The Snare of Bitterness

The Snare of Bitterness
by Doris Hopewell

Bitterness is a poison-tipped arrow aimed at the one who betrayed us. The closer our relationship with the betrayer, the deeper our hurt and the harder we pull the bow.

I understand what a bitter spirit is because one grew in my heart for a long time. My bitterness was aimed at the person closest to me—my husband. His betrayal cut deeply into my soul.

My bitterness began as seeds of hurt, resentment and anger. Once the seeds took root, they spread like weeds in my heart. They choked out the good fruits of love, kindness, patience and gentleness. Bitterness tainted my thoughts and responses toward my husband. I felt justified in my attitude because he "did me wrong".

Bitterness was my driving force, but I couldn't see it until the night my recovery group discussed adjectives for bitterness: sharp, spiteful, resentful, vicious, cynical. I recognized those attitudes in my heart.

The next day, while reading my Bible, I came upon Hebrews 12:15, See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. The verse smacked me in the heart. My bitter spirit defiled myeself and others, and God disapproved of it.

I wanted to release my bitterness, but I couldn't let go. Finally, I asked the Lord to help me. Together, we cried over each act of betrayal. The Lord held me in his arms as he kissed away my tears. Feeling his presence in the dregs of my sorrow, helped to close the hole in my heart. The Lord’s compassion soothed me like a soft blanket, and I repented of my bitterness.

Bitterness is an arrow aimed at another that turns back on us. It is an attitude that poisons our spirits. If you struggle with bitterness, there is hope. Once you realize that the enemy is bitterness, you can fight the right battle. The battle is against our fleshly attitudes. Healing comes when we acknowledge our sin and ask the Lord to help us. The Lord heals the damage betrayal does to our hearts, regardless of our betrayer's actions. When we take our hurt and pain to the Lord, he frees us from the snare of bitterness.

Lord Hold Me Up: Hopewell shares excerpts from her journal, starting on the day she learned of her husband's addiction-entries that became an intimate conversation with God. You'll see how God responded to her prayers, interwoven with the wisdom she gathered through her participation in the recovery group.
Posted: Sep 4, 2015,
Categories: Spouses,
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