Is Bitterness Stealing Your Joy?

By Angela Aberle

Christmastime is so nostalgic for me with all of the tree decorating, comfort foods, winter weather and Christmas lights.  One of my absolute favorite things about this season is watching all of the classic Christmas movies and one of my all-time favorites is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.  I always loved the cartoon version, but the live version with Jim Carrey has become my favorite because it takes you back into the Grinch’s childhood and you get to see and understand how he was wounded early in his life.  He was picked on by his peers for his appearance and humiliated in front of his childhood crush which did devastating damage to his ego. My heart absolutely connected with his heart in those situations.  Of course, he grew up to have a very bitter heart towards the people of “Whoville” and especially toward “Christmas” because his trauma was tied to that event.   His bitterness and resentment toward the happiness of the people of Whoville grew so strong that he decides to “steal Christmas”.  What he does not anticipate is the sweet and pure love of a child named Cindy Lou Who.  Cindy was able to reflect the pure love of Christ which absolutely melted the bitterness of the Grinches hard-heart and it caused his heart to literally increase in size. He was filled with JOY and was able to reflect that to others because it was shown to him.  That is the power of the love of Christ in our lives when we look past a person’s behavior to see that the real issue is hurt and grief.  They may be acting angry and bitter, but deep down they have a hurt and grieving heart that has hardened.  When we do not pick up the wounding from them, but instead show the love of Christ it frees God up to move on their behalf and heal their brokenness just as Cindy Lou Who did with the Grinch!