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"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 4:31 - 5:2.
Bitterness defiles and destroys lives, friendships, families and one’s future. Bitterness is like a cancer. It devours its host. Bitterness is self-induced misery.
Real or Imagined
When we sin, we feel guilt. When others sin against us, we feel bitter. Bitterness is always based upon someone else’s actions. These actions could be real or imagined, they may even be based on a false report, but the bitterness is always very real. Bitter people cannot imagine the possibility that they are bitter over imaginary sins. As far as the bitter person is concerned the other person’s guilt must always be real. Rioters, arsonists, ANTIFA and BLM protestors ae all bitter and angry over something they believe others are guilty of.
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15. The Bible warns us lest any root of bitterness spring up causing trouble and defiling many people. If there is a root of bitterness, it will bear bitter fruit. Bitterness is destructive and devastating.
The Roots of Bitterness
The fact that you cannot normally see roots does not mean that they are not there. Roots drink in moisture and nourishment and they spread. Because a root is something that is underground, it cannot normally be seen. But sometimes you can see visible evidence of their presence such as when they start to lift up driveways and pavements. The riots in many streets are also evidence of the roots of bitterness bearing destructive fruit.
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"Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, 'This is a hard saying; who can understand it?' When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, 'Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The Words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe'…" John 6:60-64
Many took offence at Jesus' teaching. They refused to listen to His explanations and were unwilling to accept His teachings. The Lord challenged them that if they were grumbling at His hard teaching, what would their response be to the scandal of the crucifixion and the offence of the Ascension?
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'" Matthew 16:24