Don’t Become Bitter
Don’t Become Bitter
Some events in our life are filled with great hurt and emotion, but we don’t want to get loaded down with guilt and insert additional blame into any situation. The first thing that we should acknowledge is the depth that unforgiveness reaches in our lives and the damage that it causes. We must deal with the fact that when we fail to forgive it is sin. We must realize that this sin can cause us great harm. When we fail to deal with these events in our life, we harbor resentments in our hearts. Bitterness, is like an infection, and will fester and work its way into our system until ultimately we see everything through the eyes of the hurt that been inflicted upon us, everything others do and everything that happens to us is filtered through this bitterness.
The first thing we should do is try to bring God’s word to bear on the subject and the painful circumstance that we have experienced. We don’t want to add to your burden but to reduce your pain. Let’s take a look at what bitterness really is; what it can do and most importantly begin to discover how it can be overcome with the help of our God. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians exhorted them. Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Paul continues his exhortation in the next verse.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. The Greek word translated here for bitterness has the meaning of acridity or poison. Webster defines acridity as a sharp and harsh or unpleasantly pungent in taste or odor. Webster defines poison as a substance that usually kills, injures, or impairs an organism. Based upon this we would define bitterness as an angry and resentful state of mind that can develop when we undergo adversities.
Paul also uses the words wrath and anger. These vary in intensity and degrees of resentment, hostility and rage, when given the right circumstances can quickly cause eruptions of great anger. We could say things that we would regret later and would do great harm to our relationship of the individuals that are near when the eruption occurred.
Paul also mentions clamor and slander being evil speaking about another person. Clamor and slander would be outburst when our anger is out of control using words to retaliate, to demean, the present others in a negative light, to wish for them a bad reputation.
The other word that Paul uses is malice. Malice is a deliberate desire to inflict pain or strike at a weak spot in one who offended us, acting out of bitter thoughts and feelings in our hearts.
Can any of these be found a dwelling in your heart?
If we have bitterness in our hearts it will eventually find its way into our speech and our tone of voice. We can find an example of this in: Romans 3:14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
Both of these bitterness and curses are always used together. In many of our relationships these two things; bitterness and curses are biting words at another individual. We are returning tit-for-tat wound for wound. Why do we allow these unwanted intruders bitterness, anger, malice, harshness, and evil speaking to move in with us and take up residence to be kept like harmful poisons in our kitchen cabinets? Bitterness grieves the spirit of God. With such a spirit it makes us hard and cold and difficult to live with. It turns us into people who are negative and critical. It makes us resistant to God’s plan and His love for us. Eventually it will destroy us, the way acid will eat through the container in which it’s held.