Satan would love for you to live an embittered life because it is like a poison that contaminates and pollutes your entire being (thinking, emotions, speech, and actions). It controls you!
Bitterness Defined: “An angry response coupled with an unforgiving spirit towards someone who has violated your justice system.”
[Anger + Unforgiveness = Bitterness]
An example of bitterness is found in 2 Samuel 13-18 in the life of Absalom. His justice system was violated when his sister Tamar was raped by Amnon. He responded bitterly to that unfavorable circumstance and sought revenge. To make a long story short, Absalom’s bitterness festered and it eventually led to a war that ended in his death. A bitter person is one who suffers the unhappiness, frustration, and misery of his own unresolved anger.
An example of forgiveness is found in Luke 22-23 in the life of Jesus Christ! Christ was betrayed by Judas, rejected by Peter, persecuted by the Jews, falsely accused by Roman authorities, and crucified by the people and how did he respond? With forgiveness! Christ is a perfect and tremendous example of how to properly respond when mistreated. Forgiveness must always be given no matter how often the offense occurs.
7 Statements about Bitterness
1. Bitterness is probably the most common root sin in the average Christian’s life. Everyone is susceptible!
2. I acknowledge that bitterness leads to a warped thought process and causes me to do stupid things! – Bitterness is like cancer/poison it will contaminate and infiltrate your entire being (thinking, emotions, and actions) and cause you to do some pretty stupid things (i.e. divorce your spouse, smear someone’s reputation, reject your parent’s counsel, stop serving in the local church, immorality, materialism, unplanned destination, etc)!
3. I realize that bitterness will cause me to seek revenge on someone who has hurt me. – When you are hurting you want the pain to go away and if you don’t respond with forgiveness you will find ways to “get even” with the person who has hurt you. All in hopes that getting even will make the pain go away and make you feel better, but it doesn’t, it only worsens the situation! For example, if a teen daughter is bitter at her father and she will do the total opposite just to get back (hurt) at her dad!
4. A bitter spirit attracts bitter friends and connections and greatly impacts my future decisions. – Bitter people find bitter people and they hang out! It’s your support group. Your sympathizers! People who will consol and justify your sin. Prov. 22:24-25, “Make no friendships with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: [Why?] Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.”
5. I recognize that the only cure for a bitter spirit is complete forgiveness! I don’t have to become bitter! – God knows that hurt/pain/unfavorable circumstances will enter your life and He has provided the complete cure: Forgiveness! This is the neo-sporran to all hurt! You don’t have to get bitter! You can live bitter-free!
6. I can’t always control my circumstances, but I can control how I respond to those circumstances. – Things are going to take place throughout the course of your life, good things and bad things. Much of this will be out of your control, but how you respond to it is in your control. How will you respond? Bitterness or Forgiveness?
7. To protect myself from responding in bitterness, I must memorize, meditate on, and apply Scripture. Here are some great verses for dealing with a bitter spirit: Prov. 14:29; Lk. 6:27-28; Eph. 4:31-32; Heb. 12:14-15.
When your justice system is violated, when hurt comes, how will you respond? Bitterness or Forgiveness?