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Breacking the altar of bitterness


”Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up troubles you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:15.

The word “bitterness” is from the Greek word pikria, a word which is only found in four New Testament passages (Acts 8:23; Rom 3:14; Eph 4:31; Heb 12:15).
Bitterness is a hostile disposition and a poisonous frame of mind that causes people to brood, scowl and become repulsive in demeanor.

What are the roots Cause Bitterness?

Sin and the guilt it produces. Sin is at the root of the problem—sin leads to guilt and depression, and sinful handling of sin further complicates matters leading to greater guilt and deeper depression, for a wicked man will be “caught in the cords of his sin” (Prov 5:22).
The story of Cain illustrates the progression of sin. Cain began by giving a sinful offering (Gen 4:1–8).

Abel gave his best, whereas Cain merely brought an offering. When God rejected the offering, Cain complicated the matter by responding wrongly—he got angry and depressed: his face “fell.” Cain’s anger was noted by God, who warned against the consequences of this wrong response. God graciously said, “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” Or, as some translations say, “If you do right, you will feel right.”
When Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, returns to Bethlehem, she says, “Stop calling me Naomi; call me Mara (bitter), for the Almighty has filled me with bitterness “(Ruth 1v20); Why ? Her husband Elimélec was dead then her 2 sons, Maklon and Kiljon. This accumulation of deep wounds prevented her from seeing life normally. She had no joy in coming back to her country, her city. The bitterness stems from the fact that she had lost what she held dear.

Further reading: Proverbes 26:23–26, Lamentations 1:4-5, 1sam 30

Payer : Father Lord, here I am to bow down. I praise your name and ask forgiveness for the long standing bitterness in my heart. Dear Holy Spirit helps me read out of me every roots of bitterness and gift my life with joy, peace and love in Jesus name.

What are the fruits of bitterness ?

“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.” 1Sam 30:6

Bitterness hurts, but this bitterness is not only psychological: it can lead to bitterness on the physical plane and it can deteriorate other areas: it disrupts relationships with others: David’s soldiers, while they have just discovered that they had lost their families and their property, turn against… their leader: “They were talking about killing David with stones”. Relations are turned upside down; good understanding has turned into rejection, and that is the work of bitterness. This can explain a lot of aggressive reactions, which may have originated from a past unhealed injury.

James speaks of one who is filled with bitter jealousy (James 3v14, 16) and then lives there “disorder and all kinds of unworthy practices”. I can wonder when I create tensions, arguments, if the reason is not further upstream, because of a bitterness lurking deep in my consciousness but which wreaks uncontrolled havoc. I can also move past the argument I’m going through to try to figure out what the other’s bitterness is.
It disrupts my relationship with God: Naomi comes to blame God when she says, “The Almighty made me bitter and afflicted me.”

It’s her fault that I’m so overwhelmed. And yet, despite these accusations, God blessed him: he doesn’t stop at these reactions because he sees the heart. Same reaction with the Sunamite: she accuses Elisha, the prophet, of having deceived her by miraculously giving her a son and then killing him.
Bitterness, in its intractable logic, makes God responsible; it disrupts thought and reactions. It is internally disturbing: in Proverbs 31v6-7, one who has bitterness tries to drown it in alcohol, to forget, to flee the crushing weight and to try to heal. But the consequences of this flight are heavy, often dramatic. So, aren’t there other ways to heal?

Further reading: James3:14-16, Ruth1:20, 2kings4:27-30, proverbs 31: 6-7
Prayer: will you Father Lord restore my broken relationships with my family, my colleagues and with the Holy Spirit?

What about our personal responsibility for our bitterness?

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

Speaking to the Christians of Ephesus, Paul said: “Remove all bitterness from among you” (Ephesians 4v31); it is about the disturbed mutual relations and the poison which infects them. You have to root out the evil and not just convince yourself that over time everything goes away … healing can only be superficial, and the poison does its work in silence.

Another part of God’s response is to offload it … on God: “Cast all your worries on him” (1 Peter 5v7); Anne expressed this confidence: her inability to have a child made her embittered. “Full of bitterness, she prayed to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1v10); and after that, “she went away and her face was not the same.”

The life of the prophet Jeremiah was a succession of rejections, so much so that he wrote “the lamentations”; he refers to what the people of Israel subjected him to, which was a real poison: “My people have made me drink wormwood” (Lamentations 3v15); he speaks of “his suffering, of the poison, of the wormwood with which he is drunk” (v19).

And the fact that he goes over it destroys him even more (v20). And then there is a “but” which changes everything (v21): “But here is what I want to remember and which gives me hope: the bounties of the Lord are not at an end and his tenderness does not come to an end. Are not exhausted. Each morning, they are renewed. Yes, your loyalty is great! I said: “The Lord is my good”, therefore I want to hope in him “(v21-25).
Further readings: 1Peter5:7, 1Samuel1:10, Lamentations3:15

Prayer: Please Father God help realize the danger of my bitterness. Heal me from my wounded heart by your grace. In Jesus name

My responsibility vis a vis of others bitterness

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. » Revelation 21: 1-3

When Israel was delivered from slavery in Egypt, after crossing the Red Sea (which spoke of deliverance), their bitterness was not yet at its height: when they arrived at a water reserve, it was turned out to be “bitter” (Mara)! God’s answer was a tree; and when Moses threw it into that bitter water, it became sweet (Exodus 15v22-27).

To know, instead of “the roots of bitterness”, gentleness, peace, the healing of these resentments, it is a question of another tree: in his vision which he relates in the Apocalypse, John describes (Revelation 22v2): “There was in the middle of the city and on the two banks of the river a tree of life whose leaves were used for the healing of the nations”.

It is an invitation to come to the one who delivers bitterness, whether it is caused by our spouse, our parents, our boss, Christians, or because of our own sin, or as a result of the trials we have been through. . By his Spirit, he wants to continue to transform us. Do we want it? Do we believe it? For that, he asks us to surrender ourselves to him.

I am also invited to forgive the debt of the one who offended me and no longer want to see him condemned (because I cannot oblige him) in order to be appeased and no longer to be frustrated.

Further readings: Exodus 15:22-27


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4 thoughts on “Breacking the altar of bitterness

  1. C’est vraiment profond
    Que Dieu nous aide que nous soyons capables de nous abandonner à Lui réellement en toute chose.

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