Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bitterness is a Cancer of the Soul

Bitterness. I don't think many of us stop and think how much each one of us is consumed with bitterness. I know I didn't. The leader of my Bible Fellowship at church taught a lesson on this very subject last Sunday and he planted a seed of renewal in my life. Between his teaching and the insights of another friend, I've been able to figure a few things out, with God's help.
"Being bitter is like drinking poison hoping it will hurt the person who wronged you." Allison Bontrager 
Being bitter shows a lack of faith in a sovereign Lord. Being bitter means you aren't willing to forgive. Being bitter means you let things that should have no impact on your life, ruin your life. Being bitter saps your ability to enjoy the life God has given you. Being bitter and holding grudges means you push people away. 

Who wants to be around a bitter person? No one. That's a simple fact of life. A bitter person pushes others away. A bitter person doesn't allow others a chance to get close to them. I know. I've been there. I've been the guy who decided the world was against him and just closed people off. I don't ever want to be there again. I have family members that are bitter. I try to help but I'm now convinced that without a good helping of faith in the Lord, there isn't a lot of fixing those issues.

Many times, being bitter leads to taking offense to incredibly stupid and petty things. A little bit of road construction or an inattentive driver might set it off. A misheard word from a coworker or a misplaced item might set it off. All I know is that life is not meant to be lived in perpetual offense to a world stacked against you.

Remember, bitterness shows that you have a lack of faith in God. Other character traits show a similar lack of faith. Worry, unrepentant anger, a quick temper(guilty), impatience(guilty), and language where someone blasphemes God all manifest from a lack of faith. I'm not saying there isn't a time to be angry because it is a legitimate defense when the devil does you wrong but to let these things control your life robs you of  your ability to find the joy that God intended each of us to have when we follow Jesus. 

 Ephesians 4:30   And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 
 Ephesians 4:31   Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 
 Ephesians 4:32   And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. 

If a clearer message from the word of God on this subject exists, I don't know it. The Apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesians lays out God's will for us in regards toward bitterness. I know that I've taken this message to heart. This doesn't mean that we sit idly by while a world is sinking in sin, but we must never be bitter about our situation because, in the end, we are destined for glory as long we have accepted Jesus as our Savior. Bitterness will cause us to not be able to share the Good News and even if we try, people will perceive our efforts as hypocritical. This is why we must put away our bitterness.

I challenge you all to step back and count your blessings. Once you do this, you'll realize that there is really nothing to be bitter about. God has blessed us immeasurably. 

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