It doesn’t take big things to destroy a promising life. It doesn’t take a big hole to sink a ship. We are called to be careful of the little foxes that spoil the vine. (Song of Solomon 2:15).
One of the little foxes that can cause huge destruction is bitterness.
How does bitterness look like?
Bitterness, when it’s in the heart, is described as a root. It is the hidden part yet it provides death to the whole tree. Bitter people can look as normal as anyone else but they feel that God or someone has treated them unfairly.
When we compare ourselves with other people we can easily get bitter and many fall away for entering into the comparison trap. Bitterness is a form of pride because you think you deserve better. You fail to take trials and hardships as a form of discipline or training to become better.
Sometimes we behave like Peter – very curious about other people. We want to know what’s happening in their lives and many times our motives aren’t good. When Peter inquired about John, Jesus asked him, “What is it to you?” John 21:20-23. A question to ask yourself, especially if you’re in Christ, would be this: What is it to me when someone else has better than me? You know that you’re already enjoying better than you deserve. Amen?
By the way, doesn’t this remind you of The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20? Comparing ourselves with others will cause us to murmur and in our murmurings, bitterness will ensue.
Bitterness is an expression of taste – it affects everything you eat. If one is bitter, they become very cold and hostile to others. Bitter people are angry people and did you know that anger rests in the bosom of fools? (Ecclesiastes 7:9). Just one angry person can affect many people who have no business being angry. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? One bad apple corrupts a whole sack. Beware!
Bitter people have concealed hatred and they murmur quite a bit. In their murmurings you can detect slander and lies. (Proverbs 10:18.
Absalom had some bitterness going on. For two years, in silence, his anger brewed. Why? Because his sister Tamar had been raped by Amnon. Now, silence doesn’t mean that bitterness is absent. We know so because from this story in 2 Samuel chapter 13, Absalom eventually kills Amnon and as if that wasn’t enough, for four years he sat at the gates to slander his father, David! You’d think that was all, but Absalom in his bitterness, even corrupted Ahithophel, David’s advisor! (2 Samuel 15:12).
If not checked, bitterness is can sit in someone’s heart for so long. Absalom had a 2 year plan and another 4 year plan which tragically ended in his death.
I feel like addressing Ahithophel here for a moment. This was Bathsheba’s grandpa. Yes, the same Bathsheba that David committed adultery with and then set up a plan to have her husband murdered. She was the daughter of Eliam the son of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 11:3, 2 Samuel 23:34). You know what I’m thinking? You cannot be enticed by something you don’t like. I mean, when Absalom called for Ahithophel and presented to him the idea of conspiring against the king, (2 Samuel 15:12), I think he went with the flow because he was already in it. He had some concealed hatred and seething bitterness for David for what David had done against his daughter. He had never forgiven David and ended up giving Absalom advice against his father). However, Hushai the Arkite counters Ahithophel’s advice. (2 Samuel 17:5-10). Ahithophel was definitely going for revenge and he commits suicide for a missed opportunity to have David killed.
3 easy steps to dealing with bitterness
♥ Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you. It is possible to be bitter without your knowledge.
♥ Forgive all offenses against you. Dig deep and go to the root of the issue.
♥ Ask God to cleanse you.
Bitterness will sap the blessing of God from your life. Reject it!