Which one is not a word? If you guessed “embetter,” you guessed it right. I had to retype it because the program kept autocorrecting the spelling! (Crazy computers these days; think they are so smart.) Anyways, this week I came across the word “embitter” and it arrested me. I know, you’re thinking, “What kind of freak are you? A word arrested you?” But I’ve always been a word freak. Etymology- my favorite college class.
So.. embitter. What does it mean? According to Merriam-Webster, “to excite bitter feelings in.” Not just to make someone have bitter feelings. To excite the bitterness in. Meaning it rushes in and there’s no holding back the flood gates. The bitterness just swells up like a jellyfish.
Embittered anyone lately? Perhaps you did without even realizing it. I have. Then I wanted to do the opposite. “Empower” could be looked on as the opposite of “embitter,” only people don’t typically recover from bitterness quite so quickly. After all, it doesn’t set in overnight. It’s a gradual thing, just continually harboring little bits of anger in your heart, until before you know it, you’ve stored up quite a full load of bitterness. And you are embittering.
May I suggest to you a new word to replace embitterness on the road to empowerment? (drum roll please)
Embetter. I know, it’s a made up word. But if you can have imaginary friends, you can have imaginary words. So, the definition of “embetter”: Antonym of embitter. To calm, comfort, and make happy.
Next time you have the choice of embittering or embettering, be thankful for second chances and make the right choice.
Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”