Bitterness can be something that destroys a person from the inside out while impacting a person’s relationships with others. I have fallen victim to bitterness in my own life at various times. I can tell you from personal experience that allowing bitterness to take over your life is one of the worst decisions you will ever make.
As the disease AIDS breaks down the physical immune system, bitterness can break down the spiritual immune system and will cause spiritual death. Bitterness can set in after a trauma such as a job loss, death of a loved one or even a divorce. Bitterness may also lurk for those who have been denied favor in life for various reasons.
Bitterness is a waste spiritual and emotional energy. The more you focus on the negative factors in your life, the worse off you may be. Reliving the injustices you have experienced or the trauma that you have endured can cause a downward spiral from which you may never recover.
When Job experienced the death of his children and the loss of everything he owned — including his health — his wife said, “Curse God and die.” Yet, Job refused to expend his limited strength in such a negative way. Instead, Job endured his painful circumstances and in the end rebounded to a place of blessing!
Bitterness is a sense of entitlement that evokes cynicism and a repulsive, hateful attitude. Bitter people have no trouble telling you that the world is falling apart.
Just as some people light up a room by walking in, bitter people light up a room by walking out! Do not ask a bitter person, “How have you been?” If you do ask, you will hear about how awful and rotten everyone and everything has gotten.
Do people avoid you? Perhaps they are tired of tiptoeing around your raw emotions. Bitterness can transform a beautiful princess into a wicked witch.
God’s Word speaks of bitterness as a “root.” Often, we do not think about it, but where there is a plant, there is a root.
We do not plant weeds or water them. Yet, they grow and rob the nutrients from other desirable plants.
It is worth mentioning that the root of a weed can hide and remain even when we seem to treat the things above the surface. Ultimately, the weed will grow back if the root remains.
Weeds are easier to manage if you pull them out regularly. If you wait for them to take over, it is too late. Bitterness can multiply and smooth all of the good things in your life.
It is easy to believe that “God is in control” when things are going our way. However, when we feel wronged or our ideals are challenged, it is difficult to remember that those things can be a part of God’s plan too. This is when bitterness begins to grow in our hearts.
Let me encourage you to dig the weed of bitterness out of your life. Ephesians 4:31-32 reminds us, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
— Chris Crain, Pastor, North Valley Church, Margaret