Poisoned by Bitterness

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. James 3:14

Have you ever been approached by someone who told you something about yourself that was not good?  I have had this experience and I take them what is said seriously in the moment, and afterward I take some time to examine my heart with respect to what was discussed.  I believe that is a spiritually healthy response when something someone says or does affects me this way.

If someone speaks to you about possibly being bitter I would urge you to do the same thing: examine your heart and honestly evaluate if you may be a bitter woman. 

Because people tend to hide their sins under a cloak of righteousness, they justify the way they feel about things and sometimes even use Scripture to attempt to validate their sin. I have had women tell me their anger and bitterness are justified and then begin to tick off a mental laundry list of someone else’s sin that has “Made me angry” or “Caused me to be bitter.” 

You must understand that no one can “make” you anything! Your responses are a choice you make as a result of what is going on in your heart. They are evidence against you of whom or what your heart is focused on and even worships!

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slanders. Matthew 15:19

Women living with bitterness are struggling deeply with evil thoughts that originate in the heart. 

The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

You can be sure that bitterness is a sin that binds.  Bitterness becomes a ruling force that will eat you alive from the inside out so it is critical you deal with this terrible sin as soon as you become aware of it. 

For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.  Acts 8:23

To break up bitterness, you must be willing to look at what you have done to others. That is your biblical responsibility, to learn where your fault is in the matter. The Lord asks that you take 100% responsibility for your part of the problems and then put your full effort behind resolving your part of them. A bitter person does not like to admit that any of the responsibility belongs to them. It is preferable to be the “victim” in the relationship having been the only one wronged. 

Bitter women seem to have a pattern of living that places them at the center of problems. Ironically they always seem to be the one who is misunderstood, hurt, ignored, mistreated and so on. As much as everyone wants to be innocent and the victim, it is not possible to be innocent all of the time.  I have found that even if a person was innocent in the original situation they have ceased to respond biblically to it and sinned in their own heart. Bitterness must be addressed because it is blatantly ungodly to continue in such a pattern of living. 

If you find yourself in today’s post and want to change, you will need the Spirit of God actively working in your heart and convicting you of your sin to begin this process of correcting the heart of bitterness. Because your heart is more deceitful and desperately wicked as Jeremiah says you cannot know the depths of your own sinfulness.

You can be confident that God wants you to succeed and that He is for you in this process. King David -a sinful man- is also called a man after God’s own heart. Psalm 139:23-24 contains a wonderful prayer for someone seeking God’s help as they examine their heart.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.