In my woman’s study bible, I recently fell upon an excerpt about bitterness. It proved extremely relevant to what God had been revealing to me and it tied in nicely with my recent study of Ruth at a weekly morning bible study.
The scripture focus Hebrews 12:15 states, looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
Bitterness can truly take a hold of your life creating an environment of perpetual hurt. To be completely honest, when I lost my mother I let bitterness take hold of certain areas of my life. Instead of growing stronger, I allowed the actions of others affect me while I was grieving making me bitter and resentful.
I’m thankful for the Lord not letting me wallow in this area for too long and my amazing husband, my father, and a close mentor for telling me the truth in love.
When I think of Ruth, I often think of the content woman who married a wise man of God despite being in a foreign land. What I often forget is the struggle Ruth had to go through and the leap of faith she made to follow her mother-in-law Naomi on a long journey to Bethlehem. Ruth also had to trust the Lord to care for them. After she lost her husband, she took on Naomi’s God and customs. She also was obedient and went to Boaz. In the end she married a man of God who loved her and provided all that she needed. Ruth did not ruin her life by becoming bitter. In the end, God created something special out of her marriage with Boaz. Their lineage led to the birth of Jesus Christ!
Here are a few ways I learned to have the sweet life:
Thankfulness. We all have reasons to be thankful. I remind myself of all of the times God has brought me through in the past and all of the genuine people he has placed in my life. God has placed me on this Earth for a reason and that I have His work to do. He hasn’t forgotten about me, and I’m truly thankful for that.
Grace. Remember the grace that God has given you. I am not perfect, and I should not expect anyone else to be. My mother always told me not place the same expectations on others that I place on God. This has proved so helpful reminding me that while people may fail me, God NEVER will.
Forgiveness. This is a must. Instead of struggling to make up your mind to forgive, just make the decision. This will bring you closer to the Lord and remove the unnecessary weight from your life.
Love. Ruth allowed her love for Naomi to cause her to abandon all that she knew and go to a new land. The Lord also tells us to love those who hurt us. Love is the only way for redemption and to truly please God.
I encourage you to read the book of Ruth. While it is a short book, the message covers a multitude of topics. I’ll leave you with this scripture: