STUMBLING BLOCKS OF BITTERNESS AND UNFORGIVENESS
Welcome back Vicki Lockman, my guest blogger returning again to finish up this section of the series. This stumbling block is such a huge one, it cannot go unmentioned. If the enemy can keep us from forgiving those who have wronged us, he wins and we remain bound up and ineffective.
Vicki was the Homefront Coordinator for Point Man International during the ministry’s early years and has worked extensively in women’s ministry in the local church. She has served The Lord in the travel industry since the late ‘80s sending God’s servants all over the world. She works with Carlson’s Vacationshop in Monroe, WA.
As a woman, bitterness is bad for the face as well as the body.
You can spot a bitter woman coming a mile away. Her face is all pruned up, with brows furrowed, eyes narrowed and much, much more. A bitter face will be full of wrinkles—now that’s a good reason to let go of the bad feelings!
What does the Bible have to say about bitterness?
It says a root of bitterness can spring up and cause trouble and by this many become defiled. Hebrews 12:15
Effects of Bitterness on our physical bodies:
Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body but bitterness rots the bones.
GET RID OF BITTERNESS QUICKLY
Ephesians 4:31: Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander along with every form of malice.
Bitterness is a choice we make somewhere along the line. Every one of us will have wrong done to us in our everyday life. We will have to make a decision how we want to handle this. We can chew on it, get angry, and then bitterness will set in. We could decide to not let this circumstance control us or defeat us and make a decision to let go of the situation and let God take care of it. This is not an easy decision, but is a right one for our health. They say that many of the severe arthritis cases come from patients that have unresolved conflicts in their lives and have issues with bitterness.
We have all known someone that was full of bitterness over a wrong that was done to them. You can see this on their face, a face that never looks happy but has a look of hardness and age beyond their years. This is food for thought!
THE KEY TO GROWTH AND VICTORY
The key to growth as a person and victory in one’s life can be summed up in the word FORGIVENESS.
Forgiveness is not only a choice but is also a command.
Peace or torment—It’s your choice.
Matthew 18:32-35: Then his master, after he had called him, said, “You wicked servant! I forgave you all your debt because you begged me. Should you not also have compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?” And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due him. So God will also do to you if each of you, from his heart does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
WE MUST FORGIVE
If you don’t forgive you will remain unforgiven and can end up just like the one that you are bitter against.
Matthew 6:14-15: For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your father in heaven will also forgive you, But if you do not forgive men their sins, your father will not forgive your sins.
Psalm 135:18: Those that make an idol, will become just like them.
If we become fixated and are so angry with a person who has wronged us, we can end up making an idol of them and we can end up becoming just like them. This is why God has asked us to keep our eyes upon Him and not another person.
I had a severe life lesson which I believe was because of a bitter root I was holding on to.
My husband was a Vietnam Veteran. I was not prepared for all that went along with being married to a combat veteran. I was clueless in Seattle.
It was a marriage full of challenges and nothing went according to the plan that I had. My wonderful husband just didn’t fit into the mold I had fashioned for us and our home. I became so mad, angry and then bitter because of this. I held on to this toxic cocktail for several years.
I ended up with thyroid cancer, not once but twice. When this cancer came back for a second time, I was stopped dead in my tracks. Cancer is an immune breakdown and can come from stress. I am not trying to say every person that has or had cancer was bitter and holding onto unforgiveness, but I do know that some diseases do start this way. I truly believe my cancer came because my body could no longer carry the weight of all this anger.
I repented of my bitterness and forgiveness, and praise the Lord I have not had any recurrence of cancer for over 20 years.
Coincidence? You can decide for yourself.
I’d like to close this post of Vicki’s challenge to us to forgive with another one of Judy Kennedy’s songs.You can click here to listen to the audio.
© 1991 JUDY KENNEDY
I COULDN’T LOVE YOU, YOUR SINS WERE JUST TOO BIG FOR ME
THEN THE GREAT EQUALIZER OPENED MY EYES SO THAT I COULD SEE
THAT EVERYONE OF US HAS SINNED AND FALLS SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD AND SIN’S ALL THE SAME TO HIM, MINE AREN’T SMALL
AND YOURS AREN’T LARGE,
SO I’LL GIVE YOU MY UNCONDITIONAL LOVE LIKE JESUS GAVE TO ME
‘CAUSE THERE ISN’T ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE
TO MAKE YOU ANY WORSE THAN ME.
SWEET SACRIFICES MADE IN THE NAME OF LOVE,
SMALL COMPROMISES TO PUT BACK TOGETHER WHAT THE WORLD’S UNDONE.
SO I’M GONNA LOVE YOU CAUSE YOU’RE SO PRECIOUS TO ME. THERE’S SO MUCH THAT WE CAN LEARN,
I FROM YOU AND YOU FROM ME.
‘CAUSE GOD MADE US TO SHARE AND BUILD EACH OTHER UP.
AND IT’S MY JOY TO SAY TO YOU THAT HE’S WAITING TO FILL UP YOUR EMPTY CUP.
AND GIVE YOU HIS UNCONDITIONAL LOVE JUST LIKE HE GAVE TO ME,
‘CAUSE THERE ISN’T ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE TO MAKE
YOU ANY WORSE THAN ME.
SO I’LL GIVE YOU MY UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, LIKE JESUS GAVE TO ME ‘CAUSE THERE ISN’T ANYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE TO MAKE
YOU ANY WORSE THAN ME.