Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Acts 8:22-23
Imagine sitting in the courtroom of a king in the ancient days. A once-faithful servant was caught in the act of plotting the murder of his king and is now standing trial before the man he had plotted to kill. A deathly silence falls over the courtroom as the king takes his seat upon his ornate throne. All eyes are on the king, and all people are expecting the punishment to be immediate death. Imagine your surprise when the king produces a vial of liquid and stands to pronounce his judgment: “I trusted you with my life, and you have violated that trust. Now, as your punishment, I am going to drink this cup of poison.”
“That’s crazy!” you might shout. “That is not a punishment that is going to affect the accused.” And you would be exactly right. Yet many people commit that same act so often through bitterness. Maybe someone offended you in front of a group of your friends, or perhaps someone took advantage of you in some way. The natural human reaction is to be bitter toward the person who wronged you. Instead of going to talk to the person to work things out between you, you say nothing; instead, you harbor those feelings of anger and resentment in your heart.
Do you realize that the only person you are hurting is yourself? The Bible commands us over and over not to harbor those feelings of bitterness because they will destroy our spiritual life and our inner peace. The person you are bitter toward is rarely affected by your bitterness because, many times, they do not even realize that you feel that way about them.
The way to resolve the problem is to go to that person one-on-one and talk to him about what is bothering you. What you will find is that, most of the time, the person will apologize for what he did and things will get back to normal between you. Bitterness is like drinking poison to punish someone else. It makes absolutely no sense. If you have problem with another person, take care of it today before it is too late.
Quote of the day: “He that carries bitterness to bed with him will find the devil creep between the sheet.” – Rev. William Secker (1899)