How Bitterness Clouds Forgiveness
I know this word is a hard one because over the past 23 years I have lived in bitterness towards a dad that walked out on me when I was a young. I grew up poor and unwanted by the world standards, and learned to hate quick, because people would always say they were there for you then be gone in the next breath. Hate became so easy that I thought forgiveness was weakness. This becomes a mindset that takes control of you, and only can be overcome by the long-suffering grace of God.
Conviction of my bitterness came while I was sitting in the car with my wife and a young man. We were listing to a song called Bitter. This song opened with a voicemail of a father calling his son, and said “you don’t want your father to see you, you’re supposed to call me, you don’t like me anymore, call your father please”. At this moment, I turned it up and thought, “I’ve heard that voice mail 1000 times”, and I know the emotions and pains of calling back a father that left me. Then I took a deep breath and thought on this: if Jesus can forgive me of all my sins, why can’t I let this bitterness go? As the battle in my head began to go on, where my flesh would say. “You don’t have to walk in forgiveness because remember what he did to you? He walked out on you.” Then, all I could think about was how my heavenly Father will always be there for me and cannot walk out on me. This was a very comforting thought that dominated the flesh. This Bible verse came to mind: Eph 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ Forgave you.”