You may deny it, cover it up with some ‘spiritual’ acts, mask it by fake smiles and laughs, pretend that you are Ok, but deep inside your heart, you know it ; there is a person you resent, there is a sister or a brother you don’t like at all, there is a family you resent, yes there are some humans you don’t like for whatever reason. It could be some tribe, some church member, some family member, some relative, some classmate, some colleague, yes someone!
You feel entitled to feel that way. You don’t want to be challenged otherwise. You feel it is your right to feel what you feel towards them. You feel you have good and understandable reasons to feel what you feel. And so the feeling thrives, it deepens, it develops roots in your heart and captures your system. Like the kenyan ‘deep state’ it makes a home in your inner heart and controls it. It becomes part of you. You protect it from the truth and any confrontation from God’s word – and you could actually be doing that even now!
The result could be any of these or a combination ; you are cold to those people, you don’t mind if they got into problems, you silently or loudly celebrate their troubles, you hate them, you dislike them, you don’t want to see them, you avoid them, you wish them bad loudly or silently, Mmm you might even plan bad for them, you extend the same feelings to their perceived associates, friends or family members.
Bitterness and resentment is common even amongst Christians. Yes, some Christians, especially some good sisters can be in perpetual bitterness and resentment to each other. Their fights can be vicious or silent but equally dangerous ! Dangerous to themselves, to those around them, to the family or church fellowships they are part of.
Bitterness is sweet ! It takes energy. Yes it consumes calories ! Its highly infectious like Covid-19! But very dangerous! It can devour your health, redirect your focus, it addicts, it masters, and when it takes charge it can cause you to do the unimaginable ! Its very dangerous to yourself too!
Bitterness can start out big or even small. An offense ( big or small) burrows its way into our hearts. We replay it in our minds, creating deep ruts that will be hard to build back up. We retell our hurts to any available listener, including each sordid detail. We enlist support, pushing us further into our resentment. We hear the offending person’s name and cringe.
We decipher the offense as intentional and our offender as full of spite. We look for other reasons, both real or imagined, to dislike our villain. With each new piece of information, we form another layer of bitterness. And for many of us, we make new plans to counter our perceived enemies or even how to get even with them….and the cycle continues. Silence, avoidance, rage and outbursts are all weapons in these fights!
At times we fool ourselves into thinking that no one will know, but anger and resentment have a way of seeping into everything. Resentment is like a beach ball we try to submerge in the water. No matter how valiant our efforts, it pops up with all its vitality, splashing everyone around. You can’t be bitter and remain asymptotic. It will show up one time!
Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
So how can we do that?
How can we prevent bitterness from moving into our hearts? How can we deal with our feelings instead of letting them grow into bitterness?
Somebody said this; Bitterness is the poison you take hoping that your ‘enemy’ dies !
Bitterness is dangerous ! Don’t allow it to master you consciously or unconsciously !
We look at how to overcome bittererness in the coming days.