Bitterness blows out the candle of joy and leaves the soul in darkness. Here is what God’s Word has to say about bitterness.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many are defiled. (Hebrews 12:14-15)
The Germination of Bitterness
The seed of bitterness is a hurt that is planted in someone. It may be intentional or unintentional. Someone does not mean to hurt you, but you were hurt. Sometimes the hurt is only imagined. No one has hurt you, but somehow you feel that someone has done something wrong to you. There are also times when the hurt may be the very chastisement of God upon your life. That is the context of Hebrews 12:14-15.
The soil of bitterness is a heart that harbors hostility and does not deal with hurt by the grace of God. When someone becomes bitter, the bitterness takes root in the heart and grows deeper. The world is full of people who have not dealt with an old hurt. They look for things to criticize, people to find fault with, and ways to justify the way they feel. Have you ever seen people who are hypercritical? Generally, they are bitter people. They know how to push your hot buttons until you react in a way to further justify their bitterness. Then, they can say, “Aha! I was right. I have a right to be bitter.”