“Get rid of all bitterness… be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
Bitterness often takes root in our heart when another person sins. But the funny thing about bitterness is that it is not the size of the sin that causes bitterness, but the proximity of that sin.
For instance, if someone does something awful to my cousin’s neighbors uncle over in Idaho, I might be shocked or angered but I won’t feel bitter. However, if someone close to me does something, even if it is very minor, I can quickly become bitter. It is not the size of the offense, but how close to home it hits.
If a friend continually forgets their homework assignment and calls you to give it to them time and time again, you might become bitter. Why is it that I have to bail him out all the time and my grade is no higher than his? If your sister continually borrows your clothes and doesn’t wash and return them, you might become bitter. Why is it that I wash my clothes and therefore they are clean when she wants to wear them; but when I go to put on my favorite top, it is balled up on the floor with the rest of her dirty clothes? If your parents make you stay home and baby-sit your little brother on a Friday night, you might become bitter. Why did I have to be born first? I have to do all the hard chores! He gets away with everything! And on top of that, I have to miss out on what I want to do, just to watch him?!
Do you see how bitterness can creep in your heart? It doesn’t take much. The offense doesn’t have to be major; it just has to affect you in some way.
Let’s knock down the walls of bitterness that we tend to build up in our hearts. By doing so, we will have room to love and forgive others instead! I can assure you this - your heart will be glad you did!