from our ministry
Bitterness and Forgiveness
Bitterness is something that even a sincere believer can struggle with at times. You find yourself feeling resentful towards another for what they’ve said or done to you and can’t seem to forgive and forget. Yet, unwillingness to forgive is a serious spiritual issue. It’s a sin that needs to be dealt with God’s way because it affects not only your relationship with that person, but also your relationship with God.
To deal with the root of bitterness you need to demonstrate the same kind of forgiveness that God has shown you in Christ. Biblical forgiveness is God’s solution to overcoming sinful bitterness.
In Ephesians 4:31-32 you’re instructed to put off all bitterness and instead to put on God’s own forgiveness in its place.
“(31) Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. (32) And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
God’s Word warns that bitterness is often accompanied by other destructive sins as well. Such as wrath, anger, clamor, slander and malice in your thoughts, words and actions aimed at others. Often times it’s those closest to you that become the object of your bitter and unforgiving outbursts.
What’s God’s solution? Forgiving them as God in Christ has and continues to forgive you!
The good news is that as a Christian, God not only commands you to forgive, He also enables you to as well. God gives you the power of His Spirit to do what you can’t do in your own strength. By relying on the Spirit’s power and motivated by God’s forgiveness of you, God will enable you to truly forgive them from your heart.
Forgiving others isn’t a matter of feeling like forgiving or forgetting what someone has said or done to you. Forgiveness an act of faith and obedience that doesn’t require changing your feelings or forgetting the wrong done. It’s choosing not to hold their sin against them any longer and instead determining to demonstrate kind and tenderhearted thoughts, words and deeds towards them.
As a believer God will give you the ability to overcome your bitterness with His forgiveness. Even though you may remember the wrong done against you, it won’t keep you from forgiving and restoring a right relationship with them and God.