Bitterness is an emotion that gets worse over time. Not only does it poison a person's thinking and attitudes, it also hinders the person from enjoying the life that God gives.
Hebrews 12:15 tells us to "watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many." Apparently, it does poison people, and those poisoned by it corrupt others into the same corruption.
Bitterness Is A Product Of Sin
Based on the Bible, bitterness is actually the product of our disobedience to God. How? Think about this: Bitterness is but the consequence of failing to forgive those who offended us.
Whenever we get hurt, we have the choice but to release forgiveness and thank God for the grace that He comforts us with. However, if we choose not to forgive, then bitterness will grow. God commands us to forgive those who hurt us. Not forgiving them is a sin unto God. This simply means that bitterness is a product of our own doing, and not from what others did to us.
How To End It
Do you have any amount of bitterness taking root in your heart? Great news is that you can still uproot it with God's help. Here's how you can do it.
1. See The Offence With Clear Eyes
Bitterness often clouds our eyes. After all, it is a poison that colours our perspective of the person who offended us. When this happens, we need to ask God to reveal to us the actual event of offence.
We need to see the offence for what it really is. Ask yourself, what really happened? What did my offender do to me? What did I do wrong? Only when we see our faults and our offender's faults can we begin to heal.
2. Admit Your Sins And Repent Of Them
After looking back to see the time of offence clearly, we need to repent of any sin before the Lord and stop pointing our bitter fingers to our offender. We also need to repent of our unforgiveness and bitterness, which is but a nursing of our anger or hatred.
3. Truly Forgive Your Offender
Bitterness loses its roots when we truly forgive our offender and fully release their sins against us.
In the same way that rooted plants try to hold on to the soil when uprooted, our bitterness or the memories of the offence will still try to cling, but if we are truly intent on forgiving our offender, we will do well to continually release the hurt every time it pops up.
As the most important bonus of all, we not only get to obey God because we forgive, we're also enabled to receive His forgiveness as we forgive. (see Matthew 6:14-15)
A Final Reminder
Friends, remember that we have been forgiven by God. We didn't deserve it, but because He loved us, He sent His Son to purchase our forgiveness by His blood. If we have received forgiveness freely, we must give it freely, too. (see Matthew 10:8)