Become Better Not Bitter

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 5:31-32

Do not let the lemon which life may have given you, make you bitter. Don’t allow that acidy taste to give you a sour expression. Do not permit the vinegary situation to turn you into an unpleasant or bad-tempered individual.

In our African village if a Christian was going through a bitter situation like the loss of an income or property, or he had fallen ill or a loved one had died, he informed the church family of the situation. Then the pastor called a prayer meeting. It seemed to me that they were always praying about  something, but it worked.

The sweet presence of the Holy Spirit,  prayer, and Living Water turned that lemon into lemonade. Sometimes I never knew of the lemon that caused the prayer meeting because after it, everyone spoke positively. “We can trust the Lord Jesus. God is in charge.  His will be done. Our Lord Almighty will help us and delivers us. He will heal the sick.”

I can’t remember meeting a bad-tempered or bitter Christian in Africa.  To them the angry and disagreeable behavior was a part of the old life when they worshipped idols, ancestors  or animals. Somehow they didn’t allow it into their new life in Christ.

Hebrew 12:15 “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

James 3:13-18  “Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humiliation that comes from wisdom.  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such wisdom does not come from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; peace loving, considerate, submissive full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peace makers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”

Take that tart lemon, add the Living Water and sugar, the sweet Holy Spirit. Then pray to turn it into a sweet, refreshing beverage.

Don’t be bitter, get better.


About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
This entry was posted in missions. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Become Better Not Bitter

  1. mflabar says:

    Good advice. Some people have a lot to go through, but how we go through it is a testimony to God’s grace.

  2. Tim Jones says:

    Great words of wisdom and truth! This is where I think the church needs to really shine in the dark world. Forgiveness and mercy is what God desires from us. Thanks!

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