Overcoming Bitterness
Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.
There are many reasons why a Christian might become bitter. Bitterness is a real problem when God does not answer our prayers the way we would like. Bitterness destroys relationships, creates unnecessary hardships, hinders ministry, and destroys opportunities. Hebrews 12:15: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
Bitterness is often the selfish response to the trials of life. Ask yourself, “Is God enough?” If God is enough, if God is sufficient, why are you letting all these other things control your emotions? Wants and desires are not evil of themselves. To want companionship, a family, a home, a nice car, a fulfilling job, friends, or excitement are not wrong. The desire for these things motivates us to push hard. The problem occurs when they replace God. The only real cure is forgiveness and recognizing God is enough.
Ephesians 4:29-32: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”
James 3:13-18: “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”