Chapter Four: Overcoming Bitterness
“But God considers the sins of unforgiveness, anger, hatred, self-pity, lovelessness, and revenge to be just as bad as any others.” -Stormie Omartian
Are you drinking poison? I’ve heard bitterness be described as, “drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” That’s because bitterness only destroys you from the inside out. I experienced bitterness at different points in my life: after being molested, after my parents separated, and after I ended the toxic friendship with my roommate.
Bitterness is always the result of sin. It is not releasing or forgiving offenses, but, instead, holding onto them so that they build up over time. I was bitter at the little boy in my neighborhood, bitter at my Daddy, bitter at my roommate, and bitter at myself. I had to learn that bitterness is sin, and it hurts our identity and purpose when we’re walking with Jesus Christ.
After I ended close ties with my roommate, I struggled a lot with condemnation towards myself and guilt. I continued to live with her and two new roommates for almost a year, although I was no longer in close relationship with her. During this time, I observed her doing many similar things that she had done with me with several other college girls. I developed bitterness and intense hatred towards her because of this. I the saw patterns of deception and manipulation from the outside much clearer than I had when I was close to her. It made me sick.
It took a long time for God to heal my heart where I was no longer angry towards myself or her. It has been a continual process of grieving. It has taken time for me to understand just how much God loves me and loves others in spite of our brokenness and our sin.
How To Overcome Bitterness
- Realize that bitterness prevents us from experiencing God’s love.
- Repent and forgive everyone for everything, including yourself.
- Remember that forgiveness is not based on feelings, but obedient faith.