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I believe the answer is simply forgive. I, too, have struggled with bitterness. I found peace in knowing a few things: sometimes hurting people hurt people, forgiveness is a requirement of me and only when I forgive will I be forgiven, and also when I truly forgive and let go, I will feel peace. Does this mean the person will never stop doing the things that cause my bitterness? Not unless they change/grow/overcome. But I can't expect that. So I focus on the fact that they will do the offense again and I can only respond with what gives me peace. (I still get upset, but the time for getting over it shortens). I establish firm boundaries around myself for that person, then focus on God. I know this is hard. Sending a virtual hug.
I struggle with bitterness way too much, myself. But I found 2 ways to overcome it: I love listening to Adrian Rogers on Love Worth Finding (lwf.org). He said, "Let God reveal [bitterness]. Sometimes people say, "I know my heart, there's no bitterness in me." Truth of the matter is you don't know your heart. God's Word tells us, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). A deceitful heart cannot diagnose a deceitful heart. You need to let God the Holy Spirit do radical surgery. Let good replace It. Hebrews 12:14 says, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." You cannot be holy unless you follow peace with men. It is so worth it when you forgive, just as Katie Shearer has said. But, you say, "Look what they've done! I am not going to let them off the hook." Well, they are not on the hook - you are! When you forgive, you set two people free and one of them is yourself.
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