The Thing About Bitterness

"Never succomb to the temptation of bitterness." Martin Luther King, Jr. said that. Read it again slowly. It has more meaning that way. If you read it slowly, and savor the words, you will feel them and not merely see them.

Never, not ever, not on any day, in any moment, for even a second, should you allow yourself to give in to the call of bitterness. She calls out to you. She wants you. She seduces you to come to her side. Bitterness. She allows you to think that you have forgiven, that you have let go. But bitterness hides herself in a cloak of deceit and unforgiveness.

Never succomb, nor give in, nor release yourself to, nor shackle yourself to bitterness. She is cunning, and her chains are heavy and binding.

Never succomb to the temptation. Oh how easy it is to give way to the temptation. To allow yourself that short moment to justify your anger, to rationalize your hurt. How sweet bitterness tastes as she sinks in, as she says to you, "You deserve to be mad. No one has the right to treat you that way." Or worse yet, when she says, "Give yourself time to be mad. You'll get over it." Because she knows that once you have opened the door to her, she will not soon leave.

Never succomb to the temptation of bitterness. For even a moment at her feet, and she will tease you into being her slave, forever.

All that to say, bitterness is like a chili dog, it tastes good going down, but the lingering effects aren't good for you or anyone around you. (I thought I'd end sounding more like Carol Jones and less like Henry Ward Beecher.)

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