Getting Rid of Bitterness

People are angry and bitter. Angry at the world. Angry about COVID precautions. Bitter toward their spouse. Bitter toward their ungrateful kids.

Anger, bitterness and rage are increasingly prevalent in our society. One indicator of this is the huge increase in airline violence in 2021. As of Sept. 6, 2021, there have been 727 investigations of airline violence in the US. In comparison, in 2019, only 146 investigations were initiated by the FAA.

Pastor Chris Beall with Life.Church recently gave a powerful message about bitterness. We hold on to bitterness because someone has wronged us. But ultimately, bitterness poisons us and can destroy that relationship.

Bitterness is not surface-level feelings. It goes deep. The Bible describes bitterness as a root. “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many,” says Hebrews 12:15.

Hebrews 12:15

The thing about roots…. They’re not always easy to pull up. Have you ever pulled and pulled on a root in your garden, only to almost pull your back out? Those things are deep and strong! BUT, it is possible to remove the root. And if you don’t remove it, it has the potential to destroy your garden… AKA all the beautiful things God is doing in your life!

In his message, Pastor Beall shared how to kill the root of bitterness:

  1. You expose it.
    -Talk to the person you are bitter about. Admit your feelings.
  2. You cancel their debts.
    -Give up your claim to blame.
    -Cancel their debt, because God canceled yours.

The whole “giving up your claim to blame” is a hard one for me. If someone has wronged me, I enjoying playing the victim and having a pity party … for a little while, at least. I feel it is my RIGHT! And gosh darn it, what they did was so awful that I’ve earned the right to talk bad about them! You’ll always find someone who is willing to ride that train with you — who will encourage you to bad mouth that person who wronged you.

But is it doing you any good? Is it helping you become a better person and grow closer to God?

An amazing example of forgiveness and letting go of bitterness is Pastor Beall’s wife, Cindy. In this podcast, she shares how she was able to forgive Chris after he admitted to multiple affairs 20 years ago. Their story is an amazing example of forgiveness, transparency, and of someone not allowing “it’s my right to blame/be bitter” rule her life!

Don’t allow the root of bitterness to grow in your life! Expose it for what it is, cancel their debts, and move on! Life is too short to live it embittered.

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