Overcoming Unfair Treatment

4give One Another

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness spring up to trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV)

Dear One,

Have you ever been wounded by someone you never imaged would leave your side?  I have, and was greatly affected by the shock and pain. It started to affect my spiritual walk and hinder my growth in Christ.

Abandoned in my time of greatest need,  I struggled with a lot of anger. Her words and actions caused such sorrow. Of course there are always two sides to a story and I am not without guilt, but her words were digging a hole of bitterness in my heart that needed to be uprooted.

Growing in faith requires a dependence on God. I had to throw all the unfair treatment I  endured to Him. I CHOSE to let it go.  He knows all the details of my betrayal and the unfair/unkind/unjust treatments. My decision to let go of the hateful words sent my way was an act of obedience and faith. I needed to trust in His power to right wrongs and heal broken hearts. He is my Redeemer and has used this sorrow to refine my ability to love unconditionally. Fruit has come from this lesson in suffering.

Christ Jesus died on the cross for ALL His children. This means I need to allow Him time to work in the heart of the one who grieved me. The Word of God tells us to love our enemies. Not that this family member of mine is an enemy, but when we are wounded it can FEEL like a friend or family member has become an enemy.

If you have been hurt, abandoned, or betrayed by one you dearly love, know that God is honoring you. He has granted you the privilege of sharing in the sufferings He endured by  facing the cross for our sakes. Don’t let unforgiveness or bitterness take root. If it stays too long in your heart, it will affect your walk with Christ and your ability to serve others.

Overcoming Unfair Treatment

The LORD is righteous within her;
He will do no injustice.
Every morning He brings His justice to light;
He does not fail.
But the unjust knows no shame.
—Zephaniah 3:5

Dear Lord,

We want You to find a yielded and quiet spirit within us. To make that happen, we need You to come in like a flood. Occupy us like water filling empty spaces. Occupy reserved portions of our lives where anger is festering and the secret places where grudges are being stored. Sweep through the houses of our hearts . . . don’t miss one room or a single area—cleanse every dark closet, look under every rug. Let nothing go unnoticed as You take full control of our motives as well as our actions. Deep within our hearts, sweep us clean of blame and revenge, of self-pity and keeping score. Enable each one of us to be big enough to press on, regardless what unfair treatment we’ve had to endure. Take away the scars of ugly treatment and harsh words. Keep us from licking our wounds. Forgiveness comes hard . . . but it’s essential. Help us forgive, even those who never acknowledge their wrongdoing toward us. Give us peace over turmoil, and erase the memories that keep us offended. We need fresh hope to go on! We ask this in the name of Him who had no sin and did no wrong but died, the just for the unjust: Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

See also Leviticus 19:15; Romans 12:19; Colossians 4:1; 1 Peter 2:20–24.

Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2


  1. Yes I too have a root of bitterness about things like this, but no one person just lots of people in my past. Physical scars heal but emotional scars can last much longer, especially if we don’t forgive. And it is true than when someone does something towards us that is malicious and wilfully hurtful with the specific intention of being spiteful and malicious with the intent of getting one over us and accompanied by a nasty sense of humour too, it can make us hurt and angry and even the very best of us may want revenge, even if that revenge is only to return spite for spite or nasty words for nasty words.

    I have a root of bitterness towards women, for past reasons, mostly rejection and unjust treatment and although mostly small things, there were lots of them and I still feel anger and a sense of injustice over it all. I am asking God into this now and trying to let go, because I don’t want my past to affect my future.

    • Cheryl Zelenka says:

      Hi Tim,
      Thanks for sharing. Words DO hurt and their pain can run very deep. I am sorry women have been unkind to you. There are very insensitive men and women in this world, but we need to give our pain to Christ. HE SEES and KNOWS all the details of each offense against us. He keeps an account, so we don’t have to keep a record of the wrongs or seek revenge.

      In my case, it helped to remember that the one who wounded me is lost, as far as I can tell. It is not my place to judge so I am just observing the fruit in her life.

      As I am a believer and saved, I know better than to hold on to unforgiveness. Therefore, I am held to a higher standard of accountability. When I started asking God to give me compassion for her, I began seeing her with the Eyes of Christ. She is miserable and I feel such sorrow and compassion for her now. Oh sure, my anger rises from the pain she caused on occassion but ultimately…. I want her to have a close relationship with God. That won’t happen if I hold on to bitterness and I so want to be a vessel of love and help.

      I pray you can find the love of Christ within you, so that the next time someone wounds you there is less anger. Bitterness affects the one who is bitter and I don’t want that for you. God bless! Cheryl

  2. Thank God for your wise words Cheryl. I think sometimes God allows these often very painful things to happen to us, especially emotional and not so much physical pain, to enable us to help others and to understand that often so many people do go through issues like this all the time and have no redress to dealing with it. As Christians, we have the chance to get right with Jesus and to ask Him to heal us and help us to forgive. Forgiveness is less a word and much more a process I think. Thank you for your kind and wise words my beautiful sister in Jesus!

    • Cheryl Zelenka says:

      Dear Tim,
      I am glad we have a spiritual family, as well as one of blood. I hope we meet in our eternal home, brother.
      PS-Did you know my book is available in the UK??

  3. Oh! What is called again? I’ll check it out; might even buy it! You might buy mine one day too, when I have actually got it published that is!!!

  4. Got it! I will have a look!

    • Cheryl Zelenka says:

      Great! If you buy it let me know what you think. I would love for you to write a book review!