Since lemonade is so popular lately (thank you Beyonce), I have been craving lemon flavored things. This got me thinking about bitterness because what other topic would justify the use of a great lemon image?
Bitterness is a nasty thing that digs itself deep into your heart and chokes out your joy and peace as it grows and festers. Bitterness is deep anger that lingers and wont let you let go of whatever it is that someone did to you. Bitterness is a desire to see someone “get what they’ve got coming.” It’s a desire for revenge.
There are different levels and intensities of bitterness but at the roots its all the same. Now when I say that bitterness is a desire for revenge you may think to your self (because I think this to my self), “I don’t want revenge on anyone!” When I hear the word revenge I think evil monkey scientists with villainess desires to take over the world in order to get revenge on their arch nemesis! Dramatic, I know.
Revenge isn't always that dramatic though. Punishing those you love could be a form of revenge. When your spouse isn’t meeting your needs and you decide to not meet theirs, that’s revenge. When you pout and withhold love or foster separation and distance in your relationships because of some offense that is revenge. When you get all passive aggressive with parents or siblings because of something that they said or did that hurt you. When you allow your work to get sloppy because your boss rejected your last idea.
The desire for revenge comes in many different packages and it is all fueled by bitterness. It is fueled by anger and offenses. Bitterness takes a tole on a person. Harboring anger causes all kinds of havoc in your life and health.
Today I want to share some scriptures for overcoming bitterness. As an self proclaimed expert lemonade maker (by lemonade I mean that country time powder stuff of course) I know that to balance that sour and tart flavor you gotta sweeten it up! What is sweeter than the Word of God?!
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;
Bitterness is toxic y’all. It’s a cancer. It will spread and grow. Bitterness can contaminate your entire generational line. Bitter people tend to pass bitterness on to their children. We have to get it out. It must be uprooted. The only way to get rid of bitterness is through forgiveness.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Living free of bitterness requires repentance. Remember that “repent” means to change the way you think. When it comes to bitterness, you are going to have to change the way you think. This verse says that we need to put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and malice. That is quiet a list, but we wouldn't be instructed to rid ourselves of these things if God hadn’t given us the power and ability to do so.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Verse 31 told us what to put away but verse 32 tell us what to put on! Kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness. Forgiveness can be a tough thing to give. Bitterness is almost like this weird man made shield. We hide behind it in order to avoid dealing with the pain that other have caused us. The truth is that it isn’t a very good shield! Your shield is poisoning you.
Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
I think that it is important to acknowledge that God doesn’t tell us to forgive others because He’s just some mean and insensitive Father that is trying to write off and make less of our hurts. God cares about your pain. He tells you to forgive because resentment and bitterness hurt you more than they hurt others. They are man made prisons and He wants you to be free.
Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
My greatest advice for overcoming just about anything is to intentionally meditate and think on the fact that you have been completely forgiven. God has forgiven the unforgivable in you and He tells you that you are able to forgive others. Through partnering with Him you can live free from bitterness and resentment.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Life is hard and people are complicated and difficult. But God is good and He is faithful and He has paid an ultimate price to give you hope, peace and a future. There is life in Him. Bitterness has it’s roots in the opposite of life.
If you want more verses and insight on living in the abundance of God love then check out How to Be More Loving.
I hope you guys found this helpful. I hope it encourages you to live free from the shackles of unforgiveness and bitterness. Please share this out with your friends and followers if you found it useful. Let’s spread the Good News that freedom is available with everyone we can! I also encourage you to join our Living For Love VIP Community. In doing so you will receive weekly doses of inspiration and encouragement straight to your inbox.
Thank you guys for reading. I’ll leave you with this great quote.
“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each person’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
See y'all next time!