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Hammering Anger with Contentment and Beating Bitterness with Peace

How about delving into something hitting close to home: anger and bitterness versus contentment and peace. Yeah, I know, it's a mouthful, but stick around because we're about to dive into some real talk that could just change the way you see things.


Something or someone rubs you the wrong way. Maybe it's that coworker who always seems to have something to say about everything you do. Or perhaps it's a situation where life just doesn't seem fair, and you can't help but feel like you got the short end of the stick.


Before you know it, anger and bitterness start creeping in like that guy you don’t want to have lunch with.


Feeling angry or bitter every once in a while, is perfectly normal. We're bound to encounter situations that push our buttons. But here's the thing: when anger and bitterness start to take root and grow unchecked, they can slowly but surely poison our hearts and minds, turning us into shadows of our true selves.


Problems come when our hurt turns into a debt we want or expect someone else to pay. You know them, those people.


Those people who owe you- Maybe those people for you are people who owe you money they owe you a job they owe you a childhood a marriage they owe you an explanation they at least owe you an explanation.

Those people

Those people.


Most of us at some point find ourselves living with this “those people” approach to life and when we think of other people as those people it inevitably takes us away from what God wants for us and bitterness and anger slow consume our hearts.


There is a way out of this dark and twisty maze. It starts with recognizing the hidden signs that anger and bitterness are starting to take over, and then taking intentional steps towards cultivating contentment and humility in our lives.


So, let's talk about those sneaky signs. One of the first indicators that anger and bitterness are gaining ground is when you find yourself dwelling on past hurts or injustices.


You know what I'm talking about – replaying that argument in your head over and over again, or mentally composing that scathing comeback you wish you had said. It's like being stuck on a never-ending loop of negativity, and it can drain the joy right out of life.


Another telltale sign is when you start to notice a shift in your demeanor towards others.


Maybe you find yourself snapping at your loved ones for no apparent reason, or you're quick to judge and criticize those around you. It's like there's a cloud of negativity hanging over your interactions, making it difficult to truly connect with people on a meaningful level.


Bitterness and anger usually have a common root, you got hurt….


The world is full of people who have not dealt with old hurt. They look for things to criticize, people to find fault with, and ways to justify the way they feel. Have you ever seen people who are hypercritical? Generally, they are bitter.


They know how to push your buttons until you react in a way that further justifies their bitterness. Then, they say, I was right. I have a right to be bitter.


The root of anger and bitterness is underground; it is easy to hide and camouflage. Seldom do you find anyone who will admit that they are an angry or bitter person.


They will either deny it or disguise it. A bitter person is hypersensitive, ungrateful, insincere, holds grudges, and has mood swings.


It costs you though. It affects you physically, emotionally, and spiritually because Anger and Bitterness are an acid that destroys its container. You are the container. 


When your heart is bitter, God will not be real to you be. Why? Because hatefulness and holiness do not live in the same heart and without holiness you will not see the Lord.


Hard question…are you bitter, angry? I know the knee jerk answer is no. Take a minute, are you? I hope not, but this is too important to brush by. You need to do simple heart inventory and wrestle with this question. Bitterness and anger hurt you too much to ignore them!


There's good news: recognizing these signs is the first step towards breaking free from the grip of anger and bitterness. It's like turning on a light in a dark room – suddenly, you can see things more clearly, and you realize that there is another way.


So, how do we cultivate contentment and humility in our lives? A few suggestions to get you started:

 

1)     Hammer Anger Back with Contentment: Take some time each day to reflect on the things you're thankful for. It could be as simple as a warm cup of coffee in the morning or a smile from a stranger on the street. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can help shift your focus away from what's lacking in your life towards the abundance that surrounds you.


Find good things in your life and allow them to take up the headspace you were using for the wrong things. Colossians tells us “set your heart on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set you mind on things above, not on earthly things”

 

2. Beat Bitterness with Peace: Peace and humility are tightly connected. Peace and humility come not by thinking less of yourself, but rather, thinking of yourself less. It's about recognizing that you are part of something greater than yourself and approaching life with a sense of openness and curiosity.


Cultivate humility by being willing to learn from others, admitting when you're wrong, and embracing the beauty of imperfection. Let peace flow through you by embracing the fact that Jesus is in control.

 

 

3. Choose forgiveness: Holding onto grudges only serves to weigh us down and keep us trapped in a cycle of bitterness. Instead, make the choice to forgive those who have wronged you – not because they necessarily deserve it, but because you deserve to be free from the burden of resentment.


One of the hardest things to do in life is to let go of bitter feelings towards others, ourselves, and God. Bitterness is defined as an attitude of extended and intense anger and hostility. It is often joined by resentment and a desire to “get even." It is the result of not forgiving someone and letting hurt and anger grow until the pain and resentment hurt you…


Chances are high the things that has you angry and bitter today, won’t be a thing a year from now. It if is temporary is worth the poison in your soul?


Now, I know what you're thinking – easier said than done. You're absolutely right. Cultivating peace and humility is a journey, not a destination, it requires patience, perseverance, and a grace. But take heart,  you are not alone in this.


In times of struggle and doubt, I find solace in the wisdom of the Bible. One passage that speaks to me particularly on this topic is Philippians 4:11-13, where the apostle Paul writes:


I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

These words remind us contentment is not dependent on external circumstances, but

rather, it flows from a deep sense of trust and faith in Christ. And when we cultivate humility – when we let go of our need to control and surrender things change.


Roots of bitterness and anger can be pulled up.


Cultivate hearts of contentment and peace. Let go of the grip of anger and bitterness and embrace the peace that comes from knowing Christ in me.


 

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