“How do I know if I’m bitter?” I am often asked that question. Here are some ways you can tell:
Do people set your teeth on edge?
Who have you blocked on Facebook lately and why?
Do you cross the street when certain people come your way?
Does your jaw set when you think of somebody? And why?
When you hold onto unforgiveness and let it grow in your heart, before long you will have bitterness.
Bitterness grows roots that bury deep in your heart. It hurts you. It blocks God. It stunts your growth.
Think of your heart as a garden. What happens when weeds grow in your garden?
Hurt and bitterness are not necessarily the same thing. But hurt can lead to bitterness if you don’t deal with it. Bitterness is unhealed hurt. It’s when you keep gnashing your teeth long after the initial pain is gone.
Bitterness can be devastating. It causes further hurt to you and to the people you are bitter against.
Can you think of a time when you were hurt and felt bitter? Or a time when you didn’t?
Bitterness can also affect the physical body. It can cause the hands and feet to draw up. That’s a sure way for me to know if I’m dealing with bitterness.
The good news is that God has provided a way to get over bitterness:
1. Choose to forgive.
2. Then forgive.
3. Wash, rinse, repeat.
If you’re not sure where your bitterness comes from, ask God to show you who you have aught against, and why.
If you are ready to forgive those who have hurt you, here is a simple but powerful prayer:
Lord, I forgive _____ for _____ and I choose to release them.
Then test it out. The next time you see those people or think of them, how do you respond?
Do you growl? If so, wash, rinse, repeat.
Or are you able to pray blessings for them?