The Poison of Bitterness

12 Sep

All of us have been hurt by others one time in life or another. We’ve been hurt by other’s words or actions. Perhaps we feel we’ve been unjustly treated, taken advantage of, judged or misrepresented, slandered, and I’m sure the list could go on and on.

Thinking back to these times, are you keeping yourself in bondage by reacting in anger, frustration, pride, selfishness, and solitude from day to day? Or are you allowing the love of Jesus Christ to flow freely through you that you might be able to fully forgive and bless those who have treated you wrongly?

I’m reminded of the statement that Nancy Leigh Demoss often refers to when she speaks to women:

“Bitterness is like swallowing poison and hoping that the other person will die.”

Isn’t that so true? When we become bitter towards those who have wronged us, we hope that the way we respond to them will hurt them and force them to change. However, we don’t fully realize that we are causing more damage to ourselves spiritually and physically by this response and also preventing the grace of God to take full effect in our lives. Let alone, this goes without saying that we are walking in disobedience. We’ve been instructed to forgive seventy times seven and to bless our offenders.

Yes, it does get wearisome turning the other cheek or acting like the (can I say….) “bigger” Christian. 🙂  But sometimes that is the cross we’ve been called to bear and this is when we’ll begin to experience the fullness and richness of Jesus Christ, His love, and glory.

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6 Responses to “The Poison of Bitterness”

  1. heartponderings September 12, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    Beautifully put, Sara! I agree completely.

  2. Rachel September 12, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    Yes, so true! Many of us have been hurt by friends and/or family for making choices in our lives and following after what we believe God has called us to do. But if we think badly of them, etc. then we are hurting ourselves! Bitterness will eat away at you! I have lost many friends in my life, so that’s where it is hard for me to not judge and not think badly of them. I still struggle with bitterness at times. I just have to put it all in God’s hands and let it go each time. Thanks for sharing Sara! 🙂

    God Bless!
    ~Rachel~

  3. Tricia (Mom) September 12, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Very thought provoking post, Sara. I feel, in my own life, I can get bitter many times…just wanting my own way and not getting it. But I am reminded, ” I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I. but Christ liveth in me.” Gal 2:20 These words mean the breaking of my own independence with my own hand and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we learn this “surrender”, how can we be bitter? You have given me much to ponder today! Love you!

  4. Keriann Fryer September 12, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    Sara, This so spoke to me. The Lord has really been pressing upon my heart to let some big hurts go. Harder than that is this : I know I need to show the people who have hurt me love and mercy, especially if they don’t know the Lord. Ugh! My flesh so longs to let my tongue loose and point out others weaknesses, but that is never how the Father deals with us. The Holy Spirit has been so faithful to lead me to encouraging Scripture and readings that encourage me to press on in forgiveness. Today your post was the encouragement I needed. Thanks 🙂

  5. Carolee Schwaderer September 13, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    I like that quote by Nancy Leigh Demoss. How true–but not only do we destroy ourselves, but those around us too.

  6. ~Deby August 30, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Wow…this is so true…thanks for sharing

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