It’s inevitable. People are going to hurt us. Even those close to you. In fact, perhaps especially those close to you.
With every hurt, there is the potential to wake the bitterness monster. He’s a light sleeper. And he’s more clever than we think. Even a small relationship scuffle is enough to arouse him into action. We mustn’t underestimate him.
Bitterness: hurt incurred from either real or perceived offense, gone unchecked, and allowed to continue by failure to apply biblical principles and thinking to the hurt, resulting in hatred and resentment.
Bitterness is the quick fix for the flesh. Dealing biblically with conflict and hurt becomes too much work. So, like a spiritual pusher, bitterness offers a quick high. But, though it delivers for a moment, it destroys in the long run.
To be sure, real hurt occurs far too often through atrocities such as abuse and criminal acts. In these cases, fighting bitterness can be excruciating. Even and especially so, God extends comforting and transforming grace for the greatest of life’s hurts (cf. Gen. 50:20).
But often, bitterness slips in and sows it seeds in the thousands of smaller moments and battles of normal life. For that reason, we must be on guard. Christian, we have got to resist this one. And repent. It is a killer.
Here are a few ways that I have been helped in my own battles with bitterness: