Bitterness is unresolved, unforgiven anger and resentment. Bitterness is seething and constant. The bible refers to it as “poison”. Carrying bitterness will poison you spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It will spread to those around you and affects everything in your life.
Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison. Heb. 12:15 (NLT)
It becomes a circular pattern. The more you dwell on what has been done to you, the injustice you have suffered, or the loss you have incurred, the deeper goes the root of bitterness.
Reasons why you carry bitterness:
- You become bitter out of a belief that God will not punish the people who hurt you
- God does not hear your plea, or that He does not care about your plight.
- Since God is apparently not going to intervene in your circumstances, you stand in as judge, jury, and executioner in the lives of other people.
Naomi blamed God for making her life bitter and empty. All she could see was her loss and pain. Her bitterness reflected a heart of unbelief in the justice and sovereignty of God. She held onto anger for what had been done to her and stood in judgment over God
“Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD himself has caused me to suffer.” And “. . . call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me home empty. Why should you call me Naomi when the LORD has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy?” Ruth 1:21
- Sometimes women and men who have lost children or family members to illness or accidents blame God for their tragedy.
- An abandoned spouse may become bitter towards God because her ex is doing great and living the high life with a new girlfriend. Rather than paying child support, he is lavishing his girlfriend with expensive trips and jewelry.
- A floundering, honest businessman sees a crooked businessman prospering. “God, how can You stand by and let this happen? I am an honest businessman, and my business is failing! How can You let him get way with such thievery? I have a wife and kids to feed, God; why are you doing this to me?”
- The childless couple is bitter when they see families with several children and they cannot have even one.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:31-32 (NLT)
But what if you are bitter toward God?
What if you believe God was responsible for your hurt and pain? Please take hold of this truth: God is the sovereign God of the entire universe. God’s sovereignty is always balanced by His love, and He promises to bring good out of every tragedy and heartache.
To believe you must forgive God for what you perceive He has done against you implies God has sinned. God is a loving, holy, and perfect, sinless God who does not make mistakes. Acceptance of hard things at the hand of a loving God is not easy. I encourage you to seek the Lord in your circumstances and to trust that He is unfolding a divine plan that you cannot see right now. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. He is our comforter, truth, wisdom and power.
Naomi was bitter towards God, but we see His hand in her story. Had she not suffered the loss of husband and sons, She and Ruth would have never moved to Bethlehem. Ruth would not have married Boaz and become part of the lineage of Jesus.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. Rom. 8:28-29 (NLT)
Friends, allow the Lord to wash the poison of bitterness out of your heart. His love and Word can be a cleansing stream to remove it from you and bring healing and transformation!
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