There are some things that hold us down. Bitterness is one of them. Is bitterness holding you down and keeping you from enjoying God’s peace and joy? Hebrews 12:15 tells us to let no root of bitterness spring up in our lives. Bitterness is a weed to be uprooted. Weeds are harmful, bitterness is a harmful weed that if we ignore or allow grow, it can spoil the beauty of our lives in the same way weeds in a garden spoil the beauty of the garden. Bitterness can sap us of good, pure and uplifting thoughts, it can empty our lives of strength, peace and joy. If your heart is bitter, you are likely to spill out harsh words like curses and abuses. Bitterness is a weed that can ruin our relationship with people and our relationship with God.
What is bitterness? Bitterness is harbouring anger, resentment and hatred in your heart for a person who has mistreated, disappointed, wronged or offended you. Jealousy also sparks up bitter feelings as can be seen in Cain and in Joseph’s brothers. More often than not, the desire to harm comes with bitterness. Cain was jealous of his brother, a root of bitterness grew in him, the desire to harm rose up in him and he eventually killed his brother, Abel. (Genesis 4:3-8). Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him, a root of bitterness grew in them, then came the desire to harm. This gave birth to their throwing their own blood brother into a pit and later selling him as a slave (Genesis 37:1-36).
Bitterness makes you a captive of sin. (Acts 8:23). Anger, rage, malice, slander all work hand in hand with bitterness (Colossians 3:8). An unforgiving heart grows out of bitterness.
Some people are bitter with God for things He hasn’t done or things He allowed happen. If Joseph had lived with bitterness over the wrongs his brothers did to him, he wouldn’t have gone far in life, he wouldn’t have been elevated to the position of Prime Minister. If Joseph was bitter at God for allowing all kinds of unpleasant things come his way, he wouldn’t have seen the fulfilment of the dream God gave him as a young boy. In spite of all the wrongs done to him, Joseph had no payback time for Potiphar’s wife and his brothers. Even when he had the power to, he didn’t punish them for all the harm they had inflicted on him.
Offences will surely come, but the best thing we can do for ourselves is to embrace God’s forgiveness and extend it when we are hurt, wounded and offended.
Has your heart been broken and trampled on? Have you been betrayed by someone close to you? Have all kinds of lies been told about you? Have you been insulted or treated badly? Do you find it hard to let go of the pains and hurts of the past? Don’t allow what anyone has done to you or any painful experience fill your heart with bitterness. Bitterness can blur your vision and keep you from getting to where God has prepared for you. No matter the degree of pain and heartache anyone has caused you, refuse to make your heart the soil for the ugly roots of bitterness to grow. Live light…live free of bitterness, live free from the wounds and hurts of the past, live free of an unforgiving heart.
Pray this prayer to be free from the heavy weight of bitterness and from an unforgiving heart.
Lord, give me the grace to forgive those who have hurt and offended me. Heal my heart of emotional wounds and hurts. Help me to forgive and let go of anyone I’m holding in my heart. As I embrace and extend Your forgiveness, let Your mercy locate me and let Your love, peace and joy take over my heart and my thoughts, in Jesus mighty name I pray. Father, let no root of bitterness keep me from getting to the place You have prepared for me, in Jesus name I pray. Amen!
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