Anger, Bitterness, Anyone?

Is there anyone you haven’t forgiven?

Are you bitter?

Does thinking about a past event or person still cause your chest to tighten and anger to rise within?

^ If any of the following is relatable, do you also feel like you are not connecting with God?

Yeah, you may have guessed it. It is all connected.

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It is extremely common to listen to people open up about how they are not connecting with God. I’ve shared in the post Feeling Disconnected From God we can’t rely on our feelings. God is still God whether or not we “feel” He is with us, speaking from experience. I am a person who relies, sometimes, a little too much on feelings.

However, I also shared how disconnection could come from spiritual warfare and in order for that to happen one of our vulnerabilities needs to be attacked.

In the past post, I was focusing on our actions and whether or not we are making time for Christ through prayer, worship, and reading His word. But what if someone is already doing these things, or feels like they are doing these things with no answers?

Why does God seem far away?

Why is scripture not speaking to us?

Why are we not growing and feeling stuck?

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I haven’t really dived into the deeper part of what this means, which is today’s topic. The part many of us are not going to like.

Where our mercy, forgiveness, humility, patience, and love fall into place with the people and past circumstances that have hurt us.

Some of you have shared you feel a disconnect. I’m concerned for my community and the body of believers.

Admittedly, I have been in your shoes. I sometimes retrace the steps and am tempted to go back to that place.

When we feel disconnected from Christ, when we can’t hear His words speak to us. When we feel we are doing “everything” right, often times we really have to look at our heart. Are we impatient with Him? I know His timing is definitely different than ours.

(NIV) 2 Peter 3:08, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

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But usually, it is more than just being impatient.

We have to be willing to ask ourselves why He may feel distant or silent, and that’s when we have to look at our heart.

Seeds of anger, bitterness, jealousy, envy, you name it these will automatically disconnect us from God. He is not tainted, and if we are allowing these emotions and thoughts to rule us then our heart is tainted.

I know people who have struggled daily in their life because they see everything they want, and they are so upset they can’t have it. They compare their life to the life of others. They are bent on, “Woe is me,” to the point that making a conscious choice to change perspectives would be extremely hard.

It’s easier for us to focus on ourselves than Christ, that’s the truth. Don’t hide it.

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We can be so consumed with our own selfish desire for ourselves that we become blind.

For many years, I wanted to be recognized by the people who have hurt me. I wanted them to acknowledge what they did to me, admit it was wrong, seek forgiveness, and genuinely show concern…and I’ll admit. One person in particular, who truly was sorry, it took years to get over the pain and effect it had on our relationship. But something I shouldn’t have done…is make that person feel like they constantly had to apologize, or had to feel guilt for the past.

It isn’t about that.

In fact, the people who don’t give us the satisfaction of saying, “I’m sorry I shouldn’t have done this to you.”

It doesn’t matter.

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And no, I’m not saying forgive them because you deserve to be free. I’m not an inspirational poster.

(NIV) Luke 6:37,”Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

As a follower of Christ, we are told to be Christlike. Jesus Christ was made lowest of low, a humble servant which is exactly what we are also made to be.

(BSB) Hebrews 2:07, “You made Him a little lower than the angels; You crowned Him with glory and honor.”

He could have not been flogged if He didn’t want to. He could have healed and gotten off the cross if He wanted to. He was blameless.

(NIV) Hebrews 7:26, “Such a high priest truly meets our need–one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”

We are nowhere close to being that blameless, so we can’t even get on our high horse and gloat about how much people owe us in forgiveness…because we already owe Him everything…and He already forgave us so… we can’t talk.

We have to be like Him. (ESV) Ephesians 4:15, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.”

It’s a slap in the face to many. We want justice. We want people to apologize. We want to be understood in our pain. And to an extent, of course, this is completely understandable. But when these feelings, thoughts, and emotions begin to take root and corrupt our heart, no.

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When the spotlight of our feelings and desires mean more to us than Christ? Come on!

There is a point where we HAVE to let it go. We have to be willing to choose Christ over our own feelings, and how we believe things should be done. No one is perfect. We are going to get hurt. People are going to hurt us. It’s the truth.

But we are called to be set apart for a reason, and I promise you, these negative reactions and feelings will only continue to disconnect us from God.

As I’ve stated before, it isn’t Him, it’s us. He remains the same because He is good, holy, and pure. We aren’t.

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We are not supposed to be isolated and set apart from people because of bitterness, it is not about that.

How can we be examples of Christ and be a teacher or a leader to others, when we can’t even admit the seeds we’ve planted, and allowed, to grow in our own heart?

It’s like we expect Christ to “enlighten” us and break our chains, but, “Oh, hold on Lord, I’m really upset and bitter about what so-so did to me, so I’m just going to hold onto that, and hey, why haven’t I heard from You? Why can’t I feel You, Lord?”

We hold one hand out to Him, and the other hand clutches anger and bitterness at our side.

It’s either Him or us, we have to make that decision. It is that simple. We either begin to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit or like the fig tree, we will be cut off from the branch and bear nothing in Him at all.

(NIV) Matthew 21:19, “Seeing a fig tree by the road, He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then He said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.”

Having a relationship with Christ is not meant to be a “happy” relationship. That’s a relationship purely based on feelings…

We are meant to grow. We are meant to rebuke what is not of Him. We are meant to strengthen others.

If we don’t get our heart together, He truly won’t know us because we don’t know Him. (NIV) Luke 13:27,”But He will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from Me, all you evildoers!'”

The time is now.

Has God ever convicted you of bitterness, anger, jealousy or something similar?

T. R. Noble

Month Scripture (NIV) John 13:07, “Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

Second Blog: Peeking Beneath

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33 thoughts on “Anger, Bitterness, Anyone?

  1. This was truly an incredible post! So much wisdom! I still find it very difficult at times to forgive one of my closest friends who turned her back on me for “new” friends. She never apologised and she isn’t sorry, but over time, I have learned to forgive her!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Way to go, Lizzy! I had multiple ex friends who were like that, especially when I was in school. It took time for me to let go of the hurt and frustration, but our God is good isn’t He 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Loved this: “There is a point where we HAVE to let it go.” That’s so true because the anger and bitterness can eat away at us, causing way more harm. Like you said, we have to be willing to choose Christ over our own feelings.
    I’ve struggled with bitterness towards a certain person in my life for years but over the past several months, after giving it all to God, He is slowly chipping away at that bitterness and I’m feeling more free!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Praise the Lord, thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you have been giving God the feelings. Whenever a situation like that occurs He too helps me work on giving the feelings and often the emotion of feeling misunderstood, to Him.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Very interesting piece! I used to feel quite wrapped up in past hurts, especially at a younger age from bullying in high school, then perhaps more recently with so-called friends who disappeared then reappeared simply when they wanted something. It doesn’t help to hold on to resentment or anger or hurt. It only hurts us. “We want justice. We want people to apologize. We want to be understood in our pain.” – That’s so very true. Moving past this can take time, but when we realise we can’t change others or make them do or say or feel the way we want or expect, we can start to let it go. x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed! We can’t wait or desire others to give us what we wish. I’ve had friends like that. It was only about them. I’ve had people also not understand how they misled me with their friendship. It’s hard.

      Christ teaches if we want forgiveness, then we must forgive. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Having a relationship with Christ is not meant to be a “happy” relationship.”

    Too true! Many of us still don’t get this and our pastor reminded us of this very same thing last Sabbath. God bless you, T.R.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post! Great Biblical reminders! I don’t struggle too badly with this topic but it doesn’t mean I don’t ever 😉 It hurts my heart to see others struggle with this because they do strip away so much joy they could have. When I do get that taste in my mouth of bitterness, I remember that I am forgiven and I don’t deserve it… who am I not to forgive other humans just like me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen! This definitely isn’t an issue for everyone which is wonderful, but there are a lot of people, especially believers, who do struggle with it. Originally, I was considering on writing something else, as I had picked out this topic last week, but then felt compelled to work on it, and God helped me with the rest. 🙂 It definitely convicted me to make sure I’m not holding on to things that are His to deal with.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. What a deeply thoughtful post. I especially liked “God is still God whether or not we “feel” He is with us”. This was definitely a good reminder because it’s something I wonder about when I do feel disconnected.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Awesome post, T.R! 👏🏼
    We all need to be reminded every now and then to check our hearts for seeds of anger, jealousy, envy, or a root of bitterness that may have taken hold from past hurts. They are all relationship blockers and the wall they build can only be knocked down through forgiveness, repentance, and remembering all He has done for us and extending that same mercy and grace to others.
    I found that once I truly forgave those who’d hurt me, I saw them as hurt, broken people just like me, and I was able to pray for their salvation and healing.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This is incredible. The truth is we will often get hurt or offended. It is a part of normal life and a huge part of a life surrendered to the Lord. Lately I was hit so hard from someone I trusted that it has been difficult. I don’t feel it’s been difficult between the Lord and I. I’m just surprised where it came from and surprised by the lies that were attached to the words. If your enemy knocks you down it is easier to get up but when a friend does it feels impossible. Didn’t Job go through that? I’m not wanting a pity party. I just want wisdom to know what to do. I quickly asked God to forgive her because I honestly still love her. I just hope I can heal regardless if she acknowledges what happened. Your message was EXTREMELY timely. Your words were seasoned with wisdom and given to me at the right time. I need Gods grace. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No worries of a pity party! I have been hurt multiple times by friends. I have given up friendships that have lasted 10 years. God has taught me through the one friendship that was the most hurtful not to throw my pearls to swine. Do what you can, and when you’ve tried, walk on. But sometimes, He does renew friendships. He’s done for me. It’s always been a learning opportunity and an opportunity for His glory. 🙂 ❤

      Other times, a person is there for a lesson God can impart. I do believe through all of the friendships that I've been hurt from, and praise the Lord it was not all at once, He always pushed me to understand humility. He also reminded me that bitterness can grow from hurt and to be aware of that pain. Sometimes I think I put too much attachment in past friends because at the end of the day no one is going to be perfect, misunderstandings happen, and we aren't meant to stay in a friendship with everyone. It's okay to let go and move on.

      I feel sometimes God allows things to happen to open our eyes and caution our heart. I truly believe He will guide you in this matter. Job most certainly went through that with his friends, although in his friends' cases I think they meant to help, but were not right in spirit so they misjudged the situation falsely.

      Liked by 1 person

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