“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.” Hebrews 12:15
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice:” Ephesians 4:31
“For I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” Acts 8:23
I found this picture of a beautiful yet powerful and dangerous predator, a tiger, lying in darkness and seclusion, awaiting his moment to destroy his prey. I studied it in fascination and then thought of the hidden, dark things that have the power to destroy us if we don’t avoid and flee from them. Quite frankly, I thought of bitterness and it’s deadly power.
Have you ever talked to a bitter person and seen the ravages upon their life and soul inflicted by the predator of bitterness? Their lives are filled with anger, lashing out with a determined self-justification for the way they perceive things, even though it may not make either common or scriptural sense. The “predator of bitterness” is devouring their peace of mind and true happiness in life.
I recently encountered a bitter individual. It was sad to listen to a once successful person, who credited themselves with everyone else’s accomplishments and was filled with seething anger that they didn’t receive the recognition they felt they deserved. They had so much to be thankful for. They could have rejoiced over what great doors of effectual ministry God had opened for them, but bitterness, like a diseased tree root, was slowly rotting their life away, and sadly all who stopped to listen had their hearing defiled by bitter narratives.
The scriptures I cited above warn of the dangers of bitterness and command us not to let it have any place in our lives. Paul told the Phillipian church….” for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content .” Have we forgotten,… “ The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord, and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalms 37:23)? God places and orders the steps of the righteous, not men.
Finally, much is happening in this world politically, spiritually, and culturally. Much uncertainty and much disappointment is everywhere. Don’t get bitter if the world isn’t turning your way. God has a plan for you, and it is just for you. You are the apple of His eye and His precious child. Refuse bitterness in your life, say to yourself…God’s got this, and God’s got me.
-Dr. David M. Griffis