DEFINITION: Bitterness is characterized by an unforgiving spirit and accompanying negative and critical attitudes. It begins when you harbor offences by others, allow disappointments to germinate in your heart, and permit resentment to grow.
FACTS ABOUT BITTERNESS:
Bitterness is destructive. Bitterness is a bottled-up feeling that will eat away at you until you finally explode externally or implode spiritually (Galatians 5:19-20).
Bitterness affects others. Bitterness will spread from you to others: “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many”>(Hebrews 12:15)
Bitterness affects how you talk. Paul said that the mouths of unrighteous men are filled with “cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3:14).
Bitterness is sin. Peter told a man named Simon: “You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (Acts 8:20-23).
Bitterness will hinder your ministry. Peter told Simon that he had no part of the ministry because of the sin and bitterness in his heart.
DEALING WITH BITTERNESS:
Determine what caused your bitterness. What event, circumstance, disappointment, relationship, etc., planted the root of bitterness in your heart? Go to the root cause and identify it so you can deal with it.
Repent of your bitterness. Repent and ask forgiveness for bitterness and the unforgiveness, anger, etc., that caused it.
Extend and ask forgiveness. You may need to ask forgiveness of others who have been affected by your bitter spirit. You may also need to forgive someone who hurt or failed you which led to your bitterness. The Bible commands: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT BITTERNESS:
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows–bitter words, That they may shoot in secret at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear. (Psalm 64:2-4, NKJV)
“You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (Acts 8:20-23).
There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:10-18)
Love… is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.(1 Corinthians 13:5)
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. (Colossians 3:19, NKJV)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of man; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. (Hebrews 12:14- 15)
Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? (James 3:11, NKJV)
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. (James 3:14-15, NKJV)