Bitterness is a very ugly attitude to have. When we are bitter towards others, we wear our emotions on the outside. You know that time you saw someone so consumed with bitterness that they appeared to be sucking on a lemon? Being bitter does not wear well on anyone.
Having an ugly attitude consumes us. It draws us away from God. We get so caught up in what we are mad about, that it eats up our time in the word and prayer. Wouldn't our time be better spent worshiping God and building relationships? Building massive walls that can never be scaled, ruins relationships.
What does the Bible say about bitterness?
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
The root of bitterness is anger and not being able to forgive others. When we bottle up our emotions inside, we stew on them. We keep reinforcing our bad behavior by trying to justify our actions. Our emotions are grounded by denial and we refuse to change course.
How can we be God honoring Christians when we do not let go of the past?
Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”
Bitterness creates new troubles to arise in our relationships. When we do not let go of the past, we keep using previous hurts to build new hurts. Small problems become magnified when we interject the angers and frustrations of problems past.
Bitterness does not give us closure, it keeps the wound open. Forgiveness frees us from the past. It gives us a healthier attitude. We gain a sensible mind and are able to work through problems in a God-like manner.
Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”