Bitterness steals our joy. When we hold grudges, refuse to forgive, work for revenge, or wallow in self-defeat and pity, we only harm ourselves. The following poem illustrates this fact:

I had a hand she could have held.

I had a heart he should have felt.

I had a mind they might have known.

All of these have turned to stone.

I took the stone and chiseled a man,

Fixed upon a marble stand.

I created him dying in silence and cold

Leaving him there for all to be told.

But now when I visit this man made of stone

I look with regret on his petrified groans.

Trapped now forever in the death that he died

I can’t help but wish I had left him alive.

Are you spending your days ingraining your hurts into the minds of others? Are you building mausoleums of bitterness and injustice from the pieces of your broken past?  Feeling pretty tired? Why don’t you drop your chisel and hammer and start living life again. Pray as King David did: “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.” Take your focus off the pain and consider its purpose. You won’t regret it!