Have you ever tried to pick up something that was too heavy? What was your immediate reaction? Most likely you cried out in pain and dropped it, or kept silent and suffered for it later. Regardless of your reaction, you reacted.
The burden of bitterness is too heavy for anyone to carry. In fact, if we pick it up and attempt to carry it, it will weigh us down and eventually crush us to the point that we will be unable to function. Yet, day after day we pick up bitterness and try to walk around with it strapped on our back.
Can you imagine someone walking around with a huge block of cement on their back, weighing them down while they’re singing in the choir or tending the nursery? What if this burdened one is teaching children’s church or is an usher at the church? First thing everyone would notice is that they’ve got a load that they don’t need to be carrying. People would immediately be distracted by that huge block of cement on their back before they heard a word that person uttered. They can wear a big smile, beautiful clothing, expensive perfume, but the all attention will be drawn to that burden they’re carrying. Preach the best sermon, but the burden shows. Sing the best song but because of the burden, no one hears.
Bitterness does the same thing . . . do you see it? The burden of bitterness is too heavy for us to carry.
What is bitterness? The dictionary defines it as proceeding from or exhibiting strong animosity marked by resentment or cynicism. Interestingly, the Greek word for bitterness has its root in a word meaning “tent” or “pitch”. In other words, bitterness plans to stay around for a while – it intends to pitch a tent and take up residency!
- Bitterness divides . . . Jesus prayed that we would all “become one”. (John 17:11)
- Bitterness pollutes . . . we are to love one another with a pure heart! (1 Peter 1:22)
- Bitterness destroys . . . our words are to be as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)
- Bitterness offends . . . we are to hold our peace. (Proverbs 11:12)
- Bitterness is of the flesh . . . we are to live by the Spirit and reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)
The list obviously could go on and on but it’s not necessary. If you are carrying a burden of bitterness, drop it and let it go. Don’t entertain it any longer. Don’t let it control your life and rob you of abundant life in the Lord Jesus Christ. If someone has wronged you, forgive them. If you feel cheated, misunderstood, used, abused, or hated, drop that burden of bitterness and go on. Carrying the burden of bitterness will keep you from picking up the freedom bought with the precious and priceless blood of the Lamb. Don’t allow bitterness to destroy you and destroy your relationship with the Lord and with others. The burden is too heavy to carry and you weren’t created to bear it. Don’t take another step without dropping it and walking away. Do it for yourself and do it for those you love!
“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” (James 3:9-11)
Father, I do have bitterness in my heart toward [fill in the blank] and because of [fill in the blank]. I knew it was there but didn’t really consider it to be a burden too difficult to carry . . . I thought I was handling it but I see now that I’m not. Lord, with Your help I’m going to drop this burden right now and leave it at your feet. Father, help me to forgive totally and to go on and not look back. Help me to draw on Your strength as it is made perfect in my weakness. Forgive me for carrying this burden much too long . . . give me the courage to go on so that You will be glorified in me and through me. In Jesus’ name, by His blood which sets me free, and for His glory which is so deserved . . . amen and amen!
© Jan Ross
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