Often very painful chapters of life threaten to consume us. Moving on can be difficult and slow even for the most forgiving. But some gain satisfaction in rehearsing the hurtful events repeatedly, even attempting to gain sympathizers and turn others against one’s enemy. While it is true that truly hurtful people should be exposed and the pain of abuse must be processed, we must take care not to overprocess the pain.
Replace bitterness with forgiveness. Hebrews 12:15 says that when a person becomes bitter, they “fail of the grace of God.” Grace is unmerited favor, undeserved forgiveness freely bestowed. Jesus forgave His enemies, and so can we. No, we don’t trust them, excuse them, or turn a blind eye to wrong done. Forgiveness is an intelligent choice to release from punishment because we ourselves have been released, and a freeing, joyful alternative to the tangled root of bitterness.