“It was only four months ago, I could go to the grocery store by myself without needing an additional cart or someone to watch my kids or put in a pickup order so I could get the necessary food items for my household.”
“It was only four months ago that I could easily go to the park or bible study without having to take an hour to get all the kids ready to go.”
“It was only four months ago that I had more time to do what I wanted to do.”
I am a mother to three beautiful little girls all under the age of 15 months. Many times these thoughts have run rampant in my mind after having my twin girls almost four months ago. I would often find myself experiencing anger and bitterness towards my daughters. Why? How could I resent the children that God has given me as a gift? How could I be so angry at people who literally cannot do anything without my or someone else’s help? Well, simply put, because I felt that I and the things I wanted in life were more important and more worthy than my calling to care for them and to be their mother. While having three very young children in such a short amount of time is a very hard adjustment, I often have to fight to not let my circumstances be an excuse for the sins of envy and bitterness in my heart.
Fighting Bitterness and Envy
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Given what Paul says in Ephesians, it is clear that God desires for me to put away my envy and bitterness.
But, how do I do that?
While there is no special, magic formula for putting away envy and bitterness, I have found the following principles to be helpful in helping me fight and have victory over my sin:
Recognize and Confess Sin
With conviction from the Holy Spirit, I must first recognize that my actions and/or thoughts are sin. Then, I must confess my sin to the Lord. In my circumstance I have also confessed this particular sin to my husband and other sisters in Christ for them to pray for me and hold me accountable in fighting this sin.
Not only do I need to seek forgiveness from the Lord, but to those of which I have hurt. My children cannot reciprocate the transaction of forgiveness because they haven’t yet developed the ability to speak. However, there are many things I say to them knowing that they do not fully understand. They can react and understand my tone when I scold them, or goof around, or tell them I love them and comfort them, even if they can’t completely grasp what I’m communicating. So what is holding me back from apologizing is really my pride. I don’t want to humble myself even before my children. Yet I know my children will benefit immensely by my humbling of myself and giving them an example of confession and repentance.
We must seek to not be bitter and withhold forgiveness from anyone. If someone sins against us, we must forgive regardless if they ask for forgiveness. Matthew 6:14-15 says:
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions”.
There is a difference between confessing and repenting. To confess is to admit your wrongdoing. To repent is to turn away from your sin. I must seek to quickly repent from my sin of bitterness, anger, and envy when they are present. I cannot push it off until bedtime, but I must in the moment repent and seek forgiveness.
I must praise God that He is gracious and merciful to me. I deserve nothing from Him, but His wrath. Yet, He is with me in the midst of trials and tribulation.
God has not only gifted me eternal life, but He has also given me many other blessings and gifts such as my family that I must praise Him for. These gifts and blessings are not an interruption or burden to my life, but rather the things that bring glory to Him by my obedience to be a faithful steward of what He has given. I must seek to praise God for the wonderful gifts He has given me.
Be Immersed in God’s Word
If I want to walk in holiness and fight my sin, I must be immersed in the Word of God to strengthen, encourage, and convict me. I must hunger and thirst for righteousness sake.
I have shared with you my sin and how I am seeking to fight this area of sin currently. Here are a few questions for you to process through:
- Are you currently bitter? How are you going to fight this sin?
- Who do you need to confess your sin to and seek forgiveness from?
- Who can you share this sin with that would hold you accountable and point you towards Christ?
- Are you valuing yourself as more important than your husband, children, friends, church, etc.?
- Are you immersed in God’s Word? If not, why? What is more important in your life right now that takes priority over The Word of God?
I pray that we would all be women that would seek to walk towards holiness and fight the temptation to be bitter, angry, envious, etc. May we also be women who prioritize others and their needs above ourselves.
To God be the glory forever and ever, amen.