Getting Rid of Bitterness and Anger
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
—Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV
We all sometimes hold on to anger and bitterness for too long. There is something in us which wants to savor the bitterness of real or imagined wrongs which have been done to us. We obsessively return in our mind to what the person said or did, like touching the sore of a wound.
But just as your mother reminded you to stop picking your scabs, we would do well to let go of anger and bitterness. In the book Flourish, the psychologist Martin Seligman reports that “Holding on to anger and bitterness maintains depression and undermines well-being.”
Besides being the Christian thing to do, and a reflection of God’s forgiveness, forgiving others allows us to move on with our lives. It’s always better to forget the wrongs done to us in the past and move forward with plans for a better future.
Some people are blessed with the ability to almost immediately let things go, while others are cursed with a long memory for grievances. So even if you cannot manage to forget the wrong done to you, you might still find it in your power to forgive.