There are issues of hurt that strike us all; whether it is people’s intention to hurt us or not; whether our expectations, alone, are to blame or not. Often it is a blend of the two.
It doesn’t really matter what has caused our bitterness, apart from acknowledging the fact that bitterness – whatever the cause, and whether we are vindicated or not – has seen us turn from God.
Bitterness has seen us turn from God
Bitterness always requires repentance. It seems hard to say this, because it lacks compassion, perhaps; the important fact is not that we have been ill-considered, but that we have turned from God as evident by our attitude.
Repentance, therefore, like forgiveness, is not really about the other party at all; it’s about us and how we are relating with God, because bitterness and a close relationship with God are concepts that cannot coexist.
When we venture within our bitterness for any length of time we experience what is detrimental, and not just to ourselves. Others are always impacted by our bitterness. But we have an opportunity...
What Such a Prayer of Repentance (for Bitterness) Looks Like
Recently I needed to pray a prayer, something like this:
Dear Heavenly Father,
In acknowledging your Sovereignty over all creation and even over my own mind, heart, and soul, I bring before you an offering of my bitterness in order that you might heal me. This is a simple prayer, Lord, where I recognise I have turned from you and have journeyed within my own hurt – to my and others’ detriment.
Thank you that you have shown me the trick of the enemy in having perceived these slights against me. Thank you that because of you I can see the spiritual attack, which calls me, afresh, to go after you with more passion and commitment. I recommit to you, now.
I beseech you, Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ, for your healing in cleansing me of my hurt. I pray that you would redirect my thoughts, having healed me of my bitterness, such that you would consume my focus.
I pray this in my Lord Jesus’ wonderful name, AMEN.
Bitterness will be the end of us, spiritually, if we do not arrest the slide. When we submit our bitterness to God, repenting of it, turning back to him, we can be healed in having been made right in him, again. Bitterness is not about the other party; it’s all about our relationship with God. It’s not about them; it’s about us and God.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.