Bitterness can be a physical sense of taste, it is the opposite of sweetness. Bitterness can also be a state of mind. It is usually connected with emotions such as disappointment, hurt, resentment, anger, misery, and discontentment. People who are bitter have a tendency to take offense quickly, and they are quick to anger. The Word tells us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” The world uses the saying “hurt people hurt people.” This is also true. Scripture tells us in 2 Timothy (3:1-6) that as the return of the Lord approaches, the evil will follow the desires of their hearts and will also attempt to lead others astray.

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:” (Ephesians 4:31) KJV

“For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.” (Proverbs 4:16) KJV

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-6) NIV

We all at some point in our life have been hurt by the words or actions of another. The hurt or disappointment is even deeper when it comes from a loved one or friend. It may have been a traumatic experience, such as physical or emotional abuse. Whatever the reason, along with other emotions, it can lead to feelings of anger and bitterness. It is difficult for bitter people to let go of past hurts and disappointments. They tend to carry it into their relationships, on jobs, and within their family. The first human murder is described in Genesis 4; the story of Cain and Abel. It shows us what built up bitterness can do. Cain was consumed by bitterness and anger, because he felt he was wronged by his brother Abel and God. He turns against God and kills Abel. God being who He is, gave Cain a second chance for repentance. But Cain was so deep in bitterness and self-pity, instead of repenting, he complained his punishment was harsher than he deserved. It is crucial that we don’t let bitterness get so rooted within us that we can’t accept an apology or if no apology at least move forward in life. The point I am trying to make is that bitterness leads to anger which distances us from God and moves us closer to destruction.  

“And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (Ephesians 4:26)

“Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:8-9)  

“For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (Acts 8:23)

“See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” (Hebrews 12:15) NLT

I do not claim to be a psychiatrist, but I do know from my own experience that healing starts with forgiveness. Forgiveness can be a challenge, especially if the person who has hurt you doesn’t admit that they were wrong. But forgiveness is not about them as much as it is about you and your well-being. As someone said unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill the other person! Forgiveness is not easy! As humans we go into self-protection mode when we have been wronged or hurt. We don’t easily overflow with mercy, grace, and understanding. However, as Christians who are obedient to Christ and His command, we make an intentional choice to forgive. We forgive not according to how we feel, but by faith. Once we do that, the Lord will do the work in our hearts. Sometimes it takes time, but God always finishes what He starts. God’s choice to forgive all sins of all people reveals who He is. Our choice to forgive reveals the Christ in us.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,” (Colossians 2:13) NIV

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:17-19)

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14,15).

No one can have peace and happiness while living with bitterness and resentment. It affects you physically, mentally, and spiritually. Your relationships will suffer. Unforgiving spirits breeds bitterness. The key to fighting bitterness is forgiveness. The key to forgiveness is Jesus! Love and Blessings…

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

“For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” (Hebrews 10:30)

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:13)


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