Bitterness is like a leech. It attaches itself to and feeds on you, draining the life from you. Bitterness is rebellion against God. How do you respond to life? Do you let the unpleasant circumstances make you bitter?
The story is told of a young man who wanted to get a way for a little, to spend time with God. He packed his tent, camping gear, and his Bible and headed into the mountains. The first night around midnight, he awoke to a scuffling and a shuffling; something was in his tent sorting through his things! In the dim moonlight that shone through the open door of his tent, he saw a skunk! Immediately his hand reached for his hiking stick, but as he raised the stick in the air to rid himself of this unwanted visitor, the question occurred to him, “What would the skunk do in its dying?” He hesitated for a moment, then carefully lowered the stick. Quietly, he watched as the skunk continued to dig through his things, and then suddenly turned and ambled off into the darkness where it had come from.
What do you think would have happened if he had hit that skunk? As it was, the skunk had left, and the only harm was the disorganization of his things, something that could be fixed in a matter of minutes the next morning. If he had hit the skunk and the skunk would have sprayed, it probably would have brought a rude and abrupt end to the occasion.
All of us will meet “skunks” at some time or another in life - not physical skunks, but people or circumstances or happenings that come totally uninvited and unexpected. How will we respond when we discover the skunk in our things? Will it be with calmness and acceptance, or will it be with anger and retaliation?
Bitterness is not a new thing. In fact, it has been present on this earth ever since Genesis chapter 4, or before.
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