In Ephesians 4 Paul has been urging us to take off the old and put on the new. This taking off has included dishonesty and criticalness, while putting on affirmation, along with honesty of emotions.

Now Paul tells us, “Let all bitterness… put away from you, along with all malice.”  Bitterness and seeking to emotionally hurt another as we have been hurt keeps us captive to the control of addictive behaviors. Bitterness is the perfect opportunity for the “Enemy” to plant thoughts that justify acting out behaviors and/or character assassinations.

Bitterness is a significant road block to genuine recovery because not only does it block us from seeing what is right about another person, it also blocks us from hearing God, and thus we miss being consciously connected to Him each day. Therefore, we miss His whispers for us to surrender our lives, will, and addictions to His care and allow Him to provide our recovery for this day.

Remember, a previous “encouragement” explained that there is a distinct difference between sharing our anger and harboring abiding resentment and desire for revenge. What bitterness is darkening your heart today? Are you willing to feel your feelings, yet surrender your perceived “right” for revenge?

Ted Baldick, Ph.D.

Healing for Men workshop leader