you- your heart, emotions, thoughts, and your life. Allow our Father to speak truth to you through His Word and give you peace.
3. Make a list.
Physically write out a list of reasons why this situation is good.
For example, “Reasons I am happy I did not get this job:”
I get to spend more time with Jesus.
I can focus on my relationship with my friends, family, etc.
I get to learn to trust God in hard situations.
My friend Claire gave me this idea and it has helped me so much. Even if your positives seem small or menial write them out! Hang up your list in your room or tell your girlfriends, who hold you accountable, about this list. When you are feeling discontent or bitter, break out the list and remind yourself of the positives!
4. Pray and Trust!
Daily pray that you will trust in the Lord and his plans for your life. Don’t just pray one day. Pray everyday, and multiple times a day. Feeling discontent or anxious? Pray right then for your heart to trust God.
You can be better by the strength of the Lord! In Philippians 4:12-13 Paul is talking about being content through God’s strength. He says, “…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether in living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Our loving Father will give you strength for all things when we abide in Him and truly trust Him with our lives.
You can be better instead of bitter with the Lord’s help. Seek Him and he will reveal himself to you.