Bitterness Begins As a Sprout
When you go through a difficult time in life, it is easy to think God has abandoned you. The shock of your circumstances, the pain and suffering you face, the confusion and whys that fill your mind, could lead you down a path of bitterness.
Hebrews 12:15 describes bitterness as an emotion that takes “root” in a person’s soul. Bitter feelings and attitudes will start out small, and are hardly noticeable at first. However, bitterness quickly grows into something very destructive and troublesome. It has the ability to defile many. Malice and spite are birthed from it, and could cause a spirit of ill will and a desire to do evil. It will destroy your spiritual joy.
Bitterness is a sign of a worldly attitude. Those who are bitter may seek revenge, and unforgiveness usually has an iron grip on their hearts. Attempts are made to be judge and jury, thus eliminating God’s right to correct His own children.
Frustration and anger, confusion and hopelessness will lend itself to a victim like attitude. Constant complaints of, “Why Me?” aggravate the sin of bitterness. We live in a fallen world and we are told that we will have tribulations in this life. God permits things for our benefit. Trials are meant to transform us into the image of Christ. They are not enjoyable but they will come. It is the grace of God we must fall upon when tragedy hits and faith we must cling to in order to get past the hardship.
If you have ever pulled weeds in a garden, you know that they can be incredibly difficult to remove. Some of the smallest weeds have deceptively long and deep roots. It takes a great deal of effort and strength to uproot them. If a garden is well maintained, weeds are identified and removed while still a sprout. The uprooting does not disturb the soil much, and little or no damage is done to near by plants.
However, if a weed is left to grow and is uprooted when mature, surrounding plants could be affected by its removal. They may be damaged or even uprooted themselves, due to their close proximity.
Bitterness is just like any other sin. It will affect our relationship with God and with those around us. It will not stay hidden. Eventually, it will sprout and in time begin to flower. Seeds of bitterness could fly in the wind to many different places and cause more and more trouble.
If the entire root of bitterness is not removed, it will grow back. An act of forgiveness or the acceptance of God’s purpose will help in removing the weed completely. Don’t let the gall or impudence of bitterness rob you of your delight.
Bitterness is a work of the flesh and His “Chosen Ones” should not take part in its evil. It causes anger, strife, rivalries, and dissensions and will hinder God’s call to be kind and compassionate. We are commanded to put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Bitterness separates us for God and the fellowship of the Body of Christ.
“For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” Acts 8:23 (ESV)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)