The late Carrie Fisher once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Bitterness is a wound we inflict upon ourselves—one that leaves an infection that seeps into every inch of our souls. Its grip is one of the hardest bounds to break and can go unnoticed for years until eventually rearing its ugly head in our most precious relationships.
No one ever wants to admit they’re bitter. It can be incredibly painful to reveal past hurts and to confront current pain. Oftentimes we’d rather sweep it under the rug, let the wound scab over, or leave the past in the past. But is it that easy? When someone hurts you—when their actions rattle you to your very core—how can you move forward completely unscathed? These questions have run rampant through my head—creating doubt, fear, and uncertainty. Bitterness has always been my albatross. It’s a sin that, when left untended, turns into a wildfire. It creates insurmountable anger then suddenly leaves me sorrowful. It generates shame and harbors guilt. Every season of bitterness has left a huge impact on me and my relationship with God. My resentment created a chasm between me and my Savior.
The Bible is clear about what we should do with bitterness. Ephesians 4:31 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Bitterness must be nipped in the bud before we let it take root in the deepest parts of our hearts. When we hold onto anger and resentment, we only hurt ourselves. We mustn’t allow pain to reign in our lives! The world will break us down. It will betray us, hurt us, and never apologize for it. It’ll throw everything it has at us to ensure ours spirits remain broken. But Christ says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). As Chance the Rapper would say, “The book don’t end with Malachi.” We worship a God who sent His only Son to overcome the world! We glorify a God who eradicates sin and washes sinners clean. We must simply come to Him, repent, and receive His grace.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
words by Kendall Bolam and photo by Nicole Lamkin