The Challenge of Choosing Between Bitter and Better

The Challenge of Choosing Between Bitter and Better

The hard part about picking between bitter and better is not the words. The hard part is believing them. The hard part is looking at a landscape of pain that sometimes stretches out as far as our eyes can see and still believing that this path that says “better” can actually, really, truly bring us to a better reality somewhere beyond the horizon of our sight.

There may only be one letter between bitter and better, but like street signs on the same post, the two words point us in opposite directions. And these signposts are planted firmly, with the same two arrows, at every difficult junction we face on the road of life. No matter how well we may have chosen in the past, or how poorly, the same choice always presents itself all over again: will we let the difficulties of life make us better? Or bitter?

It’s obvious, isn’t it? One choice is literally named “better.” So that’s clearly the choice we’ll always make. Right? Why would we willingly choose to travel a bitter road when a better option is always available to us? The answer is this: we don’t always believe the signposts.

Sometimes our lives become so difficult or our relationships get so messy that we think bitter is the better road. We become convinced that we are entitled to bitterness, that our sufferings have earned us a right to travel where others dare not tread. We may even feel that we must travel that road—

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