Can you guess what today’s sermon topic was on? 😉 Yes, today we discuss bitterness! This is something I very much needed to hear and I am certain I’m not the only one. I believe it’s an extremely relatable topic. Again, these are my notes mixed in with outline points from a sermon series I am following. This one is part of the Soul Therapy series, if you’ve been following my other posts. Whether you have or haven’t been following, I’d encourage you to continue reading because I guarantee you it will be relevant in your life.
In covering this topic, we’re basically going to break down that verse posted right above. First and foremost, we need to understand bitterness.
Bitterness: Deep controlling sense of anger and resentment, usually towards someone who has wronged us.
Resent is a Latin word which means to feel again.
So, we can deduce that resentment and bitterness work together in that we relive and constantly replay in our minds how people have wronged us. Bitterness and resentment, once let in, will only deepen. This is why the Bible advises us to watch out and avoid bitterness.
Bitterness poisons us, troubles us, corrupts us and plainly put, it’s a sin. Bitterness is poison to our souls; we are told this, yet we still consume it. It’s like reading a warning label on a chemical product and drinking it down anyway. Bitterness comes from being hurt by someone whether intentionally or non intentionally. Bitterness will grow and worsen and cause unhappiness. I would wager that all of you reading this know of someone in your life who lives in bitterness and they are one of the unhappiest people you know! Bitter people are constantly living in yesterday and it wrecks their today! If you reside in your past, you can’t be present in your future. You have condemned your own self to a life full of unhappiness and negativity. Sadly, bitterness doesn’t just affect us, it contaminates everyone around us and corrupts many. If we allow bitterness to reside in our lives, it will change how we interact with everyone in life. It compromises all of our current relationships/friendships and future ones as well.
Bitterness is a sin and it can hold many captive. You can see when people are bitter; it’s evident in the way they relate to others, in how they speak, how they treat others and just how the live in general. Any sin will destroy you and bitterness is no exception. It will put a wedge between not only you and God, but between you and everyone else in life.
So, how do we get beyond the bitterness?
We confront it, we repent, we accept God’s sovereignty and we release ourselves! We confront bitterness by admitting we’ve been hurt/offended by someone and that we’re angry and resentful about it. We have to be honest with ourselves and quit trying to deceive ourselves. We will never be able to correct what we are unwilling to confront and this is why we must deal honestly with our feelings. Once we openly deal with our feelings, we can turn from our old ways of bitterness and turn to God for help!
Are we obligated to talk to or confront the person or persons who have hurt us? Not always, but we should be asking the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us to where we should go and how we should deal with our bitterness. We may not always be led to confront or talk to the person or persons, but we should forgive them and move on. This is something I have personally dealt with and blogged about before. The hate, anger, resentment and bitterness will eat you alive. I often quote that meme we have all seen at least once, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” You’re the one dying a little every day while the person or persons you’re bitter towards are clueless; they don’t care and they’re free to live life while you have made yourself a prisoner in your own mind. Don’t give others that control over you, they don’t deserve it. I personally DID contact someone whom I was angry and resentful towards. I didn’t necessarily want to, but felt led to. I wasn’t looking to rekindle any friendship nor did I want to let this person back into my life, I just wanted to openly acknowledge how this person treated me and tell said person how despite all the negative they caused me, I forgive them. I’m not going to lie, it was HARD. It was so difficult, especially when I had been carrying this baggage around for years! There were many other things I would have loved to say as well, but the Holy Spirit kept me out of trouble and gave me the courage and strength to extend forgiveness. Now forgiveness doesn’t mean amnesia. We don’t have to forget to forgive and we don’t have to let the person or persons back into our lives. God allows things to happen in our lives for a purpose. He has a reason for every event, big or small. Most of the time we won’t understand why things have happened to us or are happening to us, but we can rest assured that God knows what is best for our lives and He is for us and never against us! We have all been hurt/offended by someone at some time in our lives; this is a part of life. Sometimes bad things happen to the best people, but we cannot let ourselves become bitter…we must get better!
God elevated Joseph because despite how badly his brothers treated him and how cruel they were to him, Joseph refused bitterness. They intended to harm him but Joseph knew God had more in store for his life. Joseph knew God had a purpose for his life and a purpose for his pain. Another thing I say often is that all of the things we go through in life, especially the bad, equips us to help others. Our difficult times are giving us the gift to reach others and save them when their time comes. We go through the dark to become the light in someone else’s darkness. This is the basis of my blog! I have started it with the intention to use my struggles and pains to help as many people as I can! That’s the beauty of our pain! We can allow it to cause bitterness or we can allow it to cause betterness. 😜
We must trust God and His plans for our lives, even when we don’t see the full picture. He has our best interest at heart. Don’t waste your pain and disappointment; let God heal you and direct you and keep serving Him. Release yourself from the spiritual and emotional prison you have put yourself in!
One of the toughest parts of getting beyond bitterness will be forgiving the person or persons that hurt you, trust me I KNOW! In forgiving them, whether they are aware of the forgiveness or not, you will release yourself from the weight of the bitterness you have been carrying! Trust me, TRUST ME when I say I still struggle with bitterness trying to creep its way back into my heart, soul and mind…but we have to let it go and leave it in the past. Don’t let anyone’s actions rob you of your joy and peace or ruin your relationships with other people in life. Don’t give those people any more power to hurt you and don’t give them the power to control your thoughts. Bitterness is not winning. Those people will never care that you are living with bitterness, they’ll be living free while you’re holding yourself captive. Free yourself, then you’ll win! ❤🙌
I pray anyone reading this today will find the courage and strength to let the Holy Spirit guide them in ridding their lives of bitterness. It will be hard, but in the end it will be very much worth it! You’ll feel a weight has been lifted and you can not only breathe again, but LIVE again!
Much Love and God Bless! ❤
P.s. We often forget how many times God has forgiven us and how forgiven we are. We shouldn’t let bitterness keep us from extending forgiveness to others because we are constantly extended forgiveness ourselves.