Lately I have been doing some research on bitterness and what the Bible says about bitterness. Bitterness according to the Encarta Dictionary has several meanings. The meanings that I am looking for are resentful: meaning angry or difficult to accept: painful or very hard to accept and a bitter blow. Another meaning is hostile: expressing intense hostility or bitter fighting.
In the Bible we are told that bitterness is a root of evil. It can destroy the soul. When we have resentment in our hearts, we take all the joy we have in our hearts out then bitterness thrives. We are no longer happy and nothing but poison sprew from our mouth. Everything we do the sullenness shows in our actions. Hebrews 12:15 (ESV) “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”
A very good friend showed me back nine years ago when hostility was shown toward him that you don’t repay with anger. He has told me over the years when I get upset about something that has been done to me that I am to repay with honey and not salt. His saying has been bitterness doesn’t solve the problem; it just makes the crises even larger where things are said that never should be said to one another.
When my daughter died, there was things said to me that had I noticed that she was sick she would have never died. I had gone into a depression just before she died because I knew her time was coming near. Yes! I felt guilty! I was depressed but that is not what killed her. It was her time to be with the Lord. She had done her job here on earth and it was time for her to rest. No matter what I would have done that night or wee hours of the morning I would not been able to save her. God was calling her home. Bitterness did slip in and I was angry with everyone that crossed my path. That included God. I had to be shown to let go my bitter feelings or I was never going to get past the death of Cyndy.
When she died YES, I was full of bitterness toward God. I was also mad at the social services since they were upset about me moving her. Bitterness just weaken my faith in God where there wasn’t any happiness left in me. When I was called to account for my actions, remarks of being a child killer were very hurtful. I had to realize that I was very resentful and had to let go of all my bitterness and let God have my bitterness.
To move forward in recovery of the death of Cyndy, I had to completely let go and confess to God that I had sinned against Him and hurt my love ones with hate and resentment. Christ commands us to put away all malice and clamor. Ephesians 4:31 (ESV) “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you along with all malice.” Christ didn’t say put part of the bitterness away He said put ALL. At first that was hard for me to do. I wanted to say “but God… when He was telling me ALL.
There are times now that I have to admit I still have bitterness that I had to let go of as I write this article. There is a nurse that works for a doctor my children see, that is always ways putting me down and accusing me of things. Whenever I see her my blood boils. She tries puts pressure on us and distance between the doctor and us.
I have got to learn not to let that nurse affect me. If I let what she says go I will probably see that the relationship between the doctor and us will improve. I have got to forgive her and pray that God would show her His unfailing love and she would want to know the God I worship and love. I am a stumbling block when it comes to her knowing Christ. I need to bridle my tongue and let the Holy Sprit do His work in her.
When we forgive the ones that have sinned against us we will find that our Heavenly Father will forgive us when we have come and asked for forgiveness. Forgiveness takes away the pain from the unthoughtful ways someone has done to us. We need to forgive and let God do the rest. It is very hard to do but it can be done by the grace of God!
Let us all now use our shovels and dig deep to remove all the roots of bitterness, where there is no bitterness left in our lives.
Your article reminded me of a time when I had unforgiveness in my heart. I did not want it there, but didn't know how to get rid of it. The Lord led me to a Christian counselor. He spoke words to me that changed my life. He told me that forgiveness is a choice. At that time, I had never heard such words. He said, "Every time the person's face comes before you, you say, "I choose to forgive this person, speaking their name." The best advise ever given to me! It was not easy. It was very hard. It was a matter of choice. It didn't happen overnight. But there came a day when the pain that had been in my heart every time I thought about them, vanished.
Thank you for reminding me of the wonderful healing power there is in choosing to forgive!