Looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
The primary reason we hold grudges is to get vengeance. Subconsciously, we somehow think that our bitterness toward someone will magically make that person miserable. Instead we are usually the ones who end up being hurt by our feelings.
Vicki had been divorced for three years when she came to see me. Her anger toward her former husband and her best friend was destroying her ability to live in the peace that God wanted for her. In visiting, Vicki came to realize that bitterness was futile and that she must put it aside. But putting aside bitterness was not easy. Vicki had to recognize daily that God was in charge of judgment and vengeance was not her job. She also had to find a way to let go of the deep-seated anger that was fueling her bitterness.
Vicki didn’t feel the freedom to communicate her feelings with her ex-husband or her ex-best friend whom her husband had had an affair, but she did write them letters, and read them to me, her therapist, and then destroy them. Letter writing helped her to express her anger, let go of it and choose forgiveness.
Thought: I will prayerfully write a letter today to the person I have felt most bitter towards. I will express my angry feelings, then ask God to help me forgive that person. Finally, I will throw the letter away.