Definition of Bitterness • “Bitterness” refers to an intense mental or spiritual torment, an experience that is unbearable, something that causes a desire for revenge, or is brought about by hatred, fear or anxiety.
Biblical Examples of Bitterness • Hanna was bitter because she could not have children. • 1 Sam 1:10.
Biblical Examples of Bitterness • Foolish children bring grief to their father and bitterness to the one who gave them birth. • Prov. 17:25.
Biblical Examples of Bitterness • Divine discipline (chastisement) of the Jewish people caused bitterness. Bitterness destroyed the people's spiritual lives. The Jews brought on self-destruction by their bitterness. • Lam. 1:4; Amos 8:10; Ezek. 27:30; Isa. 33:7; 2 Kings 14:26.
Biblical Examples of Bitterness • Slavery caused bitterness for the people of Israel, Exo. 1:14.3. Suffering caused bitterness for people who lack the spiritual depth for dealing with life’s adversities. • Deuteronomy 32:28–29 says, 28 “But Israel is a senseless nation; the people are foolish, without understanding. 29 Oh, that they were wise and could understand this! Oh, that they might know their fate!”
Biblical Examples of Bitterness • Taunting is a source of bitterness, Lam 3:14. The people ridiculed Jeremiah because of their bitterness toward him and his prophecies. When truth is taught, people react in bitterness.
Biblical Examples of Bitterness • Pride is a cause of bitterness. • In Acts 8:22–23, the Bible says, ”Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, 23 for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”
Biblical Examples of Bitterness • Bitterness is universal: • Romans 3:10–14 (NLT) 10 As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. 11 No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. 12 All have turned away; all have become useless. • No one does good, not a single one.” 13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”*
Biblical Examples of Bitterness • Husbands and wives can be a source of bitterness toward each other, • Colossians 3:19 (NLT) ”Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them..
The Results of Bitterness • Bitterness makes relationships difficult or impossible. A bitter person is selfish, inconsiderate of others, withdrawn from people. • Each heart knows its own bitterness, says Prov. 14:10. No one is happy around bitter people.
The Results of Bitterness • Bitterness is a sign of a life that has abandoned God • Jeremiah 2:19 (NLT) Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. Your turning from me will shame you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the Lord your God and not to fear him.
The Results of Bitterness • A bitter person rejects Bible teaching. • James 3:14, "But if you have bitter jealousy and strife, stop being arrogant and lying against the truth."
The Results of Bitterness • Bitterness shows total lack of understanding of God’s grace. • In Job. 9:17-18, Job's complaint against God. "Why does God let this happen to me", is a statement of bitterness. He refuses to acknowledge all the blessings God gave him.
The Results of Bitterness • Bitterness motivates complaining, • Job 7:11, 10:1. People who habitually complain are bitter people; they have no self esteem.
The Results of Bitterness • Bitterness is expressed by angry, poisoned words. • Psalm 64:3 (NLT) says, “3 They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their bitter words like arrows.”
The Results of Bitterness • Bitterness fragments other peoples lives. • Heb12:15, "See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it many be defiled.
Breaking Free from Bitterness • Isa 38:17, "Behold, bitterness became deliverance to me. In Your love You have delivered my soul out of the pit of destruction; for You have cast all my sins behind my back."
Breaking Free from Bitterness • Ephesians 1:8 tells us that God has given us "wisdom and prudence" which are part of God's grace provision for us. These two qualities come by understanding the Bible’s great teachings and by following Jesus Christ in your life.
Breaking Free from Bitterness • First, realize that you can break free through Jesus Christ. • Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed (John 8:36). • The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things thorough Him who strengthens me!” (Phil 4:13)
Breaking Free from Bitterness • Second, confess your sin. Bitterness is a sin, It is refusal to let go. • 1 John 1:9 states that when you confess your sins, God "is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Breaking Free from Bitterness • Third, reflect on all of the issues in your life, past or present, that still cause you great pain and bitterness when you allow it. Ask God’s Spirit to illuminate any bitterness, rage, harsh or slanderous attitudes.
Breaking Free from Bitterness • Fourth, follow the command of the Apostle Paul who said, • Ephesians 4:31–32 (NLT), “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”