Has anyone ever hurt you so badly that you couldn’t forgive them? If so, you may have bitterness in your heart. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, bitterness is, “anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.” You may become bitter because of something bad that happened or something good that did not happen.
You might think you’re only mad at your mother-in-law for saying something cruel. But, in fact, bitterness is against God. Deep down, we know that God allows bad things to happen sometimes. (That’s because He gives people free will.) But, we get upset that He allows bad things to happen TO US. “Why me, God?” we cry out. And sometimes God is silent, testing our faith.
The first step to overcoming bitterness is realizing that it’s actually against God. And it’s not right for us to be bitter against God. He is always good and always trustworthy. He knows best!
If you’re struggling with bitterness, contact us at the local church’s prison ministries for confidential counselling. We’d love to help you get answers from God’s Word!
In Hebrews 12:15-16, we read a description of bitterness
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.”
When we become bitter, we think that it only affects us. However, bitterness also poisons others. It plants doubts in their minds about God’s goodness. And it tempts them to become bitter, too.
Never forget that your actions influence others. You are not an island alone. Remember your responsibility to be a godly example for those who follow you.
If you take another look at the verses from Hebrews, you’ll notice the consequences of bitterness in Esau’s life. Angry at God, he committed the sin of fornication. He gave up his birthright and ran far from God. And he reaped the sad consequences for the rest of his life. According to Hebrews 12:17, he was never restored to fellowship with God.
Those who drink from the cup of bitterness are especially prone to sexual sin. They also tend to rebel against authority and reject all that they know is right.
Bitterness makes it impossible for these people to enjoy life. It steals their peace and joy and erects a barrier between them and God.
The wonderful news is that you don’t have to stay bitter forever! God’s Word gives a simple solution to overcoming this problem.
-Confess your sin.
Agree with God that you have committed the sin of bitterness against Him (and possibly others). Repent of it, and ask for His forgiveness.
If you are bitter over a specific offence, choose to forgive the person(s) involved. Without forgiveness, you can never be free from bitterness.
-Submit to God.
If you are bitter because something you wanted didn’t happen, you need to submit your will to God. Choose to graciously accept what He has given you.
Focus on all the positive things in your life, and thank God for them! Make it a habit to thank others and thank God throughout the day. This will shift your focus tremendously and help you overcome bitterness!
Do you have a root of bitterness in your heart? Have questions? Email us at the local church’s prison ministries for practical help and encouragement!
Are you searching? Jesus has the answers for addictions and stubborn habits. For more information, send the Crossmans a private message here on Facebook or come to a church service at Prince Albert Baptist Church. Take the first step in a walk of freedom!
For more information, call (306) 940-9554 or email firstname.lastname@example.org