"Bitterness is a result of clinging to negative experiences. It serves you no good and closes the door to your future." — Leon Brown
I posted this on my Facebook page, and it was viewed by over 101,000 people in five days. That statistic said something to me: This is an issue many people are dealing with or they know someone who is dealing with it, and it is somehow affecting their lives.
Bitterness is a Venomous Poison
Bitterness is a poison, and if it's not dealt with quickly, it will infect not only your own soul, but other people around you. Bitterness springs from an offense that has not been dealt with. If offense lingers too long, it can eventually lead to a hardened heart or something even worse. It can become a venomous poison that contaminates relationships and begins to tear things down.
I once knew a pastor who experienced rejection from some of his church members. This can be something that leaders go through. It's difficult to please everyone all the time even if you are living just like Jesus. Or you may still have areas God is working on, and people can experience your imperfections. Those things can cause offense in others even if you don't realize it. It's wonderful when a leader leads with love, humility and Christ-likeness, but even then, they still may go through rejection at times.
This pastor allowed that rejection to lead to offense. The offense simmered and began to grow roots deep inside his heart. Soon, offense became bitterness and began to taint everything he did. He would scowl at "disloyal" parishioners. His preaching was tinged with anger. Rather than releasing life, he began to infect others with his bitterness.
It Takes Great Humility to Face Your Own Faults
This type of thing can happen in any relationship. Someone does something that offends or hurts you. You feel justified in your anger. You harden your heart and begin to treat others unkindly or even unjustly. Relationships are damaged and soon torn apart. The only way to bring healing is for each person to deal with their own bitterness, offense or hardness of heart. It takes great humility to face your own un-Christlike behavior, especially if it feels justified.
To be free, healed and whole, we must choose forgiveness. We must choose humility. We must choose to take a long, hard look at ourselves and take responsibility for our own ungodly actions or reactions to things, no matter how hurt we feel. We must choose to love. We must choose to let God cleanse our hearts. We must choose to let God's love heal us. We must choose to extend the same forgiveness to others that God has extended to us. Otherwise we will be trapped in the destruction of a bitter spirit and soon the fruit of bitterness will be displayed all around us.
You or Someone You Know Can be Free!
My heart is for you to be completely healed and free. Maybe you have struggled with your own root of bitterness or maybe someone else's root has affected you. Either way, there is a way you can rise above it and live whole in joy and peace. I have a teaching series that will help you or someone you know be free. In my series, Deliverance and Permanent Change, you will learn how to identify negative roots in your life, deal with every offense, and live in permanent victory and freedom. You don't have to fall victim to your own offense or to those of others around you.
Matt Sorger, author, prophetic messenger, revivalist, healing evangelist, teacher, television host and philanthropist, has served in full-time ministry for over 23 years, spanning more than 200 nations of the earth through travel and media ministry. He hosts a weekly teaching program titled Power for Life. Matt moves in a unique anointing that fills entire rooms with the tangible glory of God with many healed, set free and empowered. He teaches believers how to live lives saturated with the glory of God and brings a great balance between authentic, supernatural encounter and solid biblical truth. He reaches cities and regions by partnering with and impacting local churches to see a great breakthrough of the Holy Spirit.
For the original article, visit mattsorger.com.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!