Rescued from Resentful Bitterness

On my birthday, my Grandmother gave me a beautiful gold bracelet with a single charm displaying my initials, DMG. Back in the day of the 1970’s, a simple gold bracelet (no clasp, just a circle of gold)  with a single charm was the rage. Owning a bracelet like that gave status to the person wearing it, at least that was the perception. Only the most popular girls had a bracelet like this! I wasn’t popular. What is important to know is that I did not realize the significance of this bracelet. I never wore jewelry and didn’t ask for jewelry but my grandmother thought it was special for me to have it. The gold bracelet was an incredible gift and I loved it!

I felt so special and loved by my Grandmother each time I wore that bracelet, which was everyday.  Since I wasn’t popular and didn’t care about style (unless my Grandmother coached me) I had no idea that this bracelet would be a source of discontent for someone else. One day, while in the locker room getting ready for gym class, I carelessly turned my back to the belongings in my locker basket. I had taken off the bracelet and placed it inside the basket. When I turned around, the bracelet was gone. The thief was fast and disappeared quickly…but I knew who she was. I reported the crime to the school authorities, but since they couldn’t prove that my bracelet was stolen and not lost (the thief denied the crime) I was out of luck. Even more frustrating was to see her walking down the hall wearing my bracelet with my initials on the charm.

I was seething with resent and bitterness. I chewed on it. I began to savor the sour bitter taste. I choked on that bitter flavor but managed to swallow and digest this feeling with hope that I would take vengeance on that thief.  But the resentful bitterness ended up taking its vengeance in my soul instead. I was miserable and consumed with hate towards that girl.

The heart knows its own bitterness…Proverbs 14:10

A bitter and resentful person is like a contagious poison, spreading his resentment to others. 
(A paraphrase of Deuteronomy 29:18)

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.   Ephesians 4:30-32

The bracelet had become a golden idol while that thief was becoming more of a false god, vying for my attention. The only way I could be free from this angst was to surrender my bracelet…that golden idol to God. It was His. It was always His. I gave the bracelet to God numerous times and the more I gave it back, the softer my heart became towards the thief.  I began to pray for her each time I saw her at school and each time I missed the gold bracelet until I didn’t feel the resentful bitterness anymore. I actually had the strange kind of love and compassion for her. God was healing my heart and rescuing me from resentful bitterness and then–God showed me love. My grandmother gave me another gold bracelet, identical to the one now owned by a thief…that girl…needing to feel loved, needing to be rescued.
Years later, I continue to pray for that girl and hope she knows that God loves her and perhaps she has been rescued too. When my daughter was in college, I gave her my treasured bracelet and shared this story with her in hopes that it would be a reminder of God’s rescuing power in her life.  She wears it all the time!
the simple gold bracelet