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Bitterness - Part 1

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

For the next few articles, I want to talk about bitterness. This is a common problem among people. Bitterness can be very open and obvious, or it can be subtle and veiled. It may be good for you to read the entire book of Ruth right now before reading this article.

Listen to these definitions for the word bitterness:

• “Bitterness is the long term anger that accrues in your life when you refuse to forgive someone who has sinned against you. “

• “Bitterness is unresolved, unforgiven anger and resentment. It is the result of anger changing from an experience to a belief (a belief about others....or a belief about God. Bitterness is seething and constant. Bitter people carry the same burdens as angry people, but to a greater extent.”

Hebrews 12:15

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;

Let me show you a picture of a bitter person - The story comes from the book of Ruth, and we will focus on Naomi and her bitterness over what “life” had given her.

Ruth 1:12–13

12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.

Notice the expression of Naomi’s heart. “It grieveth me much” - She is basically telling her daughters-in-law that:

I am much too bitter for you....You don’t want to be around me…I will only bring bitterness to you....My bitterness is greater than yours - It is the old idea that “Nobody knows the trouble I seen. Nobody knows my sorrow.” Let me ask you, have you ever read the words to that entire song?

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen

Nobody knows but Jesus

Yes, nobody knows the trouble I've seen

But glory, Hallelujah

Sometimes I’m Up - Sometimes I’m Down; Oh Yes Lord Sometimes I’m almost to the ground....Oh Yes Lord....

Sometimes I'm standing crying

Tears running down my face

I cry to the Lord, have mercy

Help me run this race

Oh Lord, I have so many trials

So many pains and woes

I'm asking for faith and comfort

Lord, help me to carry this load, whoo

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen

Well, no, nobody knows but Jesus

No nobody knows, oh the trouble, the trouble I've seen

I'm singing glory, glory glory Hallelujah

No nobody knows, oh the trouble, the trouble I've seen

Lord, no nobody knows my sorrow

No nobody knows, you know the trouble

The trouble I've seen

I'm singing glory, glory, glory, Hallelujah

Not exactly what you thought, huh? Here was a soul that, through all the troubles, was still giving “glory, glory, glory” to God! “Hallelujah!”

Now what about Naomi? She blamed God for what had happened in her life - Ultimately this is where all bitterness ends up! “I am the target of God’s overwhelming power and wrath! All this is against me!”

Join us again next week. We will learn more about the bitterness of Naomi’s heart, how bitterness impacted her life, and how it will impact yours and those around you unless you root our “the root of bitterness."

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