Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bitterness and Regret

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...Image via WikipediaI have been thinking a lot more these days about mortality, my own and of others.  Thinking that you might have just had a stroke or were close to having one will do that to you.  It got me thinking about just how precious little time we all really have. 

Over the past year and a half, I have had two former classmates and friends pass away suddenly, prior to the age of 50.  At work, we had one of our coworkers pass away while on a business trip.  In addition to that, I have had a couple of salespeople that called on me also pass away.

As I ponder my existence and think about my life, I think it is important to not let regret rule the day.  As I look back, I think about the things that I regret.  Usually that regret revolves around something that I didn't do, rather than something that I did do.

For instance, I had two really close friends in high school and college.  After college we all went our separate ways.  Nearly three years ago, we finally reconnected through social media.  We met two years ago for the first time in nearly 25 years.  Unfortunately, one of my friends passed away less than a year later.  I regret that I waited so long to reconnect.

Another regret involves another old friend of mine.  This particular friend of mine was somebody I was very close to for years.  We had the same hobbies, and we did everything together.  After one particular occasion, I felt slighted by something that happened.  I let my bitterness ruin a great friendship.  Years later, we started talking again, but things were never quite the same.

Bitterness is a particularly tough pill to swallow.  It does nothing but breed contempt and regret.  I have come to learn that it is important not to let a perceived wrong, whether real or imagined, lead to bitterness and cause our pride to put a barrier up in our relationships.  Life is too short for that.

If I may take liberty with the words of Jesus in Mark 8:36 when He says, "For what shall it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life."  Perhaps we should think, "For what good is it to be justified in ones mind to be angry if in the end it costs you your friendships and family."  After all, Blessed are the Peacemakers. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

2 comments:

FishHawk said...

We are told that love keeps no count of wrongs. Alas, surely I am severely lacking, but one thing that has helped considerably is now knowing that we are not nearly as much in control of our own actions as we have been so strongly encouraged to believe. Therefore, maybe it really wasn't their fault? No, this should not be used as an excuse for bad behavior, but it does help with forgiveness when there is a reason to give the benefit of a doubt until told otherwise by the One who knows everything--both in regards to others and ourselves.

Lavender Darwin said...

I think the book of Job is a good place to learn in terms of dwelling on one's own circumstances and suffering. Job expressed bitterness about his circumstances, but ultimately was patent, trusted in the Lord and led through his trials.