Have you ever had anyone by design try to slight you, impugn your character, sully your reputation, cut you out, or ignore you when you had really done nothing to deserve it? Then they justify it by concluding you deserved it. Therefore, they feel virtuous in doing so.

In may be that in the past they tried to do something you knew wasn’t right. The operative word is “knew.” They wanting to do it and you preventing them made you villainous in their thinking. You deserve punitive treatment.

The reason I am writing this is we all have been subject to such belittlement. There have been times I have gotten the full treatment. Though it is painful the accuser doesn’t have to be successful in this duplicitous game.

Some persons profess to being thick skinned and not bothered by abuse. The rest of should be honest and admit it, it hurts.

At a time of being maliciously treated a game plan is needed.

Step one is to evaluate whether you have done anything to deserve such treatment. Learn from it.

There is a little couplet I have carried in my mind for years that helps resolve any anguish.

“Bitterness does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to the one on which it is poured.”

Forgiveness is the only therapy for bitterness. You many never be able to excuse the abuse or forget the incident. You can forgive the person without justifying the act. A study done by Mayo Clinic regarding forgiveness shows discernable benefits such as:

Less hostility, stress, and anxiety. Lower blood pressure. Fewer symptoms of depression. A stronger immune system. Improved heart health.

There is a spiritual component involved in ridding your life of bitterness. The Mayo study indicates ridding one’s life of bitterness results in greater spiritual and psychological well-being. Forgiveness gives birth to love, joy, peace, and hope.

One of the best teachings on this travesty is contained in what is known as the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus taught on forgiveness. In summary it is: “The unforgiving are unforgiven because they are unforgivable.”

The model prayer taught by Jesus contains this petition, “Forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors.” This is not a reference to finances, but conduct.

Consider these benefits of forgiveness and the blessing of avoiding bitterness.

Bitterness is a controllable emotion. You either control it or it controls you. If a person causes you to be bitter they are determining your emotion. I don’t want anyone controlling me, that is, my emotions. I want to be in charge of them.

Emblazoned in my memory it this dictum.

“Let all bitterness, wrath,, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.” (Ephesians 4: 31, 31)

The rhyme quoted notes bitterness does more harm to the one in which it is stored that to the one on which it is poured. I have deep concern for a false accuser because Scripture says, “