THE CONFLICT OF BITTERNESS PART I
Hebrews 12:15 "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"
Bitterness takes root inside each of us and troubles us but it will eventually defile others. It will affect those that are around us. It is probably the number one conflict in the life of a Christian. Many people are walking around with the "mully-grubs". We expect that from those that have no hope. But we Christians ought not walk around that way.
There are many causes for bitterness. I will be listing six of them. I will mention three of them in this post and then the other three in my next post.
It is possible for Christians to become bitter. Look at Naomi. She was saved yet she became bitter. Ruth 1:20 "And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me." She let the losses of her husband and sons make her bitter. Bitterness will always make a person different than what they used to be or ought to be. We need to ask ourselves if we are bitter with anyone or with over anything. Everyone has been bitter at some point in their lives.
--> Bitterness can be caused by leaving God's will. People will get bitter with someone and leave a place of service (Sunday School teacher...cleaning the church...etc.) and then become bitter when someone steps up to take over that position. God will always have someone to step in that place of service. If it isn't you then you need to know it will be someone.
--> Bitterness is caused by associating with the wrong kind of people. Job 1:22 "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." Job lost everything but he did not become bitter. He was walking with God. He would not get bitter because he was in God's will. He was affected by his friends though. His friends and his wife had a part in him becoming bitter. He had no support around him at all. This can eventually cause a person to become bitter. Job 10:1b-2 "I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me." We need to be around positive people. Those who are negative will bring us down and cause us to be negative. When the negative people come around you...be positive and cause them to be positive. If they are intent on being negative then say "Have a nice day" and leave. Bitterness is not far behind a negative spirit.
--> Bitterness can be caused by disappointment. I Samuel 1:10 "And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore." Hannah wanted a child and God wasn't giving her one. She became disappointed. Disappointment will cause us to question God. It will also cause us to shift the blame. We should not blame others for our disappointment. They did not make us disappointed...we chose to become that way. If we become disappointed then we can become bitter because of that disappointment. But we still have a choice as to whether we will become bitter or not. No one makes us be that way.
That is three of the ways to become bitter. In the next post I'll list the other three ways.