Are You Holding on to a Bitter Sweet Feeling
Bitterness is a feeling that the longer we keep the more it shapes our thoughts, words, and actions. We will reach a point where we will no longer separate our bitterness from who we are on the inside. We will define it as hurt, mistreatment, unfair, and so on. We will believe we have a right to not forgive and be bitter towards others. We retell the hurt others have imposed upon us and cling to our rightful anger. At that moment your heart begins to harden and grow cold until it is you and your pain.Why Write About Bitterness
I had a meeting with someone I had not seen in about 3 years. When we had finished our business we began to catch up with each other and the past entered into the conversation.
We had attended the same church where things had happened. I explained why I was no longer there and in so many words he expressed it appeared I was still hurt by what had happened.
I left the meeting thinking how people hurt one another even in the church. I went home and ask God to help me let go of my unforgiveness. As I was praying I saw unforgiveness and bitterness go together. I needed to forgive and I know many others who are bound by unforgiveness and the root of bitterness. In response to this I thought, I will write about bitterness. As I write this, my bitterness toward those who have hurt me comes into view.
Everyone has been, is being, or will have their heart inflicted with pain by another.
Bitterness Can Destroy a Person's Mind and Heart
We may leave a hurtful situation physically but without forgiveness it never leaves us and the root of bitterness will grow and produce fruit. I will tell you that harboring bitter sweet memories will destroy you. I knew I had to forgive those who hurt me and I myself needed forgiveness. When we do not forgive our focus in life is on the pain and our response to life is through that pain. When we tell others about the pain we speak about it as if it just happened and the heart aches anew.
Truth About Bitterness
What about your experience of hurt and an aching heart? Does your heart still ache from the hurtfulness of others? Do you replay the actions and words which cause all the emotions to come flooding back? If so, you are not alone. Most everyone holds some hurt like it is a precious jewel. I wish for you to know bitterness will destroy your heart, mind, and life.
Acts 8:23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
When our heart is full of bitterness then our heart cannot be right with God. Bitterness makes us a slave to sin. Our life becomes an emotional roller coaster ride. We are up on the top but it only takes a moment for the hurt to rear its ugly head and down we go. We offer our hurt and bitterness to others by sharing but in the end it all belongs to you and you alone. After sharing what happened to you when the conversation was over did anything really change? Was the hurt and anger absent from your heart, no.
What Does God Say About Bitterness
Are you ready to let go and change, I can tell you I was. Below are some helpful definitions of what the word bitter means.
In Scripture Bitter [ISBE] - (noun) "bitterness" or (adverb) "bitterly"; "angry," "chafed," "discontented," "heavy" (Genesis 27:34; Exodus 15:23; Numbers 5:18,19,23,24,27; Esther 4:1; Job 3:20; Psalms 64:3; Proverbs 5:4; 27:7; Ecclesiastes 7:26; Isaiah 5:20; Jeremiah 2:19; 4:18; Ezekiel 27:31; Amos 8:10; Habakkuk 1:6)
Bitters means - causing or showing sorrow, discomfort, or pain; grievous and characterized by strong feelings of hatred, resentment, cynicism, etc.
Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Learning the truth, I no longer wanted my heart filled with unforgiveness and bitterness. I now understood why I was miserable and my life was lived in a constant state of misery. Bitterness is a life of sorrow, discontentment, and being oppressed. Unforgiveness had planted a root of bitterness which yielded anger and hatred in my life. My words and actions were harsh and aggressive. God's light overcame my darkness.
The Process of Change
I repented to God and ask Him to forgive me and help me to forgive and let go of my bitterness.
Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Anger is no longer my friend it is my enemy because it opens the door for my real enemy, Satan. It takes the exercise of self-discipline to obey God's word. I am maturing in Christ's righteousness by denying my rights to myself. I am learning discernment and becoming stronger in my faith in Christ which means I handle things differently.
I still struggle with the abuse from my childhood but I know now that is the place all this comes from. Jesus is and will continue to make my heart His heart. Day by day through pray, seeking, asking, and knocking He will exchange my hurt for His healing, my hate for His love, my anger for His mercy, and my unforgiveness for His grace.
This is a must because I know personally unforgiveness and bitterness do not produce freedom. Freedom and bitterness can not occupy the same space. When we carry these emotions all we think about is revenge for the purpose of causing them the same pain they caused you. That is us being god.
Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord.
Trust in the justice of God and allow Him to help you move your focus in life to His love.
Matthew 11:27 All things have been entrusted and delivered to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son deliberately wills to make Him known. 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
Jesus is asking you to come and exchange your heavy burden for His light and easy one. Come to Jesus and He will accurately tell you of God the Father.
Allow God to heal your heart and forgive your sins. Learn the Truth and you will find freedom, Jesus Christ, and He will set you free. Imagine being free from all the heaviness and lostness of bitterness. See, you hold yourself in the prison of these emotions that control and rule your life every moment. If you have children, they are going to walk in your footsteps and mimic your attitude, words, and actions. Please don't be surprised when the pain of your unforgiveness and bitterness is inflicted onto your children and then one day it shows up in your face.
Stop The Cycle
1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, 7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
Biblegateway.com (we use Bible verses from this site)