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How do you identify if you are a bitter person? Naomi's story can help you identify and understand how it is possible to transform bitterness into sweetness.

One of the worst things that can happen is that you become a bitter person. It’s letting the bitterness of your soul take over your being. And only those who have lived with a bitter person know what it’s like. The bitter person curses themselves. They become their worst enemy. It’s as if God himself was against them. And we see in the Bible the story of a woman who experienced this: Naomi. By the way, the name “Naomi” means “something pleasant or sweet”. But Naomi became bitter.

Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law. She was an Israelite woman who left Israel’s land, fleeing famine, with her husband and two children. They settled in the land of Moab. Time passed, and Naomi’s husband, one son and another son after, died. All she was left with was her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah. Then Naomi said goodbye to her daughters-in-law. But Ruth decided to return with her to Israel. Their story moved the entire city of Bethlehem. That loss became the description of Naomi.

But Naomi didn’t help herself. She told people: “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20). That is, she blamed God for what had happened to her.

“I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:21)

She changed her name from a sweet and pleasant woman to “Mara”, which means “bitter”. “I want you to call me ‘bitter’. I am a bitter person because God turned against me.” And so, Naomi carried that bitterness for a long time in her life. She did not understand God’s purpose because later on, God caused Naomi to have a grandson who became King David’s grandfather.

In other words, if she had not returned to Israel, her descendants would not have been included in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus, the messianic lineage. So, everything had a purpose. Some people cannot remain confident between their loss and their purpose. Many people only have faith to win. Faith to receive financial blessings, get married, have children, build a house, go to college, open a company, and make money. But they don’t have the faith to lose. If they start to lose something, they soon become bitter, difficult to live with and vomit this bitterness to everyone around them (which is the worst of all).

“God doesn’t listen to me. What did I do? What was my sin? I say my prayers and vows; I give my tithes and offerings. But God doesn’t listen to me.”

Have you ever stopped to think that God’s silence has much to do with your chitchat and the nonsense you speak? As if it weren’t enough for you to be filled with bitterness, do you transmit that bitterness to other people? Maybe, if you closed your mouth and stopped cursing yourself, complaining about God… At least, you could talk to God: “My God, I can’t understand. Help me to believe, to trust until Your purpose for this is fulfilled in me.” Maybe you wouldn’t be so bitter?

Let’s learn from the story of Naomi. Sometimes, people lose their entire lives because they don’t trust God’s sovereign will. They think that God is making a mistake, that their life is the way it is because God made a mistake somehow.

You have to trust that, somehow (even if you don’t understand it now), what God has prepared for you is best.

If you learn this lesson, you will no longer be “Mara”; you will regain your sweetness.

Meditate on it. Check out the entire message in the video above.

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Bishop Renato Cardoso