Two little boys had a quarrel as they were playing catch with a ball and glove. Johnny slammed the kitchen door and told his mother he’d never have anything to do with Bobby again. And yet, the next day, there he was on his way out the door with his ball and glove. “I’ll be over at Bobby’s,” he said. “I thought you were finished with Bobby forever,” said his mother. Johnny said, “Oh, me and Bobby are good forgetters.”
Paul says, in Ephesians 4:31, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.”
The words “put away” mean “to dispose of, to discard, to get rid of.” If you are going to remove bitterness from your life, the first thing you have to do is get the “get even” feeling out of your heart. A wise man once said, “Don’t seek revenge. The rotten fruits will fall by themselves.” You’ve got to bury that problem in an unmarked grave and trust our all-knowing and just God to handle the rest.
Do you need to forgive that person who has wronged you?
You must forgive them Freely, whether they ask for it or not.
You must forgive them Fully; you can’t just cut your bitterness in half.
You must forgive them Finally; you must forgive that person once and for all.
When we don’t completely forgive, and we hold on to bitterness, we are like the little boy who was sitting on a park bench in obvious agony. A man walked by and asked him what was wrong. The boy answered, “I’m sitting on a bumble bee.” “Then why don’t you get up?” the man asked. The boy replied, “Because I figure that I am hurting him more than he is hurting me.” Is it not time for you to get up off the park bench, so that the healing process can begin? Is there a root of bitterness in your heart? Is that bitterness eating you up from the inside?
After the Civil War in the U.S.A., General Robert E. Lee visited a lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. The tree had been like a family heirloom. She cried as she pointed to the limbs that had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire and the trunk that had been defaced by the Union army. She looked at the General and asked, “What will I do about it?” After a moment of silence, Lee responded and said, “Cut it down, my dear, and forget it.”