Bitterness. It is a poison. A deadly poison that spreads from your heart to every area in your life. It not only affects you personally, but those around you. Your family, coworkers, your friends. It affects your vision (things you can and cannot see), your perception (the way you look at situations), your judgement (right&wrong), your relationships, the way you react to situations and the people around you. Bitterness doesn’t stay in you only… it spreads to the world around you.
Vision. Vision is defined as, “something seen in a dream, trance, or ecstasy; especially : a supernatural appearance that conveys a revelation.” Bitterness is one of the many ways your vision can be blurred. The Devil wants to stop you from SEEING what God is REVEALING to you. Because once you catch that revelation, and that vision becomes clearer, God is going to work in you and through you like never before.
Perception. Perception is an, “awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation” to “become aware of through the senses; especially through seeing.” The devil wants to obscure the way you perceive things. He wants to ruin your DEPTH perception. Your CULTURAL perception. Your CHURCH perception. Your GOD perception. With bitterness in the heart, you begin to think shallower than you used to. Because if you were able to see the depth of the situation, you would see how the devil has been deceiving you the whole time. If you were able to dig deep enough, you would see that this poison is choking you and spreading in your life. And you would see that everything is NOT ok.
Judgment. Judgment is “the ability to make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion.” It is the ability to make good choices using what you know. We can learn to make good judgment by basing every decision we make on the Bible. It is important to make sure your vision and perception are clear – many people interpret the Bible in different ways. People’s bitterness towards us (as well as our bitterness toward them) can distort our judgment. This is why we are to seek God for counsel and discernment as well.
Relationships. Bitterness poisons relationships. This should be a given, although many people don’t realize it until after the fact. The Bible calls us to love one another as Jesus Christ loves us. I cannot tell you how much bitterness can destroy relationships. I’m sure there’s a bit of co-morbidity between bitterness and jealousy; bitterness and anger; bitterness and hurt; bitterness and abuse. Actually if you look into it, there probably is a pretty solid link between bitterness and all those things. Bitterness is rooted deep into the heart. It’s easy to get bitter at someone, especially if they hurt you or are bitter toward you. But we must learn to love above all else.
React. Oh this one’s a good one. Bitterness affects the way you react to certain situations and people. Go figure. It is so easy to just let your emotions build up inside and explode at the most inappropriate times. Because bitterness affects your vision, perception, judgment, and relationships… your view of the world is so distorted and twisted that the way you can react is just… wrong. I’ve been so bitter at times that I would either not talk to the person who “made me feel that way” or I’d completely explode at someone who was totally innocent. Don’t let bitterness destroy your actions and the way you react. You may just say or do something you’ll regret.
Bitterness is a hard thing to get rid of. Trust me, I know. There are times that I still struggle with being bitter and it’s hard to get away from it. I have to remember to always go to the word of God. There are lots of reasons on why we can be bitter and why we may justify it. But the truth is we have even greater reasons to LOVE. I find that in my angry, jealous, bitter times that it’s so easy to just want to be anti social and completely rude… but it’s more fruitful to go to God’s word and pray to Him and to seek His face.
“31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
Soften your heart. Learn to LOVE. It’ll relieve you of so much stress – emotionally, physically, and spiritually.