August 14, 2018

Bitterness Incubates in a Heart of Unforgiveness

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 14, 2018

By Shana Schutte

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. Ephesians 4:31-32

Years ago, I experienced a conflict with a dear friend. This conflict, unfortunately, led to the relationship being severed even though it was not what I wanted. I was heartbroken.

One afternoon while on a hike along a favorite trail near my home in Colorado, I sensed the Lord reminding me not to become bitter so that I didn’t pass on the pain.

This simple phrase reminded me that when we don’t forgive and we become bitter, we do more than hurt ourselves, we hurt those in our lives who had nothing to do with the difficulty or heartbreak we experienced. This happens all the time in marriages, in dating relationships, between co-workers and with parents and their children. The condition of our hearts affects the condition of our relationships.

Imagine a woman who has a few bad dating relationships and somewhere along her single journey, she becomes bitter. “All men are jerks,” she says. The bitterness she allows into her heart robs from her as she begins to believe all men are bad because of how a few wrongly treated her. This bitterness blinds her to good men who do come into her life—and she is robbed of blessing. The good men she encounters are robbed too, as perhaps she treats them poorly because she is “passing on her pain.”

It’s good to keep your heart free from bitterness.  

Imagine a man who is abused by his father. He wanted his father’s love and didn’t receive it. He wanted his father’s grace and all he got was harsh judgment. Understandably, he is deeply wounded by the rejection from his father. When God prompts him to forgive he refuses. “I won’t forgive him until he apologizes!” When the man allows bitterness into his heart, anger becomes a part of how he relates to every person who tries to get close to him and driving people away.

It’s good to keep your heart free from bitterness.

Imagine a woman who has a boss who lies and covers up an affair with his employee. In the aftermath, the woman loses her job even though she had nothing to do with what happened. When she allows bitterness into her heart, her speech and her actions are affected in her next job. Because she is bitter, she is suspicious and cannot see her new boss for who he really is. As a result, her words are affected, and she poisons her co-worker’s perceptions. As a result, her new boss suffers when he had nothing to do with what happened to her in her last job.

It’s good to keep your heart free from bitterness.

Bitterness affects our speech, how we see others, and how we believe others see us. It affects what we believe about God’s ability to redeem our pain and whether we think our future can be blessed. It gives the devil a foothold in our lives. It’s agreement with the Adversary. Bitterness robs. It blinds. It lies. Don’t allow bitterness into your heart.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).



Lord, help me to remember that bitterness hurts me and the people around me. It will rob me of the good that you intend for my life and it’s not from you. I choose to forgive those who have hurt me and I trust that you are able to bring good out of the things that have happened to me and been done to me. Amen.


Is there someone—or a group of people—you need to forgive? Do that today. Don’t wait. And, if you need to speak with someone who can help you through your pain, set up an appointment with a trained Christian counselor.

Related Reading

Matthew 6:14-15; 1 John 1:9; Daniel 9:9

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The condition of our hearts affects the condition of our relationships. #WisdomHunters #forgiveness #bitterness

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