Many of us get stuck at some place in life, and it’s like living in cement shoes—you just can’t get your life going the way you want it to because you’re stuck!

Many are stuck in the mudhole of bitterness. Something has happened that keeps them mired in self-pity or hurt because of what someone else did or is doing. Can you relate to that?

I’m not excusing bad behavior on the part of others and no doubt some of those hurts are deep and our woundedness is great. But when you remain stuck in bitterness, you allow that person who has wronged you to continue to do harm to you because what they did is holding you in bondage to the pain and hurt.

I think of a dear friend whose alcoholic father caused her lots of unhappiness through her whole life. Again and again he hurt and disappointed her, and as a young adult, she finally decided just to have nothing to do with him. In order to keep him from hurting her again, she simply cut the relationship off. But she was still stuck because of the bitterness that had built up within her.

Finally—and it took awhile—she realized that it was her choice to remain stuck in bitterness or to choose to be set free, and God enabled her to forgive her father. Thankfully she was able to do this before he died, and she re-established her relationship with him, forgave him, and that has miraculously lifted her out of that stuck place and given her new joy. It has changed her in so many ways; her marriage is better than ever, her peace flows like a river. She’s no longer stuck in bitterness.

If that’s where you are—stuck in bitterness—I remind you of Hebrews 12:15 which says we are not to allow any bitter root to grow in us, because it will cause trouble and defile many. That’s what happens when you’re stuck in bitterness, but Jesus can set you free. Ask him to change your heart today and give you freedom from bitterness.

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