The Church has had to deal with problems since it’s inception. Why is that? Because the Church is made up of people, and people are sinful. One of the biggest problems the Church faces is bitterness. What is bitterness? The definition of bitterness is “anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment”.
Essentially it’s feeling sorry for ourselves. It’s being immature and saying things like “That’s not fair!” “She can’t talk to me like that!” “He can’t look at me like that!” “They don’t appreciate me!” These kinds of statements come from immature Christians who have never applied the Word of God to their lives. This bitterness starts with one person, but then that person has to let it be known to the world that they have been done wrong, and it spreads through all of the immature Christians of the Church. Next thing you know there is a church split. So how do we overcome this problem? We become mature Christians and let the Word of God guide us. Let’s look at some scripture to help us with this:
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
When we come into contact with a bitter person, let’s not become bitter ourselves. Let’s not answer bitterness with bitterness. Let’s forgive, let’s be tenderhearted, and kind to one another. Speak truth, but speak it in love, rather than in bitterness and anger. Christ forgave us for unspeakable sins, but we can’t forgive someone for silly things that are probably only in our own mind?
Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”
When one becomes bitter there is a chance that many will be defiled. Do you want to be the cause of many becoming defiled because of childish/selfish thoughts?
Proverbs 20:22 “Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.”
When we take it upon ourselves to right a wrong by repaying evil with evil we are sinning double. We have the sin of the evil we commit, and also the sin of not relying on God to handle the situation.
Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”
When we have hate in our hearts for someone, we stir up strife for the whole church body. When we show love to that person, regardless of our selfish feelings, we sin not.
Proverbs 19:11 “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”
So we can either shout to the world about those who have wronged us, and loathe in self pity, or we can let go of our anger and it will become a glory for us.
Bitterness is a poison pill for the church, not only are we harming ourselves but bitterness is a disease that spreads to weak individuals of the church. Bitterness is the poison, but the Word of God is our vaccine to prevent it from infecting us.