A Bitter Taste
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Student Life

A Bitter Taste

Letting Go and Grasping Sweetness

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A Bitter Taste
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Salty. Bitter. Angry. Resentful. Irritated. Offended.

These feelings are unpleasant at best. Why, then, do we hang onto them as if they're going to help us? We've all heard the saying "holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die" (Buddha). Without giving too much authority to Buddha himself, his point in this quote is fiercely true. Far too often, people harbor grudges and expect the offender to be the one hurting. This isn't how it works, regardless of how much we'd like those who wrong us to magically be filled with painstaking remorse.

We need to ask ourselves, what is the solution?

Being "sinned against" is uncomfortable and upsetting. When we've been wronged, lied to, betrayed, or abused, it's human and it's natural to hold on to a grudge like it's the last thing we have in the world. Is it helpful, though?

No.

I don't want you to fall into the trap of letting someone else's wrongdoing hurt you more than once. It's inevitable that this life will throw you into situations and relationships that won't work out in your favor or in your best interest. When someone's actions hurt you, unintentionally or deliberately, it's more than likely that you will experience pain in some form or another. There's simply no way to walk through life and come out on the other side completely unscathed. It's a reality we can't change.

There is a kind of hurt, however, that we do control. Hanging onto bitterness is like gripping a fiery, hot, poker. Nobody makes you grab it, and you only burn yourself. Regardless of who started the fire and who threw the poker in there, you can choose whether or not you pick it up and brand yourself with it. You can choose to forgive someone who has caused you pain. You can choose to let go of bitterness and live in freedom and joy. No one can stop you from that.

As this new year begins, be encouraged to seek freedom from the hurt you are allowing too much power. If you've been wronged, forgive for the sake of your own liberation from unnecessary hurt, as well as the simple fact that God has forgiven you for the sins that nailed Him to a tree. Just as His mercies are new every morning, let your mercy towards others be evidenced by your forgiving spirit and you will be blessed by the wonders it works in your own life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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