Oh crud! There’s a knock at the door! I can actually feel who it is before I check through the peep-hole. It’s my old foe, bitterness. He must have sensed that I was entertaining the idea of his existence. There are always those times where you are living life as best as you can, but then those moments arrive where you just can’t help but get bitter of stuff. You know what kind of stuff I mean. I don’t even have to go into detail because we all have entertained bitterness to some degree. None the less, no matter how much I try to ignore bitterness, he finds the opportune time to come knock on my door. He is relentless and very determined. Whenever he comes around, I’ve done pretty good keeping it closed and nicely locked. I don’t want to entertain him but he seems to be knocking a little louder and I freeze in the moment, my urge to answer just went up. For some reason on this day, I head to the door and reach for the bottom lock. The knocking goes silent as I believe he has realized I may be unlocking the door. I open the door but the chain lock snaps and stops the door from opening more than a crack.
Bitterness: Hey man, you finally answered, now take that chain off and let me in. It’s obvious you’re ready to listen to me. I promise you if you let me in, it’ll all be better. You want this now more than ever, to be able to lash out at a world who at every turn, has only brought your pain and suffering. You know you owe them nothing! But they owe you everything! They left you to rot, they left you alone. No one out here in the world cares about you and if they did, they wouldn’t have left. Everyone who was ever close to you dropped you hard. No one cares about you. They are living great lives out there now. They left you behind and not even a thank you for your trouble. You know I’m right, you always knew I was right! Let me in and I’ll help you lash out. I’ll help you get back at them all. Come on! Let me in! The fact you opened to listen to me says a whole lot.
Me: For a moment I did consider letting you in. Everything you say is not wrong. I have built up enough anger and resentment that my lashing will be glorious. It’s here within me, ready to explode, that fire burning. Too many people out there has done me dirty. Too many people have ignored me, left me, left me to rot and not even a thank you or do you need anything. Not one person has sought me out to say I’m here for you. No one understands what I’m going through and at this point, I care less about them. I ask why do I even bother worrying about it?
Bitterness: Exactly! You and me are in total agreement! You are so ready! Let’s destroy them all! Let’s make them feel so bad! Let’s bring them to tears. Let’s make them suffer! Let’s make them regret not ever coming to your aid. Maybe then they’ll understand who you are and why they should have cared. You and me will work together and as you say, it will be glorious!
Me: (after a brief pause I consider that maybe it is time, it’s time for bitterness to take full control. Maybe it’s time for me to fight back and crush all those fools for ever doubting me. They never loved me, they never cared. They don’t deserve me in their life!) Hold on, what am I doing? I’m not that type of guy! I am a follower of Christ, what kind of sense would it make for me to do that? I’m the one that pushed everyone away, they didn’t push me away! You know what Bitterness, for a moment, I considered letting you in but now I know how right I was for not letting you in. Bitterness will not rule the day in my heart. Yes, it would feel good to lash out, I will not lie. It would certainly feel good to give people my two cents but what good will that do? Holding grudges will bring me faster to death. That kind of evil consumption will wither me away. Now I’m even crazier for entertaining you at all.
Bitterness: You are so wrong but I can sense deep down inside that you want this and that you need this. I am the darkness you need. You know you can’t walk away! You know you can’t hide from me. There will always be a moment, a person and a situation that will make you consider me. I will be there, always waiting and always close by. I will follow you until you’re last breath and that is a promise!
Me: You are not wrong again. I have no doubts that you will always be a short reach away. I know you’ll never go away. You will shadow me always the best that you can. I can’t ignore that there will be other times where I may very well entertain you again. There will be triggers and you will be stronger each passing time. It will be a battle for sure but I’m also determined never to let you win. You’ll wear me out for sure, I will want to hide at times and there will be times I will do my best to run from you. As long as I breathe you will not be victorious.
Bitterness: You can’t win! You will lose this battle! I will break you down, weaken you with each time. You will hit walls, you will stumble and you know people will show their true colors to you. There will come a time where you will give up and then, oh yes, it will be magnificent. You need me. You know this world will show you no mercy!
Me: (As I pause again, I finally can’t let this go on any more. He speaks the truth. I want to accept him into my life but I just can’t let him win.) Now go away!
I close the door! I lock the doors and walk away. I can’t deny that bitterness will always be not so far behind. He will wait for me to slop. If I ever let bitterness win, it will be one of my greatest failures. It’s a constant struggle I wish would end. This won’t be the last time I may crack the door. I’ll tell you this much, if it wasn’t for my eternal belief in God, it’s quite possible I would have already lost.