“Anger is not bitterness. Bitterness can go on eating at a man’s heart and mind forever. Anger spends itself in its own time.”-A Swiftly Tilting Planet
I’ve been thinking about bitterness lately. It’s a subtle burden that doesn’t usually feel like a burden. After the embittered becomes aware of it, it’s hard to let go, for it feels like a betrayal of feelings and of truth. I read this the other day, and it struck me:
Love is not thinking positive thoughts that have no basis in truth. Believing the best about someone does not mean believing a lie that they spin or that our comfort-loving and happy-hungry hearts spin. Believing the best is all about believing that our sovereign and omnipotent Father will complete his saving work in them no matter how wickedly their hearts betray them and us. It is not about trusting them, but trusting that our God will win out in the end.
A positive thought that has no basis in truth is simply naiveté. Positivity is important, but it shouldn’t be gained at the expense of truth. Relying on positive thoughts and thinking the best about someone’s intentions when a pattern of behavior suggests otherwise is a form of denial, and it does nothing for you or for that person. Between bitterness and denial, realism exists, and it is truth worth fighting for.