I’ve become aware that during times of stress (personal or professional) that I have to be on top of my heart. Working with me during times of high pressure becomes a challenge. I notice that I don’t have time for silliness yet I tend to act immature. This is when I become BITTER. We all have that tendency, but it doesn’t mean it’s okay. BITTERNESS can destroy relationships, it can slow down productivity and it can turn you away from the path that God has laid before you. Unfortunately, many times it’s realized too late. Before someone calls you out on it you need to be aware of the signs that you are becoming too BITTER.
Problem:You Think Only Of You
You know you are becoming bitter because you feel as if the only one who cares about YOU is YOU. Your thoughts go from, “What can I do for this church?” to “What can I start doing for me?” You follow through on that thought and you’ll isolate yourself from others.
Solution: Do Something Selfless
Best way to combat selfishness is with selflessness. Take opportunity (even something small) to do something unexpected for another person.
Problem: You Avoid Talking To Certain People
You keep your office door closed all the time and you don’t want to talk to other people because you feel as if they are going to set you off. Everyone seems annoying or inconvenient so you do your best to ignore them. Doing this creates voids where mistrust and confusion settle in.
Solution: Lean Into Conflict
Take sometime to reflect on what it is that’s triggering a negative response in your heart. You will find that time has gone by since you’ve worked on your relationship with that person. Or, you may discover that there is still some unresolved issue. When you leave a gap in communication anything can happen, so close that gap with trust and love.
Problem: You Act Cynical Instead Of Celebrate
You are at a staff meeting and everyone is praising the weekend or the church wide event but you in your mind are thinking, “It wasn’t that great.” Why wasn’t it great? Is it because it didn’t go according to YOUR plans? When we can’t celebrate with the team, when we can’t celebrate all of God’s blessings, we can’t live a life to the fullest.
Solution: Start Praising In Public
Even if it seems forced find something positive to say. The best way to fight cynicism is with outward praise. Even if it’s difficult, just start with one thing where you can say “This was totally amazing.”
Bitterness is a heart issue if left unaddressed will leave you rotten inside. To help you through your bitterness it’s wise to find someone who can hold you accountable and call you out with brutal truth. Bitterness will also arise when we are away from God. Your bitterness might be a result of not spending enough time with God. So take some time today to do something selfless, lean into something big and celebrate something small. Turn that bitterness to a heart filled with joy.
What are other signs of bitterness that you see arise in yourself or others? Please comment.