Thanksgiving is an important precursor to Christmas in an important way. Giving thanks is a heart posture of openness to God. There are things that we have built up that close ourselves up to God. Bitterness has a tenacious way of taking root deep within the soul and resisting all efforts to weed it out. Bitterness occurs for many reasons. It might come from deep hurts you received as a child, hurts you cannot forget. Time, rather than diminishing the hurt, only seems to sharpen the pain. Bitterness can result from the hurtful words of a friend or coworker. Often the person who hurt you is unaware of the extent of your bitterness. You find yourself rehearsing the offense over and over again, each time driving the root of bitterness deeper within your soul. Bitterness can derive from a sense of being unjustly treated. Thankfulness is a soothing spiritual ointment that we need to be prepared to receive God’s gifts.
Bitterness is easy to justify. You can get so used to a bitter heart that you are even comfortable with it, but it will destroy you. Only God is fully aware of its destructive potential. There is nothing so deeply imbedded in your heart that God’s grace cannot reach down and remove it. No area in your life is so painful that God’s grace cannot bring total healing. No offense committed against you is so heinous that God’s love cannot enable you to forgive.
When you allow bitterness to grow in your life, you reject the grace of God that can free you. If you are honest before God, you will admit the bitterness and allow God to forgive you. Bitterness enslaves you, but God is prepared to remove your bitterness and replace it with His peace and joy. Being thankful can be a struggle. But realize accomplishing a thankful posture will be a fruit of its own.