Letting Go of Bitterness

Ephesians 4:31

Get rid of all bitterness.

Bitterness is such a touchy subject. It’s not like you can feel free to point out to someone you love that they are showcasing a bitter heart. Because usually someone who has bitterness in their heart isn’t very open to hearing points of view that differ with theirs! It’s like they are caught in a web, yet content to stay there.

We’ve all dealt with bitterness in our hearts at one time or another. Some of us are blessed enough to have escaped the long-term effects a bitter heart can have on a person. Others aren’t so lucky. They still waddle in their hurt, pain, and in whatever they have lost. They may want to escape, but they don’t know how. It’s like in a strange way, the hurt has become a friend. At least it’s something they are familiar with! Breaking free from that – well, it can be uncomfortable!

I’ve had a bitter heart before. I may well tread near having one again – I hope not though. Do you know what I learned from having a bitter heart? Not much. I learned that it cost me, though. It cost me joy, time, and it cost me freedom. Freedom from what it was that made me bitter in the first place. The more you try to bury something that has hurt you so deeply, the deeper it entangles your heart. I learned that once you become bitter, it takes a long time – sometimes years to break free and heal from that. But healing is possible.

God commanded us to get rid of all bitterness. That’s a tough pill to swallow when your heart wants to hold on to it with every fiber of your being. Maybe you were really wronged. Maybe someone you loved was really wrong. You can’t go back – you can’t change what happened. Something or someone may be lost forever. It’s done. But all that bitterness will do is rob you and destroy you. It will rob those close to you as well because they will feel and sense the effects of your bitter heart. You can’t contain a bitter heart; it spills over into many areas of life.

I often think of the Amish. A few years ago some students were shot at an Amish school. Maybe you remember it? It was a horrible incident. But do you know what the Amish did? They forgave the gunman. And they did it fairly soon after the incident, if I remember correctly. I remember feeling astonished and amazed at the huge steps their hearts could take as they were burying their sweet sons and daughters. And I was humbled by it because I knew that they were demonstrating how God would want each of us to respond.

You see, ultimately, God is judge. It is up to Him to hold others accountable. It’s up to Him to punish, discipline, and forgive. So by us letting go of our bitterness, we are not necessarily saying that what someone did was okay, or even that they will get away with it. Because they will have to be accountable to God for what happened. And that should be good enough for us… that is if we truly trust God. Do you trust Him with your heart and your life?

No one ever said that letting go of bitterness would be easy. It’s not. It’s dang tough sometimes. All we want to do is hang onto it and what little pride we may feel that we have left. But we need to trust God; that He knows what He’s doing with our life. And we need to allow ourselves to break free from the deep wounds that life gives us. We may never forget – and that’s okay. What we go through in life is what makes us who we are. But we can embrace and hold close to our hearts what has happened to us without letting it destroy us. All bitterness ever does is destroy. It’s good to remember that before you find yourself in the throes of it. Be prepared to find the courage to let it go. Only then will your heart truly have the chance to heal and be free.

~ Dionna Sanchez



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vikki
    Apr 13, 2013 @ 16:58:44

    I was in ministry for years and had a great life. Then my youngest son was randomly stabbed 7 times by a gang. Open heart surgery saved his life. My daughter divorced her husband and revealed the abuse she had been experiencing. My mother had to fight for her life a result of a botched surgery and my oldest son came home from his 4th tour in Iraq and died in my arms. A result of an accidental gun shot. When my husband asked for time to grieve he was let go at work. Then, as a result of a medical procedure, he became fully disabled. All of this happened within a year and a-half. Seven years later i am so angry and bitter it has deformed who i once was. I came across your article in search of some help and i thank you for your words. I believe i trust my Father but my bitterness is evidance that i dont. It is a very hard struggle. Thank you again. I will ponder your words.


  2. Richard R
    Apr 27, 2016 @ 21:27:13

    When my wife of many years, died April 25, 2014. I became very bitter against God and my local church. I had asked God so many times to heal her body from her illness. But in His will, it was Loretta’s appointed time to be with the Lord. Through Bible Study and prayers of my family and others, I have been able to tell Satan to get behind me. When I start to have that feeling again, I tell Satan I had enough of you, get behind me! God’s Grace has taken my bitterness away. God’s people of my local church have welcomed me back. Thank you Jesus.
    I am praying for you, Vikki Richard.


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