"Acrid bitterness inevitably seeps into the lives of people who harbor grudges and suppress anger, bitterness is always a poison. It keeps your pain alive instead of letting you deal with it and get beyond it. Bitterness sentences you to relive the hurt over and over." Lee Strobel
For a long while I had been very bitter and angry toward someone in my life. The person nor the reason for my heart hardening over this person is not important as to what I am writing about.
I am ashamed to say that I came to the point of almost hating this person. I didn't want a relationship with the person. I didn't want to be around them. I didn't want to talk, look or have anything whatsoever to do with this person. I would cringe at the sound of someone saying their name. When the person would talk to me I would automatically shut them off.
I use to blame this person for the way I felt toward them. I thought I had a right to feel the way I did and to hold a grudge because I felt as if I had been done wrong by the person.
But the Lord showed me different.
Ephesians 4:30-31 says,
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
This is the very reason why forgiveness is so vitally important in our spiritual walk with the Lord. When we don't forgive someone, even if they don't ask, then we are hurting ourselves spiritually. When we don't forgive we begin to think on the wrong that was done toward us, and instead we linger and dwell on the situation and then it turns into bitterness.
Bitterness is a sign of being focused on self and not trusting God's sovereignty in your life.
As a Christian we are commanded to be kind to others and to forgive as Christ has forgiven us. If we were to stop and think about how we have treated our Saviour and how ungodly and wicked we are, then we would not be so quick to be unforgiving, and mean and hateful to those who are mean and hateful to us.
The Lord is always forgiving us repeatedly for the same sins in our life. He doesn't hate us or hold grudges or beat us over the head, although He very well could. Instead He forgives us over and over again and He loves us as if we had never sinned against Him.
If you are saved and have trusted Jesus as your personal Saviour, but you feel distant from Him, could it be because you are blatantly refusing to let go of your animosity toward another person?
Remember to be careful, for the things you dwell on will become rooted in your heart.