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Notable Lyrics:

“So don’t just scoop the dust, remove the rug, if I’ve got unforgiveness in my heart, then there really ain’t no room for love”

“I’ve been so forgiven, that if I hold a grudge, I don’t show He’s risen”

“I know my sin’s removed since Jesus came, with no reason to forgive me, but He did, so I do the same”

“I get bitter, kinda cold like the winter, it’s so hard for me to forgive him then I remember that I’m a sinner”

“Jesus forgave me and washed away my sins, when I didn’t deserve it then I could forgive him,”

“There’s power in such amazing love like when Jesus forgave the ones that pinned him up on that cross as he was hanging from it”

“Holy Spirit, teach me to be just like the Son, remove the roots of bitterness don’t stop until your work is done”

Break Down

Has an acquaintance ever disrespected you and as a result, you didn’t talk to them for days, months, or even years? Has a family member ever tried to speak to you but you gave them the cold shoulder because they said something you didn’t like? Maybe a (lazy) co-worker received a promotion that you thought you deserved, which caused you to have negative feelings towards him/her. Bitterness. We’ve probably all had an encounter with bitterness at some point in our life, whether someone is bitter toward us, or the bitterness is in our own heart. In his song, Bitter, Andy Mineo gives us a look into some of the situations in his life from which he became bitter and some insight on how we can fight bitterness. Following Mineo’s lead, let’s take a deeper look into what bitterness is, what the Bible has to say about bitterness, and how we can fight bitterness.

What is Bitterness?

An online dictionary defines bitterness as having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste. In the context of the song, bitterness refers to a mental or emotional state characterized by intense antagonism or hostility. Bitterness is willfully holding on to angry feelings. Those who are bitter are often cynical, resentful, cold, harsh, unpleasant to be around. Bitterness is a self-centered preoccupation with how an offense makes you feel. In “Bitter”, Andy Mineo gives us an example of one of his retaliations from being bitter: “I got some bitterness I wanna get up off me, where should I start, well I feel like I’d be sorta frontin’, to say that when my father calls that I don’t hit ignore button.” Mineo confesses that his bitterness toward his father caused him to ignore his father’s phone calls.

Author Joanna Weaver says, “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” I think that sums up bitterness quite well. Now, let’s see what the Bible says about bitterness.

What Does the Bible Say About Bitterness?

The Bible teaches us to get rid of all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander, along with all malice (Ephesians 4:31). This is not a suggestion, this is a command. These are works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) and any expression of these characteristics is sin against God.

Hebrews 12:15 warns us “see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” The phrase “root of bitterness” is an allusion to Deut. 29:18, which describes one who turns away from God and pursues other gods. When we are bitter, we are pursuing and worshiping the god of self. We must always watch diligently and be on guard against allowing “bitter roots” to grow in our hearts. In Hebrews 12:15, we also see that a bitter and resentful person is like a contagious poison, spreading his resentment to others. God wills that His people live in love, joy, peace, and holiness (Galatians 5:22-23), not in bitterness.

James 3:13-18 is a comparison between heavenly wisdom and earthly wisdom (verse 15,17). Earthly wisdom is described as natural and demonic (James 3:17). We see that two signs of earthly wisdom are bitter jealousy & selfish ambition (James 3:14). If these two things dominate our hearts, yet we claim to have heavenly wisdom, we are lying in the face of the truth (James 3:14). James says if you are bitter towards someone, stop claiming to possess a wisdom which you’re not living.

What bitterness are you holding onto? As you listen to this track, consider your own heart, and face God’s word, what is happening for you?

Next week we will discuss how we can fight this bitterness.

 

 

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