Bitterness is a choice – so is forgiveness

As a pastor I have heard many sad stories.

People have experienced and endured unthinkable pain. Rejection, betrayal and abuse destroyed many people’s lives. One of the most tragic stories I have ever heard was destined to end in anger, bitterness and self-pity. A young man, born into a big family, was elevated above the rest by his father and God. He was given a lovely coat of many colours to make the favouritism even more obvious.

But life took him down some dark roads. He was placed in a pit by his jealous brothers, sold into slavery, became a servant before he was thrown into prison for doing the right thing. Finally, fortune smiled on him and he became a prince.

Then, in the midst of his fame and fortune, he came face to face with his past.

Those who meant him harm were before him. Revenge and retribution would have been understandable. No, not Joseph. Listen to his words in Genesis 50:20, “You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good”.

In most of our lives there have been people who plotted to harm us. That’s life!

But if you don’t become bitter, God can turn the worst of situations into your favour. Bitterness is a choice – so is forgiveness.

Janine Viljoen

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