Luke 15:28–29 (NET) —28But the older son became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and appealed to him, 29but he answered his father, ‘Look! These many years I have worked like a slave for you, and I never disobeyed your commands. Yet you never gave me even a goat so that I could celebrate with my friends!

Bitterness and selfishness almost always come as a pair. Over the years I have seen many people who were selfish, without exception all exhibited some kind of bitterness as well. In the same way those who harbor bitterness are consistently selfish as well. One is not any worse than the other, they are both equally deadly. In the passage above we find a bitter brother from the parable of the prodigal son. This brother was so selfish and bitter that he would not even enter his father’s house and enjoy a nice dinner. He not only refused to eat the food, he refused to fellowship with those in his own family as a result of his bitterness. His bitterness and anger stole the joy from his life. What should have been an exciting day became a huge pity party instead. Some might argue that his anger and bitterness was justified, or even necessary. But the end result is the same, even justified bitterness leads to selfishness, and ultimately our joy, fun, fellowship, and both the large and small blessings of life are overshadowed, and undone. Don’t let your selfishness, or bitterness ruin your day, steal your joy, or keep you away from the party. Get over it, and go inside!

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