By Paul Darety
Elimelech and Naomi and their two
sons went to the land of Moab (Ruth 1:1). Elimelech died
leaving Naomi and her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to take
care of her. The two boys in turn married Orpah and Ruth.
Mahlon and Chilion then died leaving Naomi and her two
daughters-in-law to get along for themselves. Naomi set her
face to return home to Judah. She told her daughters-in-law
to return to their home for she could not help them any
more. Orpah tearfully left Naomi but Ruth stayed with her.
When Naomi arrived at her homeland there were those that
called her by her name. However, she asked that she be
called Mara or bitter because the Lord had dealt bitterly
with her (Ruth 1:20).
How often have you felt the pains
of bitterness? Many are bitter but never realize they are
making people around them miserable. Bitterness in an
individual usually arises when life has not been what they
may determine as “fair” to them. They may feel as if they
have been cheated by something that someone else has done.
They may even feel that their rights have been violated. Or
still they may develop a bitter feeling toward another when
they feel like they have been “dumped on” by others. What
can one do that feels bitter towards life or others?
First, understand why you feel
bitter. Are your feelings correct? Are you justified in
feeling that way? Has life and others treated you any more
unfairly than they have any other? The answer you will often
find is that you are no different than anyone else.
Second, put away any bitter
feelings that you may have. Don’t let it eat at you and
destroy your life. Put it away (Eph. 4:31).
Third, stop comparing your life to
what you think is the perfect life. Realize you are no
different than any other person (2 Cor. 10:12).
Fourth, get up and do something for
someone else. Your eyes will be opened, your senses will be
made more aware, and your mind will begin to become a little
less sensitive to self and a little more aware of the plight
of others. Don’t set your mind solely on self.
Yes, we do grow bitter from time to
time. Just put your faith in God and be assured that all
things will work together for good (Rom. 8:28).
- Paul Darety, Dickson, TN; via
The Encourager, the weekly bulletin for
the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.
Lance Cordle preaches for the congregation. He may be
contacted through the congregation's website: