According to an article published by the Mayo Clinic the author states, "Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for compassion, kindness and peace." It further says that giving forgiveness can lead to:
- Healthier relationships.
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being.
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse.”
Last week while giving several lectures based on my book, Outrageous Forgiveness in 30 Days, I used the above information and in each case after the lecture, questions came on number six.
The questioners wanted more info on “how” unforgiveness triggered addiction. I could delve a little deeper by asking a question. (I learned this technique from years of hardline questioning from the wife of my youth). My question: Have you ever known an addict, be it family member or other acquaintance, that did not have a bitter attitude about something or many somethings?
The addiction may wear differing hats, but over young years of living in the tent of bitterness, and more years of dealing with it in others, the answer from experience and observation is a bold, No, I haven’t.
Bitterness is caused by refusing to forgive hurts, disappointments, loss, betrayal etc. The truth is a little more complicated, since the above list may be more felt than actual. The result is the same. Failure to forgive real or imagined wrongs is the precursor of serious bitterness. The story is often repeated in biblical stories and in life today. Cain seethed at his brother Abel, Esau at Jacob over taking advantage of him in a moment, perhaps lifestyle, of weakness. The list continues and each day grows larger.
Anne Graham Lotz nailed the folly of bitterness with this gem: “But to harbor bitterness, a vengeful spirit, or an unforgiving attitude is like drinking poison, hoping the other person will die.” Quit sipping the poison. Today.
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
Great IT work by Oral Deckard