What is the hardest thing you have been through lately?
When I think back on some of the hardest situations in my life, I find that I had a choice in each of them to either get BETTER or BITTER. I would love to say that I have always gotten better instead of bitter … but that would not be the truth. One of the things that made a difference in these tough situations was who I was talking with about the issues. I have identified three common conversations I had in tough times that helped me grow and become better instead of bitter.
Talking with God, family, and friends in difficult times can help you push back bitterness and become a better person.
1. TALK TO GOD
One of the benefits of a relationship with God is that we have direct access to Him through prayer. However, prayer is sometimes misunderstood to be our way of getting God to change our circumstances. When you talk with God, it is important to think of prayer as God’s way of getting His will done on Earth … not our way of getting our will done in Heaven. God is more concerned with our character development than our comfort. Share with God about your situation and ask Him to give you wisdom to see your situation from His perspective (James 1:5).
2. TALK TO FAMILY
The people in your immediate family are there to support you. As a husband and father, I sometimes am hesitant to open up to my family about my struggles because I don’t want to come across as being weak. The problem is I can wind up walking alone in isolation even when I am surrounded by people who love me. Isolation is a breeding ground for bitterness. Although everyone in your family may not be trustworthy, open up to the ones who are and share your struggles with them. Sharing your weakness with family makes you stronger.
3. TALK TO FRIENDS
Trust is built in drops and lost in buckets. One of the most valuable resources a person can have is a trusted friend. True friendships are built on trust and trust is built with consistency over time. Are you spending enough time building trusted friendships? Who in your life has been consistent over time and has earned your trust? Social media trains us to think of friendship in a shallow and distant way. Those types of friendships will not be of much help when the hard times come. Talking with a trustworthy friend in tough times makes you better instead of bitter.
One last thought…
Tough times can throw you off balance. When you go through a tough situation, build in extra time to be in the Word. God speaks primarily through His Word. Visualize a balancing scale and put your thoughts about your situation on one side of the scale. On the other side of the scale, put the truth found in Scripture. As you talk with God, family, and friends let the truth help you find balance.
When Paul prayed for people in the Bible, he never asked God to change their circumstances. Instead, he asked God to make them better in their circumstances. Talking with God, family, and friends in difficult times can help you push back bitterness and become a better person.