31 Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude.
Ephesians 4:31, Common English Version
Bitterness is a deeply buried unresolved anger of the heart.
It is a slow and imperceptible poison that creeps into the soul, and when it is allowed to run its course unimpeded, it can cause huge damage or harm to all that is in its path. Unforgiveness fuels bitterness. It is our refusal to forgive that can lead us to commit horrendous or unthinkable evils.
The Bible contains many examples and stories of people like King Herod the Great and Job’s wife whose lives were ruined because they couldn’t let go of bitterness and resentment so as to taste God’s goodness.
Bitterness shows itself liken to a monster with many heads — anger, blame, hatred, ill-will, jealousy, rage, resentment, suspicion and unfriendliness. No matter how justified you think you are as to why you should be bitter or resentful — don’t! It’s not worth it in the long run. Leave it to God and stay clear of revenge and retribution!
15 Make sure that no one misses out on God’s grace. Make sure that no root of bitterness grows up that might cause trouble and pollute many people.
Hebrews 12:15, Common English Version
Grace is the cure to the poison of bitterness.
You have a responsibility to keep any poisonous root of bitterness from sprouting up in your heart. Bitterness is a form of emotional pollution that breeds and contributes to toxic relationships. God’s grace, however, is a bitterness-killer. When God’s grace reigns in your heart, He can turn your bitter memories into sweet ones, your hurts into hope and your grudges into goodwill. It takes the same amount of energy to stay bitter as it does to show love. Both require commitment and dedication, but only one leads to the path of life and righteousness.
Ask God today to help you live your life His way.
If someone’s words or actions have affected you, find the opportunity to tell your feelings, what offended you and why it made you feel that way. Always give the person a chance to apologise for the offence and then pray together. In this way, you are demolishing Satan’s two greatest weapons: accusation and deception.
There are times that you could be the one who offended another, and it happens without you even realising it. The truth is, sometimes people won’t let you off for offending them, but God does. Remember your righteousness is not based on your ability to do good, but on His ability to help you walk righteously before Him. That will give you the grace to grow strong in the Lord and the strength to give grace to others.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.