Category Archives: Bitterness

I met with my best friends yesterday. I have been unwilling to let go of resentment. As a result I have suffered spiritually. The wonderful thing about close Christian friends is that they can admonish with love. I needed that yesterday, and as they quietly challenged me about something unwise, I felt convicted. We meet in a coffee shop and then go and pray in the car. This is our pattern. As we walked to the car we were reflecting on psalm 23. Our shepherd King makes us lie down in green pastures and even uses his rod to enable us to do it. For me, this picture is so wonderful. God disciplines us. We see hurt and cruelty in it, and yet if we saw it from God’s perspective he is driving us from brown parched land, to lush green pastures, where the quiet waters are.

So as we got in the car, we all prayed that we would love those we don’t want to love, and that they would be made to lie down in green pastures. Since this prayer, my whole mindset has changed. Joy has returned to my soul. God is leading us beside the still waters and yet  for God to do it, it often causes us pain because just like stupid sheep, we don’t understand what’s good for us. 

We have such an amazing Saviour. Such a great God. The discipline we receive enables us to lie down in green pastures. I pray that when God disciplines us in the future we will have the green pastures in view, and thank God for the discipline and not rebel against it. 


There are many lenses I have viewed my husband through over the last eight months. The lens of anger and hurt, of bitterness and displacement. Even though the world would say that I have a right to all of these reactions, I am learning that we have to be very cautious about which lens we choose to view our life through. Viewing our life through a wrong lens distorts our understanding of the gospel and brings disaster into our lives. 

After many hard knocks I have come to understand that it’s only the lens of God’s word that should influence our lives. It’s the only way for true contentment and fulfilment with the one who knows us best.

When we are looking through a wrong lens, sin is crouching at our door.

Proverbs 17:9 says:

Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends. 

God forgets our mistakes, he hurls our iniquities into the depths of the sea. If we are loving God before ourselves, then we do the same when people hurt and offend us. 

James 1:25 says:

 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it, not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it, they will be blessed in what they do.

When we experience betrayal and hurt our instinctive reaction often turns to bitterness and distance, anger and unforgiveness. Looking through the lens of God’s  word  enables us to see that God reacts to us very differently. God  reacts with kindness and forgiveness, with tenacious love and with no thought to his own feelings when we have hurt and offended him. When we are looking through the right lens we begin to view those who have offended us as loved and precious to God. When we break it down, we begin to view ourselves as no better than those who have hurt us. We are all sinners that don’t deserve the outrageous kindness of our Heavenly Father. So, if  God reacts with love, grace and forgiveness when he is hurt and offended, so must we. 

I have experienced over the last 8 months that bitterness hurts us.

Like all the lies of the devil, he tells us that we have every right to be angry and bitter, and that its the best route to take. How can we possibly forgive after such catastrophic sins have been committed against us. This is the world’s view also, so when we are sinned against, our default position is anger and bitterness, resentment and self pity. 

For all of us who have felt the full force of harbouring resentment, we know that after a while, nothing good comes from it and we lose our joy in the Lord. There is a huge spiritual dimension to this, but also a physical one too. Below is an extract from an article I’ve been reading lately:

“Brain Affected by Thoughts?”

“We’ve all heard doctors warn that fits of anger may cause high blood-pressure or even lead to coronary heart disease and heart attacks. 

new research shockingly reveals that unforgiving, resentful, pessimistic or negative thoughts cause the “memory trees” in a brain’s dendrites to become sparse and thorny. They no longer look like healthy, abundant “branches” sometimes referred to as “magic trees” by neurologists and brain researchers. Anger Makes Abscesses in the Brain. Let me put it another way. When we are unloving, angry and unforgiving of others, special photographs of the dendrites in our brains begin to look as if dark abscesses have taken root. Literally. We develop black holes in our brains.”  ( Valorie Mays)

The author goes  on to say that when we begin to forgive the damage is reversed and brings healing and restoration.

This has really turned my thinking around today. Everything in Satan’s  kingdom brings havoc, destruction and damage. He is so subtle and quietly urges us to nurse grudges and bitterness. At the beginning of this process I felt that God was almost cruel in commanding me to forgive and love. I felt I had the right to nurse hate and resentment. But in fact, God gives us every command because he is kind and loving, and wants the very best for us.

We haven’t suddenly got an easy solution, but we have a knowledge that God does everything for our ultimate good. So when we are tempted to hold a grudge and nurse resentment and be full of overwhelming self pity, we can remember that we are in satan’s realm and only damage will come from it.  Praying that we follow God’s wise commands even though it feels costly, because it will bring joy and healing, but most importantly it will bring glory to himself. 

Negative feelings are truly awful. They paralyse and debilitate and make us feel overwhelmed and crush our spirit.

Negative feelings are difficult to shake off, and I have never had the ability to compartmentalise my feelings by locking them away for a later date. I am consumed by them.

I have to learn not to listen to the lies that come into my mind. Sometimes they come with force like a huge violent wave. When they are believed,  feelings of despair are never far away. 

I think that my last blog is the link. Feeling flat, not having the energy to read and pray, and Satan seeing a huge chink in my armour. 

Satan is an expert in understanding and exploiting our weaknesses. He loves it when we leave the armour off. Christians who aren’t praying are a huge target. 

Yesterday I was overwhelmed by shame. When I try to break it down, I realise it’s because I’m still hung up about people’s perception of us now.

Thankfully, the only validation that we need comes through Jesus. 

When our mood is low, sometimes it seems impossible to be braced and prepared for those fiery darts. God is near to all who call on him in faith. As I am writing this I am struggling,  but I know it’s the truth.

This is a hard lesson to learn and I’m very slow to grasp it. I need to be always braced and there are good reasons that God tells us to pray continually.  I haven’t prayed as I should have done this week and I have struggled with pride. I want to feel affirmed by others and I want to look good in the world’s eyes.

Praying for grace and help to resist the lies of the devil, and for forgiveness once again as I come to the cross. 

“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”

Psalm 32

Galatians 5:22-23 says:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I have been reading through Galatians this morning, and I have been reminded of the beauty of living with Christ in view. God is so kind and generous in the way he enables us to respond to one another by  his Spirit. 

 That simple list seems at first glance to to be such an easy thing. And it is easy to react like that with those who please us, those  we get on with, and those who make us feel safe.

These verses become less easy when we are hurt, under the cosh, and offended. I was struck also by these verses in Ezekiel which reminded me that any goodness we have is a gift. 

In  Ezekiel ch 36 :25 God says to his people,

 ” I will sprinkle clean water on you and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees.” 
Praying that the Holy Spirit does his work in our hearts today, enabling us to go God’s way; being kind to those who have hurt us. Not avoiding or giving the cold shoulder to those who have offended us. Reacting with gentleness and kindness in the face of unkindness.
We need Gods help, it goes against our natural inclination. But God is willing and able and He loves to pour his grace on those who want to go his way, for his glory.

Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. (Psalm 25:12)

A  p.s.

As soon as I had written my last blog, I went to a ladies event at my church. There are many young mums who I have not yet got to know, and  I had a conversation that should have filled me with joy, but it actually filled me with unrest and unease and jealousy, and Satan was rattling his chains so loudly I could hardly hear anything else. 

My unrest was about how she spoke about her in-laws. They were Christians, and were wonderful, godly role models that had impacted their children by their godly living and  consistent prayer lives over many many years.

Rather than being happy to hear this, my thoughts went to my own children,  and I wanted this to be their experience of us as a couple, but it felt like that would never be. After writing my last post, in the light of my reaction to this situation, I felt very challenged, and I had to look to God and plead for his help to find contentment in my situation. 

I had to believe that God is sovereign over everything, and to understand that this isn’t his plan B for me. Rather, it is his plan that I go through this heartache in order to learn many things and to be willing  to lean hard upon him. 

I’ve had to take stock this morning and take time  to ask God  to help me with the triggers that I face on a regular basis. 

I pray for contentment with what God has now given me, that whatever burdens and distresses I am faced with, that I will carry them well for his honour and glory, and that Satan would not have the victory. 

I need the Holy Spirit’s  help and power every second of every day, without him my reactions and actions will be the opposite of what God desires of us, and Satan will win a victory.

I need to suit up today in God’s almighty armour and win that battle as David did with Goliath. It seemed unlikely that David would win, but David  went forward seeing  only God’s power and strength and not looking at his own failings and weaknesses. 

God makes a way when there isn’t a way. I am praying  for faith to believe, and to go God’s way. 

May God have the glory in our lives today. ❤️

Back to the cross I go.

Yesterday was an atrocious day. I felt bitterness in my heart from early on, and it went unchecked all day. It almost felt like I was feeling the full force of hurt and betrayal for the very first time. At 2:31 am, I had not slept a wink. The full force of bitterness was marching over my heart and taking up residence. Bitterness was occupying my heart like the enemy in war time.

In the small hours, I opened a book of daily readings at April 16. The book is called “a year’s journey with God” by Jennifer Rees Larcombe.

The verse was:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.”

She says:

” as Christians we feel we shouldn’t let things wind us up so we ignore the internal grazes and bruises and even pretend to ourselves that our hearts are not crushed by disapproval or unkindness or ripped open by betrayal. When Jesus said he had come to  “mend the broken- hearted”, surely He was promising to heal these wounds, but I honestly think He can’t do that without our willingness to forgive the person who has hurt us.”

I  have a close friend who often says to me, ” back to the cross you go then!” I have had to come to this place over and over again. When we let bitterness reign we allow Satan to take up residence in our hearts and minds and it produces nothing good and opposes all that Jesus says is right. 

The longer I leave bitterness, the harder it seems to hand ownership back to God. This causes strife and dissension and bitterness and hate. I was robbed of joy yesterday and in the early hours of this morning, and I found myself wondering if I had a relationship with God at all. I felt blackness and despair which was too awful to describe. 

 To react well  when we are feeling hurt is nigh on impossible. Reacting with ill grace is our natural bent. Sin from the beginning of time has manifested itself in blame and sulking. Adam blames Eve, and Eve blames the serpent.

 Sadly, very early on, we are often aware that we are going down a wrong path. We know how outrageous our behaviour is, and how unkind we are being, but getting off that road of destruction often hurts our pride too much, so we doggedly stay on it. The results are never good and never worth it. 

So the advice from my friend is key : ” back to the cross we go!”

Paul says in Romans 7:19 

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing.”

I am finding this process exhausting and overwhelming and discouraging and alarming. But its conclusion is always the same: back to the cross.