One of the most devastating of human emotions can be feelings of bitterness. It can clandestinely creep in to our lives. Sometimes we do not even know how much it consumes our thought life and feelings. Before we know it, we are captured in the claws of the sin of unforgiveness.
Perhaps it starts with hurt feelings over what was said, another’s actions, or even a lack of response. We mull it over, and over. It festers in our gut. Our spirit can be crushed. We can get hard feelings about the person that we feel offended us. Perhaps those who have been hurt want to get “even” at the other person. Before long, hurt feelings can lead to a host of other actions, including slander against the offending person, or avoidance of that person.
The hurt accomplished may not even be recognized by the offender. They may not even have a clue as to how one is reacting to their remarks or actions; yet the offendee’s bitterness digs deeper and deeper into their life.
Holding a grudge against another can be so devastating to some that it affects their health. Anger can be a result of bitterness. When angry, adrenaline and other hormones are released into the bloodstream, causing high blood pressure and a faster beating heart. Depression, ulcers, heart attack, and stroke have also been linked to those that are controlled by the stress of bitterness and unforgiveness.
Not forgiving, and not attempting to forget the offense, can also lead people to do or say things to the offender that they would never think of doing or saying. Bitterness can indeed bind a person’s life.
All people have wrongs done to them sometime in their lives that hurt their feelings. Some let them roll off their shoulders and go on with their life; others stew and never let go of what another has done to them. The Bible has much to say about bitterness and forgiving one another. Here is a glimpse of what is said in the Bible:
God says not to be bitter and hold a grudge! “It’s not that easy to not be bitter,” is very often said. This is true, but no sin is easy to stop. In order to have a healthy life, and a good relationship with God, bitterness has to be halted.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour [to complain, utter loud noises], and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”
“Forgive those that wronged you,” Ephesians 4:31.
“Take heed to yourselves: If your brother trespasses against you, warn him; and if he repents, forgive him,” Luke 17:3.
“Christ knows all you did; yet He still has forgiven all you have done, if you are saved!” John 3:16.
“And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you,” Ephesians 4:32.
“Forbearing [to restrain from action against another] one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also must you,” Colossians 3:13.
~ Mary Lindow ©
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|Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others in all generations and careers or vocations to live and express excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She is a sought after keynote inspirational and humorous speaker and teacher throughout the United States internationally in Ministers conferences, International Spiritual leaders Conferences, and in National and International training seminars for various organizations.|