There may be genuine grievances;
but what makes us bitter is that we ponder them
and meditate upon them and stay with them;
in other words, we nurse our grievances, we dwell on them,
we pay great attention to them,
and if we are tending to forget them we deliberately bring them back
and allow them to work us up again into a state of bitterness.
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones

I remember learning about bitterness as a child.  I remember teachers talking about how bitterness takes root and causes all kinds of damage.  That sounded so awful I resolved to not allow bitterness to take root in my heart.  I thought I had succeeded until read this quotation above.

It is a very female thing to bring to mind past events, sometimes long past events.  Do we have good purposes for thinking about these things over and over?

When I read this quotation, I thought about the times that I brought things to my mind.  That wasn’t bitterness.  It was just making sure things were right for me.  I was telling God all of my problems.

Bitterness?  What were my emotions or attitudes during those times?  Peaceful?  Loving?  Frustrated?  Unhappy?  Angry?  . . .  Maybe it was bitterness.

The way to deal with the problems of life is to talk to the Lord about it.  Tell Him about the problems, then ask Him what you did that was wrong in that situation.  He will tell you what you’ve done wrong.  Be quick to admit that He is right and ask for forgiveness.  Then do the right thing.  You will usually that this action takes care of the problem.  If it doesn’t, then ask the Lord what you should do next.  Keep praying for yourself and the others involved, and watch the Lord take care of things.

Once you’ve taken the situation to God and asked for forgiveness, put it out of your mind.   Philippians 3:13 is a help.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead

When we have followed that verse, we can rejoice in Lamentations 3:22-23.

The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

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