Bitterness

Due to the faithfulness of a close friend and my precious children, I was kindly told over the weekend how obvious it was to them how bitter I’ve grown lately. My recent post “We All Understand” brought up a lot of discussion for which I’m thankful but I’m also ashamed of the truth concerning my own heart.

Unknowingly, I had let bitterness slip in the back door of my mind and was feeding it giant sized spoonfuls of self pity and anger.

When people or circumstances seem unjust it’s so easy to feel justified in allowing the anger to fester inside, unchecked because the heart is deceitful. My heart had deceived me into thinking it was righteous anger but in fact, it was bitterness corroding my spirit.

Here is what Luke and Trisha Priebe say concerning bitterness in their book Trust Hope Pray;

When new pains crop up, so do new opportunities to grow angry. And really, bitterness is only fermented anger or nourished self pity.

The hurts may go deep. But bitterness always runs the risk of going much deeper.

Additionally, we must recognize that rejecting bitterness during seasons of distress must be done every day, and sometimes every hour!


I thought I had taken my bitterness and thrown it all away, but it had piled back up again and wasn’t being emptied out and taken to the dumpster. Instead, it has just built up, and I was fully unaware of the stink left for others to smell and be turned off by.

I have cried my tears, and have run to my heavenly Father for help and forgiveness because I now realize, how desperately I need His help to fight off and keep away bitterness.

Here are three steps John Piper gives that I have personally found extremely helpful:

1) Admit that you can’t shake it.

Obviously, I have done this, however, I had no idea this process had to be repeated over and over again as bitterness continues to rear it’s ugly head. I thought I could shake it off and boom, it’s gone. Nope. Not a chance.

2) Pray

As I have been praying a lot over my problems, it was only for healing from the hurt. I had left my own heart unchecked and forgot to examine whether or not I had forgiven and let go of the anger I felt towards x, y, and z.

3) Trust

Piper says to hand it all over to God and He will lift and carry it. I can trust God to help me fight my battles and also understand that there are some things I can’t keep allowing to eat away at me like acid. I must let go! God will make things right. Maybe not now or soon or even in my lifetime, but He will.

Lastly, Piper says to stop! Stop savoring the bad cycle of thoughts and get out of that harmful thought process. Just stop going there!

Friends, I apologize if you too were effected in a negative way due to my writings. Months ago, I wrote a very helpful post regarding Jesus understanding our trials and sufferings and also concerning bitterness. Here’s the link : The reality of TBI.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your love.

Viv πŸ™

Author: Viv

I'm a TBI warrior whose hope and strength comes from God.

60 thoughts on “Bitterness”

  1. Dear one, I have never felt like you were doing this. Maybe because I do it myself …every time I walk up on my parents front porch to look in on them. I just never know what is going on behind that front door. With my dad…nothing good and now we had to send my mother to the hospital last evening …GI issues???It is always something and I am tired and I am sure you are too. God bless you and I am praying for us both .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Beverley! 😒 Thank you. I love you. I’m so sorry for the constant strain of caretaking and know from my dad how exhausting it is. He is my mom’s caretaker plus he works part time at the post office. I’m sad to hear your mom has been in the hospital and will pray for her, your dad and for you my dear friend. Yes, tired, weary, worn, heavy, scarred, and hurting. Big hugs. πŸ€—β€β€β€

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I understand where you’re coming from. It’s also good to understand you in your illness and know that this also comes with the illness. They’re your feelings, and people need to also be understanding that you’re not always going to be wearing a smile on your face. Is this bad, is this being bitter? No. Do I see it this way because I too am living with an illness, perhaps?! But when are our feelings valid?! Do we live on suppressing our true feelings, do we make others believe we do not have our bad days and continue to cry ourselves to sleep in the dark? That’s not healthy either. If you happen to treat others harshly, come back to them and apologize, not apologize for the way you feel, but for any hurt you put on to others for the hurt you carry within yourself.
    Much love to you my dearest friend – always. Ana

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Dear Ana, tears are falling freely as I read your words because I know how deeply you feel them. I know how much you hurt, the pain, the grief, the constant strain of illness and everyday living. I do feel very much too. I feel worn and weary. I had no idea my bitterness was rubbing off on others but my teenagers gave me plenty of examples of what it’s like to live with me and my sour spirit. I didn’t know. True, I’ve tried to pretend I’m okay when clearly I’m not. But, it’s not easy to pretend, I’m real. I always have been and wear my heart on my sleeve ya know? I don’t go around intentionally treating others harshly and am very sensitive to people generally. If I did hurt anyone, it was completely unintentional. But true, I have hurt others close to me because my own cup of hurt is overflowing and spilling out and getting them drenched too. It’s so hard dearest Ana, to keep feeling the waves crashing against me and I need God to keep me from drowning.
      Much love always and your comment truly blessed my heart with words of comfort.
      ❀❀❀

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Communication is key, even more so when living with chronic illness. If you must remind your husband of how you feel, so that then he may find the words to let the children know. I take plenty of breaks, and just how when the children were small – which mine still are, and you used to need a couple of minutes to breathe, do it, continue to take those deep breathes. I see it in my oldest too, as you see it in your teenagers. She’ll soon be 12 years old, a boy in her classroom lost his mother a few months ago, and missed the rest of the school year. I sat down and spoke to her. I know she doesn’t like it at times having a sick mother, a mother who constantly is in need to lay her body in bed to rest, but is that harder or is having your mother pass away harder? We must put things into perspective and allow ourselves to feel, as you said, it’s unintentional, we are made of skin and bones like everyone else after all.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sweet Ana, thank you for your words that have lifted me up today. I have felt devestated and on the verge of cracking up. I am not ready for the Looney Bin, no, not yet!! God bless you always my friend and I am praying for you as you wrestle with new symptoms (I read in your comments). I love you and many prayers!
        πŸ™πŸ€—

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lol – the Looney bin, well neither am I my friend. So, it’s day by day, or better yet, minute by minute. I have the kids home now on their summer break. Yes, my arms are becoming increasingly weak, they’re going more numb than the usual. But I’m trying to be patient, I’m doing my part in scheduling doctors appointments and waiting on the Lord to take care of the rest. That’s all I can do, that’s all we can do πŸ™‚
        The love is mutual, sending prayers your way. Prayers are always welcomed, they’re what sustains us.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I will be in much prayer Ana! I think of you often and when I do, I always send up a prayer for you whatever I’m doing or wherever I am because I know you’re fighting each and every minute. Waiting on the Lord is a peaceful and beautiful thing, knowing we are abiding in the hands of our Creator who loves us.
        Much love to you my friend always.
        πŸ€—β€

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It does happen though doesn’t it? Those bitter thoughts creeping up, eating away at the joy that should be there. It happens to every one I feel. I could be wrong. It is doing like you stated here Vivian, we must realize it, see it for what it is, and drop it all at God’s feet. Trusting, believing that He will help us get out of that cycle. I am appreciative that you are brave enough to put all that raw honesty out there. Because I feel without a voice people think they are alone, falling short because it is only them that get like that. LORD, thank You for continuing to bless and use Vivian for Your good will πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I think honestly, if we are honest, we all struggle with this at times. I’m no special case, I’m just a sinner, saved by grace. Trusting in God, daily, hourly, minutely is our HOPE. He is powerful to break the cycles of bitterness, or anger, or any sin. I’m thankful for your sweet honesty and for supporting me dear Margaret. I love your prayer, I do need God to use me as His vessel in my writings.

      Much love and hugs!
      ❀❀❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Vivian, every battle is the same with all of God’s children. The cure against bitterness is to be daily (even hourly) filled with the Holy Spirit. He heals every wound, no matter how deep or how chronic. He leaves no scars that disfigure our faces. There are only scars of honor. The sweet wine of the Holy Spirit melts and washes the stains of bitterness. It never fails. This is what I do… God bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Silvia for relating that truth to me. I am praying for God’s spirit to comfort my heart and fill my soul with peace. Amen.

      God bless you too!!
      ❀❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Vivian, I understand the battle with bitterness. I have struggled with it so much during the course of my son’s brain injury and even now since his death. The hurt from the rejection of others and the decision of family to not help us during our suffering caused great pain, and if I don’t stay on top of it, it easily turns into bitterness. It’s a constant battle, and at times I too have succumbed to it and let bitterness fill me and overflow onto others. God has shown me lately that even though people disappointed us, He never did. He was always there and loved us and helped us. He is so good! I try to keep myself focused on what He did instead of what others didn’t. Blessings to you, dear one. You are an overcomer and will be victorious by the blood of Jesus!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re right about it being a battle, and doubly so when the body and brain too are broken. I’m so sorry family didn’t help out when you needed them. That is so wrong and there’s no excuse for their neglect. Kelly, I think all this is too much for us. If bitterness gets inside our boat, it will sink us and we will drown in it. Only God can help us with this ridiculously hard fight. Only God. It’s too much for us.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I agree with Piper. That’s why Philippians 4:8-9 is so applicable – it tells us what to dwell on instead.

    The other thing I think is helpful is to dig down deep to find the root of bitterness. When I keep asking myself “why” questions, I always get to the point that I realize pride is involved. “I shouldn’t have to….” “I don’t deserve to….” etc. We all actually deserve to be in hell. Only by God’s grace do we have more than that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. These truths are very relevant though tough ones to choke down at times. But, yes, God gives grace to search our hearts and find the root of our bitterness being grounded in more sins. Being blinded to sin is not something I take easily as I already am very hard on myself and always have been but God is merciful, and forgiving and understands I am weak. I keep looking to Him. πŸ™

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I wholeheartedly agree about pride typically being the root heart-issue.
      “We all actually deserve to be in hell.”
      YES. Our Lord is abundantly merciful and gracious to us!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Vivian I can understand.. this is not bitterness.. it’s just your illness.. we know you are struggling and fighting bravely! Don’t suppress your feelings.. let them flow! β€οΈπŸ€—

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Vivian, I have never felt bitterness from any of your posts, in fact, quite the opposite. God made us human, and allowed us the freedom to feel the very emotions He created. Living with illness day after day is beyond hard and you my dear are doing it beautifully. Being hard on yourself will not be beneficial to healing. You are a rock star and if you feel bitter, allow the feelings and work through them. Don’t beat yourself up over them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sweet Wendi, thank you. I feel very blessed that you know and understand me. Yet, I’m also, saddened you too struggle with your health. I always have been hard on my self, my mama also says, but I am learning to treat myself with the same compassion I feel for others. I don’t expect others to be perfect, or have it all together, so why do I put these harsh expectations on myself. Yet, I don’t want to wallow in this bitterness either and turn into a mean old sour faced grump. I need God to help me grow in Him and help mold me into the woman He wants me to be. Thank you for reminding me not to beat myself up and I am grateful for you sister!! ❀❀❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. God loves you and He wants you to love yourself too…………He understands when we feel the way we do……..it’s ok, He can handle the truth and help you to turn around the darkest emotions.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Vivian, I can so relate to this: just when we think we’ve once-and-for-all conquered a sin in our lives, the Lord — ever so graciously — hits us with a dose of reality. There is still much more growing/maturing/sanctifying to be done in our hearts.
    My main problem is pride. Right when I think I’ve begun to make some headway and start feeling good about my accomplishments, God gives me a situation to humble me again. Really, it is an act of His loving-kindness & mercy to do such a thing because He does not want me living in sin any longer. πŸ™‚ He desires me to be holy as He is holy, and that cannot happen if I am still wallowing in self-centred pride.

    Thank you for your sincerity!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Emma. Yes, being humbled is not fun but God does remain faithful to us each and every time He gives us a lesson in growth. I’m a slow learner though!🀣

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts. You’re a very caring person!

      Much love β€πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Vivian, I appreciate your sharing of Piper’s way to removing bitterness from our lives . . . aka cleansing our spiritual health.

    When we stumble, God is always there to catch us. He never grows weary. He is encouraging other prayer warriors on your behalf.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post Vivian! We’re all fighting this fight! We all need these reminders and instruction. Lately I’ve been so tired of fighting. I’ve been so focused on the battle. I know what you mean when you say you have to keep turning it over to God…. sometimes even every hour. When your in the thick of things it’s all you can do. We can’t do it on our own. Keep hanging on to Jesus, and I will too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tina. I have fought bitterness before and didn’t see it had come back. I will hang into Him with you. It’s hard to face sin head on, especially when you’re already broken.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Bitterness is a tricky devil! It tries so hard to sneak in and hide in our heart so we don’t know it’s there. The only way to defeat it is through God’s grace. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (I have to go there often.) God bless you, Viv!

    Like

    1. I just wrote these very helpful words and Bible verse down in my journal. I’m so thankful for your comment Cindy! I do need God so desperately right now to defeat this bitterness. Thank you dear lady and hugs! πŸ™β€

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Something a sister in Christ brought up to me which holds a lot of truth. She was praying for restoration in something, but God revealed to her heart, she was still holding onto other feelings and sinful thoughts aside from that. How could He restore the one thing, when there were other things that needed to be handed over Him? When she shared that I found that very powerful. Bitterness may be attached to anger, and sometimes, we have hidden pride especially against others. And there may be more like jealousy or envy. We need to cast them all aside! Definitely made me want to take a closer examination at my heart like you shared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Working through this has been difficult. Praise God for healing my bitterness, anger, and pride. Sadly, I’m a bit numb from it all…..but I know God will get me through. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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