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“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” – William Arthur Ward
I don’t know who William Arthur Ward was but I like him. No truer words have been spoken.
This topic should have been with the posts on forgiveness because you can’t talk about bitterness without also discussing grace.
I’ve seen all too often the sneaky grip of unforgiveness creep in and slowly choke the heart of one who has been wounded. A shadow eclipses their light and suddenly, they’re left with just darkness and an outline of what once was.
A dark heart is one that spews negativity. Resentment. Ill remarks about people they don’t even know or even those they do. A dark hear blames others and refuses to take responsibility for it’s own actions.
Simply put, a dark heart is a jaded heart.
And while I think it’s so very important to pray blessings over those who are bitter, it’s also so very important to guard our own hearts and watch that their bitterness doesn’t rub-off on us.
Bitterness blocks the eyes with a veil that clouds every perspective and before we know it, it becomes who we are.
And those who are bitter? They corrupt.
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. – Hebrews 12:15
Notice how it’s when we FAIL to receive God’s grace that there’s a risk for roots of bitterness to grow. Oftentimes, those who cannot forgive others cannot forgive themselves.
They’ve failed to receive God’s grace. And that’s when the trouble starts.
They become bitter and they begin to corrupt others, oftentimes by stirring dissension.
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes,a lying tongue,hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. – Proverbs 6:16-19
The next time someone you know begins to stir up dissension, ask yourself: Are they bitter about something? Do they have unforgiveness in their heart?
What if the person who is bitter is you?
The antidote? Read “Overcoming Bitterness and Resentment” by the Christian Broadcasting Network and meditate on the included scriptures. Pray that God will remove this root of bitterness. Ask Him to search your heart and reveal what needs to be purged so you can be set free through forgiveness. If you’re at a loss for words, pray something like this:
Father, thank you for your new mercies each day. Your grace is astounding. I pray that you will remove all roots of bitterness within me. I recognize that to do this, I must forgive. I confess that I have held resentment and bitterness towards ______________ because_______________ and I pray that you will set me free from this bondage. I forgive _________ and ask they you bless him/her today. When I feel myself reacting negatively or with bitterness, I pray that you will allow me to feel the intervention of the Holy Spirit and be reminded that I have released this to you. It’s in your very holy and loving name I pray. Amen.
Isn’t it time we strive for better instead of bitter?
The Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Makeover will wrap-up at the end of next week – is there something that stinks up your thoughts that hasn’t been addressed here yet? Leave me a comment or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!