LONELINESS and BITTERNESS
LONELINESS AND BITTERNESS
“The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them” (2 Timothy 4:16 NLT).
These two terms today are very close to home and personal for me. They represent the genesis of a lot of my sin and despair and shortcomings. Anger, bitterness, envy, doubt, and acts of commission and those of omission are all areas where I have struggled. I have to admit and confess that I have tried to deal with these things on my own, which in itself was wrong, and you can be certain when I tried to face them alone, the decisions I made were worse.
In the verse today, Paul talks about how no one went with him to go before the judge. He had been abandoned. One of the greatest followers of Jesus ever, was on trial in Rome and not one person stepped forward to defend him. Not one! Paul was by himself. There was no one to say that this guy was good and he is alright.
So what would you say….”those jerks”…”no one loves me”….”booo hooo” ? Paul says “may it not be counted against them.” In other words he was not going to be bitter about this. Bitterness always makes loneliness worse. Trust me, of this I know. Paul teaches us here how to go through a season of loneliness. Feeling lonely?, minimize the hurt.
PLAY DOWN THE HURT AND PRAY IT UP!
I am going to share these statements with full disclosure that they have been very difficult for me to do myself. But here goes!
Refuse to be resentful. Bitterness will devour you. Bitterness and loneliness are a box set and team. The cycle goes, you get lonely, feel lonely, and then throw a pity party. And if you have any time at all to get in your own mind you will be consumed with bitterness and then that feeds off the loneliness and they both snowball together. You feel more bitter, more lonely, which makes for more bitter, and so on. All this activity hardens the heart. When the heart hardens no one wants to be close to it and it does not want to be close to others either.
Nobody wants to be around a bitter person. So when I am bitter, I withdraw,…just when I don’t need to.
Nobody wants to be around a cynic. So when I a feel cynical, I go quiet.
Nobody wants to be around an angry person. So when I am angry, I keep that to myself.
WHEN LONELINESS STRIKES, WE MUST KEEP BITTERNESS AT BAY. IT IS REAL EASY FOR THAT NOBODY NO ONE WANTS TO BE AROUND TO TURN TO BUILDING A SAFE WALL LETTING NO ONE IN, INCLUDING GOD
WE CANNOT AFFORD TO BUILD A WALL AROUND OUR LIFE
ONE OF THE BEST THERAPIES, I BELIEVE, FOR ANYTHING THAT AILS YOU, IS TO FOCUS ON OTHERS! DIVE INTO SERVICE OF OTHERS FOCUSING ON GOD AS YOUR GPS AND ALL OTHERS AS WHO YOU CAN SERVE. IT IS NOT ABOUT ME! IT IS ABOUT GOD…IT IS ABOUT ALL OTHERS. I AM LAST!
Acrid bitterness inevitably seeps into the lives of people who harbor grudges and suppress anger, and bitterness is always a poison. It keeps your pain alive instead of letting you deal with it and get beyond it. Bitterness sentences you to relive the hurt over and over.
- Lee Strobel