Sharing in the joys is a little more difficult. It shouldn’t be, but we are human, and sometimes, we may genuinely feel excited for a friend’s good fortune, while, at the same time, we feel somehow slighted. She has so much and I want so little, so why does everything seem to go her way? She doesn’t even want more kids and she’s pregnant…She doesn’t even want a man in her life, but she has one pining for her…When will it be my turn? Does any of this sound familiar? Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one who feels just a twinge of bitterness when these situations arise. But, I am a growing work in progress, so if this isn’t for you, then please just indulge me for minute while I step on my own toes.
I once heard that the difference between bitter and better is the “I” involved. The reason that bitter feelings arise for me is because I am only concerned with me, myself and I. It is because I am being selfish and unappreciative. But, when I look at all of the things I have to be grateful for rather than the things for which I am longing, I become better. I just feel better. When I take the focus off of me (and that right there is a challenge), and place the focus on what God has for me and has done for me, bitterness cannot stay. I’m not saying that it makes you a bad person if you fall into a momentary period of bitterness; just don’t stay there. And, that includes proceeding to beat yourself up about feeling that way.
Instead, do a little ABC exercise. Acknowledge that the appropriate response is to delight in what God does for others (1 Corinthians 12:26). Bounce your thoughts onto those things that are pure, true, holy, just, and noble (Philippians 4:8-9). Count your blessings, name them, write them down, and thank God for them (Psalm 100:4). Be better, not bitter. Ms. EV