Bitterness can spring from a small offense, but once it takes root, its effects are devastating. You can see bitterness in people’s eyes. You can hear it in the tone of their voice. It pervades everything, and they wouldn’t know what to do if they got rid of it. But God requires us to maintain a tender heart. Therefore, the bitterness must go.
In order to get rid of bitterness, I have to see that it is evil, and that it is my sin and my sin only. I do not get rid of it through the other person saying he is sorry. I do not get rid of it if the other person quits or dies. I do not get rid of it any other way except calling it sin against the holy God, confessing it, and receiving forgiveness.
The difficulty is in getting my eyes off the other person’s sin. But just the fact that I think it is his problem shows that it is not. If it were his problem, and I was filled with sweetness and light, and not bitter, then I would be concerned about the other person. I could say, “That poor guy! Look what he did. If I did something like that, I would feel awful. He must really feel awful. I think I will go help him.” But if that is not my response, then I am bitter, and it is my sin, not his.
I believe that this sin is a major hindrance to revival in this country. When Christians start confessing their sins, they will be able to forgive the sins of others.
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