Bitter? Who Me?
“Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it” Hebrews 12:15 (AMP)
Warriors! One of the spirits that is still found far too often in the body of Christ is the spirit of bitterness. We are faithful in paying our tithes, studying our Word and even in compassionately caring for others. However, have you ever stopped to consider if YOU are the host to such a vindictive, subtle spirit? Of course – we can easily identify it in others… but let’s turn the spotlight inward for a minute to make certain that “I” am not the person that everyone else considers a “bitter person”!
Bitterness is that hateful, spiteful spirit; which causes a sourness in the heart. It creeps in when you have been or think that you have been, maliciously wronged.
Bitterness is a root. As with every root system, the roots are rarely seen, it's the fruit which is produced by root system that is evident. The same is true with bitterness in a person's soul. Bitterness is an underlying problem that isn’t seen; but will usually manifest on the outside – revealing what is dwelling within a person's system. It is a hidden element that lies under the surface, and out of it springs up vindictive anger, rage and other negative emotions against others. It is also often revealed in our responses – verbal and/or non…when we encounter adverse circumstances which are beyond our control. People who have a root of bitterness find it easy to get upset over some of the minutest things that others are doing around them. The display of bitterness can also be compared to a hidden volcano; waiting to erupt at any moment – often without any warning.
Leaders! Bitterness is a poison! It must not be found among us. This demonic spirit has a nature that is deadly and must be brought into the light and addressed. Many are still bound and are seeking to be set free from their spiritual, emotional and even physical bondages; not realizing that the spirit of bitterness has not properly been dealt with. Bitterness is also a means for defilement. Countless sicknesses and diseases are the fruit of the spirit of bitterness.
Bitterness is usually displayed, targeted or directed in one of three ways: towards God, towards another person, or towards one's self.
As we continually ask the Lord for direction, guidance and above all His wisdom, he will reveal to us any areas in our lives that have opened the door to bitterness. Whatever the Holy Spirit brings to mind - deal with. Don't attempt to reason it out or analyze what comes to mind - just confess it, ask for forgiveness, and accept the forgiveness the is granted to you. Refuse to harbor bitterness any longer. This major hindrance might be the one that is causing the underlying breach in your bridge!
The Results of Bitterness (by Warren Doud)
- Bitterness is antisocial. A bitter person is selfish, inconsiderate of others, withdrawn from society, indifferent or adverse to conformity with conventional standards of social behavior. Even strangers avoid bitter people, Prov. 14:10. No one is happy around bitter people.
- Bitterness is a sign of the fragmented life, Jer. 2:19.
- A bitter person rejects Bible teaching. James 3:14, "But if you have bitter jealousy and strife, stop being arrogant and lying against the truth."
- Bitterness shows total lack of grace orientation. A bitter person does not understand the Plan of God, let alone how it affects individuals. In Job. 9:17-18, Job's complaint against God. "Why does God let this happen to me", is a statement of bitterness.
- Bitterness accompanies the sin unto death, Job. 21:25.
- Bitterness motivates complaining, Job 7:11, 10:1. People who habitually complain are bitter people; they have no self-esteem.
- Bitterness motivates gossip, Psalm 64:3
- Bitterness fragments other people’s lives. Heb 12:15, "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it may be defiled.
- Bitterness is self-induced misery, and it produces chain sinning. Bitterness is misery to others in the periphery. But two wrongs never make a right. You cannot build your happiness on someone else's unhappiness.