No one plans on being bitter but, if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves dwelling on thoughts that lead us down that destructive path. Have you been tempted to “go there”? Are you there right now – bitter at your spouse, your kids, friends . . . Life . . . bitter against God?
Bitterness is subtle because it’s often based on real wounds inflicted by a person you trusted. You’re justified in your perspective and now you’re dwelling on those angry, hurt feelings. God doesn’t want us to pretend those bad things haven’t happened but he doesn’t want us to live as a victim of those bad things, either. The deceit of bitterness is that the bitter person believes she is holding the offense in righteousness but, in truth, the bitterness has ahold of her, spreading it’s poison throughout her life and all her relationships.
This is exactly why the Scriptures warn against “a root of bitterness”. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking diligently lest any man fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled. “
Did you catch that? Bitterness troubles the person who is bitter. It eats you out from the inside, poisoning your thoughts – affecting your whole life. But, it doesn’t stop there. It defiles many. The first victim of bitterness is the bitter person. The second category of victims?. . . All the people who interact with the bitter person. Bitterness defiles everything and everyone it touches.
Matt Jacobson is a biblical marriage coach and founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).