Through a recorded sermon last night and a sermon from my pastor this morning, I've realized that I've allowed roots of bitterness to fester in my heart. I've been subconsciously bitter towards a few specific people that ignorantly hurt or insulted me. In last night's message, preached by Steve Canfield, he talks about how bitterness blackens a pure heart and keeps hearts from becoming pure. Steve said that bitterness was like a prison cell without doors. I was angry and upset at certain people, and wanted nothing more than to teach them a lesson. I was so angry at what I thought was stupidity and lack of thinking and rudeness, that I found myself wishing them harm. I wanted their plans and hopes to fail so I could look and feel better. Through my thoughts, I trapped myself in a prison. Steve said it like this, "Bitterness is the poison you drink thinking it will kill somebody else." I was angry at some people because they ruined the friendship with us, and I was angry at others because I felt like they weren't thinking and had a holier-than-thou attitude at the same time. I doubt these people even have a clue as to how I feel. So in an anonymous way, I just want to apologize to the four people I'm thinking of. It wasn't right for me to be bitter, and I forgive you for how you wronged me. This isn't one of those big deals, because I'm not wracked with guilt or tearing my clothes or sitting in ashes, but I am frustrated with myself now that I see my own blindness. I see that while they had faults, I too had my own to deal with. And even though one situation is on-going and it just feels like this person isn't thinking things through very well, I'm going to forgive that person and release myself from my own prison.
Steve also told me the truth about bitterness: if you continue to be angry and don't forgive, the situation will get worse; if you wait for the other person to confess their sins to forgive them, you may never get the chance and will keep yourself in the prison cell; if you forgive the person regardless, you're released from the cell and don't have to worry about or wait on the other person. I choose to walk away.