When Bitterness Takes Root

My heart has become an entangled mess; fiercely fighting the reality that I’ve become bitter. The bitterness is controlling of my logic, my feelings. Who I want to be, how I want to love, my words, my reactions are not what I want them to be. If I were to take my heart out of my body; maybe I wouldn’t even recognize it?


The bitterness has taken root.

I ask myself, “Is it too late? Is it possible to be whole again, to rid myself of this filth?”

I know God sees it - how could He not? I hate that God sees it, hears it, and feels it over the rejoicing He should be hearing.

I’m ashamed just as Adam and Eve quivered behind that bush suddenly realizing they were naked. The snake of Satan found a vulnerability in my heart and took advantage of my weakness. My humanness is all too evident.

Maybe you’ve felt this too - maybe you’ve laid awake at night with your head spinning with reasons why you’re right. Victimizing yourself. Proving your rightness. Maybe you’ve walked through your day giving everyone the cold shoulder to prove a point. You were wronged. You were neglected. You should’ve won. You could have received a Master's degree in how right you are by now. You try to punish the world, strangers, and even the people you love (probably them most of all) to affirm your position. Day by day, your heart becomes colder and those feelings burrow themselves deeper and deeper. Those feelings become your truths.

Those feelings become your truths.

That. That’s what's gone wrong. You’ve allowed yourself to be right. You took it too far.

How did this happen? How did you let it get so far?

We only looked at your side of things. We didn’t forgive. We didn’t release our feelings to the Lord.

So now, what do you do? What do I do?

I have this hunch that maybe we start by asking for forgiveness. Firstly from the Lord, then from whoever you’ve punished. His forgiveness is unconditional. We don’t have to be perfect to receive it. He knows our heart.

Second, we need to ask God to take away the hurt. There is pain that has developed this bitterness to take root, but God can take it away. This isn’t some magical step that will happen overnight. Recognize it might take countless prayer, but continue to seek after Him, and he will give you rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." ~ Matthew 11:28-30

Next, we need to forgive those who have afflicted us (even if they don’t think they need to be forgiven, we can forgive them in our hearts). This isn’t a one and done, but a choice to forgive every single day, even when the feeling to do so isn’t there.

Then, stomp the devil out - don’t allow space for him. This may mean there is distance in your relationship with God. Pursuing our loving, gracious, heavenly Father will take pursuit, but again, the closer you are to God the less room there is for sin.

Lastly, continue to proclaim truth to yourself - your truth is your mantra, put it on repeat. Preach it to yourself whenever you find yourself falling into the bitterness trap.

We have been given the tools to protect ourselves against the evil one. Our Father has equipped us with everything we need. He leads us to peace; we just have to choose to follow Him.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. - Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV