Quotes about Bitterness
Bitterness arises in our hearts when we do not trust in the sovereign rule of God in our lives.
Copied from The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges, © 1996, p. 120. Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com. All rights reserved. Get this book!
Anger and bitterness are two noticeable signs of being focused on self and not trusting God’s sovereignty in your life. When you believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who belong to Him and love Him, you can respond to trials with joy instead of anger or bitterness.
Self-Confrontation Manual, Lesson 11, Page 1, Used by Permission of the Biblical Counseling Foundation.
Anger and bitterness are formidable detriments to biblical love, harmonious relationships, and maturity in Christ. Failing to put off anger and bitterness grieves the Holy Spirit, gives Satan an opportunity in your life, obscures your witness to others, and disrupts the unity in the Body of Christ. Dealing biblically with anger and bitterness requires wholehearted obedience to God’s Word in every circumstance and with every person, even if your feelings dictate otherwise.
Self-Confrontation Manual, Lesson 11, Page 2, Used by Permission of the Biblical Counseling Foundation.
On the one hand, [we] are called to abandon bitterness, to be forbearing, to have a forgiving stance even where the repentance of the offending party is conspicuous by its absence; on the other hand, their God-centered passion for justice, their concerns for God’s glory, ensure that the awful odium of sin is not glossed over.
Love and Forgiveness by D.A. Carson taken from Love in the Hard Places by D.A. Carson, 2002, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 83.
Forgiveness breaks the bitter chains of pride, self-pity and vengeance that lead to despair, alienation, broken relationships and loss of joy.
I have found it is impossible to be unforgiving toward those I am praying for. It’s not easy to start praying for them; it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done. But when I make that person an object of prayer, I open the door of my heart a little wider so that God can come in and breathe on my hardened heart, melting the icy resentment that is there.
Bitterness starts out small. An offense burrows its way into our hearts. We replay it in our minds, creating deep ruts that will be hard to build back up. We retell our hurts to any available listener, including each sordid detail. We enlist support, pushing us further into our resentment. We hear the offending person’s name and cringe. We decipher the offense as intentional and our offender as full of spite. We look for other reasons, both real or imagined, to dislike our villain. With each new piece of information, we form another layer of bitterness. We fool ourselves into thinking no one will know, but anger and resentment have a way of seeping into everything. Resentment is like a beach ball we try to submerge in the water. No matter how valiant our efforts, it pops up with all its vitality, splashing everyone around.
Our lack of forgiveness is why we choose to hold onto bitterness, letting it ripen into full grown resentment. While it looks like we are unable to forgive, sometimes we need to face that we are unwilling.
Most of our bitterness and anger towards others is rooted in an inability to be profoundly amazed at Christ’s love for us in our sin. If you are struggling with bitterness then it may be that the Lord is letting the very sin that is flowing from your inability to see Christ be the means by which you come to see him. In other words, perhaps this season of rage, anger, and a fed-up “I’m out of here and don’t want anything to do with you” spirit is where you have had to come in order to see the greatness of your sin as a forgiven and justified saint. And the Lord has done it so that you would be stunned at his grace in a deeper way than you’ve ever been stunned by the grace of God before. And now, out of that experience can flow grace towards others.
Bitterness (or resentment) is the result of an unwillingness to properly forgive those who have sinned against you.
The Scripture likens bitterness to a root (Heb. 12:15). Roots have to be planted. So, what’s the seed that sprouts into a root of bitterness when planted? It’s a hurt. When someone hurts you it’s as if a seed has been dropped onto the soil of your heart. You can choose to respond in two ways: You can either reach down and pluck up the seed by forgiving your offender, or you can begin to cultivate the seed by reviewing the hurt over and over again in your mind. Bitterness is the result of dwelling too long on a hurt; it’s the result of not truly forgiving the offender (Mt. 18:34-35).
If you want the greatest remedy to overcome bitterness, learn to forgive all who injure you in your heart. Perhaps the time will come for full reconciliation, but either way, a forgiving heart is where the roots of bitterness go to die.
It doesn’t matter how bad you were hurt. It doesn’t matter if the person has yet to ask for your forgiveness. It doesn’t matter how strongly you feel you can justify your bitterness. It doesn’t matter is the offender still continues to sin against you. Bitterness in any form is a sin against God. You are choosing to be bitter. You will never be free until you acknowledge your bitterness, own up to it and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness.
Do you struggle with the sin of bitterness? Why don’t you ask yourself these questions: Do you possess a critical or cynical attitude? Do you find pleasure speaking negatively of anybody in particular? Do you try to get others to dislike someone and take your side? Do you have any feelings of anger or malice toward another person in particular? Do you resent someone? Do you experience outbursts of anger? Have others said that you unpleasant to be around? Is there someone you simply refuse to forgive? Is there anyone you will not reconcile with? Is there a certain name that you just can’t stand hearing?
If you are looking for a quick definition, bitterness is the result of responding improperly to a hurt. That hurt can be what someone says to you, what someone does to you or what someone takes away from you. It’s being offended or disappointed by another and allowing anger to fester whereby resentment becomes the outcome. We are usually bitter toward a person. I’ve even met many people that are bitter toward God.
I need to come to grips that God is a better god than me. He is sovereign, not I. It’s His universe and He’s permitted to run it according to His wisdom. In His sovereignty He permits people, at times, to hurt me. Yet without excusing their sin, He has a reason for inflicting pain in my life. It’s my job to trust Him as God, knowing that He has my best interests in mind, working all things together for my ultimate good (Rom. 8:28). It’s not about me becoming bitter over my trials. It’s about Him making me better through my trials.
Some well-meaning counselors may say that you need to “forgive God” for the things you have endured. Yet never in Scripture are we asked to forgive God. God has not wronged us. God is ultimately the only truly wronged party, as He is the only One who is truly innocent. It is we who have sinned against Him. In His graciousness, He has chosen to pay the penalty for our sins Himself and save us. If you are holding on to anger against the Lord, let His grace melt your bitterness. Only in submission to Him will you find peace.
Getting Past Guilt: Overcoming Barriers to Feeling Forgiven. See more at: http://www.insight.org/resources/articles/encouragement-healing/getting-past-guilt.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/#sthash.Pk5C35Qn.dpuf.
No matter how long you nurse a grudge, it won’t get better.
When you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.