Bitterness is something most of us have struggled with at some point during our life. It can be hard to uproot it if it is deeply planted in our hearts. However, God doesn’t want us to hold bitterness in our hearts because it will only hurt us and cause us heartache.
If you are struggling with bitterness in your heart, here are four ways to uproot it:
One way to uproot bitterness in your heart is to forgive. Many people have hurt us in our lives, and it can feel impossible to forgive them. Unfortunately, we cannot uproot the bitterness in our hearts if we are holding onto unforgiveness. God wants us to forgive others just as He has forgiven us. If we choose to hold onto unforgiveness, it will only cause more pain. Very rarely will unforgiveness hurt the person against who we are holding unforgiveness towards. It will only hurt us.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean what they did is okay. Often, we are taught growing up to say, “it’s okay” when someone apologizes to us. In time, this has caused us to connect forgiveness with saying that what they did is okay. This is not what forgiveness is. Rather, forgiveness is deciding to give the situation over to God. You can forgive someone and still say it’s not okay. Simply because you forgive someone doesn’t mean it’s okay, nor does it mean what they did is forgotten.
Forgiveness comes from God. He forgave all of our sins the moment we accepted His Son as our Savior and Lord. He no longer holds any of those sins against us, and He chooses to not associate us with those negative things. When he looks at us, He sees His Son instead of the evil we have in us. Since God has forgiven us of such horrible sins, we too can do our best to forgive others. Forgiveness will help us to uproot the bitterness in our hearts.
A second way to uproot bitterness from your heart is through prayer. Prayer is often overlooked, yet it is one of our greatest gifts from God. Through prayer, we are given the blessing of one-on-one communication with God. This means that we can tell God anything, and He hears it. If we go to Him in prayer and tell Him we are struggling with removing bitterness from our hearts, He can help us. Not only will He help us remove the bitterness from our hearts, but He will also help us heal from it.
You might have bitterness in your heart for a variety of reasons. Maybe someone broke your heart, or someone betrayed you. Your feelings are valid, and it is understandable that you feel the way you do. Go to God in prayer and tell Him everything that you are feeling. Tell Him about the hurt, the pain, and the heartache. He knows the pain you are experiencing, and He desires to help you uproot the bitterness. The Lord can help you start new again and give you a fresh perspective on life.
Never overlook prayer, as it can help you in all things. Even though you might not hear back from God immediately, He is listening to you. He understands every pain you have, and He desires to fill your heart with the peace that only He can provide. Prayer should not be your last resort when trying to uproot bitterness from your heart, but rather it should be one of the first steps to take.
3. Reflecting on God’s Love
A third way to uproot bitterness from your heart is to reflect on God’s love. By reflecting on God’s love, we can release much of the anger that has been rooted deep in our hearts. The person who caused your bitterness might never know how much pain they caused you, but God does. Reflect on His love and strive to extend the same love to others, even to the person who hurt you. They probably are not worthy of your love, but God commands us to love all people anyway. In this way, you are extending God’s love.
The pain you are experiencing now that has manifested into bitterness will not last forever unless you allow it. You need to go to God and have Him help you uproot this bitterness. Reflect on God’s love in your own life and the Bible. Allow this to help you uproot the bitterness in your heart and to start moving forward in healing. Nobody expects you to feel completely better overnight, yet you do need to maintain an active headspace of reflecting on God’s love and uprooting the bitterness from your heart.
God’s love far outweighs any love we could ever experience elsewhere. Our loved ones can hurt us, but God never will. He is with us through the pain, tears, and heartache. He understands the bitterness you are experiencing, yet He wants to take it away. The Lord doesn’t want to see you carry around the heavy weight of bitterness your entire life because it will only cause you to grow more angry, skeptical, and isolated. Love, forgiveness, and growth should be shown in our lives, not bitterness, hatred, and unforgiveness.
4. Choosing to Move On
A fourth way to uproot bitterness from your heart is to choose to move on. As someone who struggles with years of holding bitterness in their heart, I don’t recommend it. It only wears you down and causes you to become cold. Choose to move on with your life and avoid allowing the bitterness to stay in your heart. Uproot it with the help of God and move forward. Life is too precious and too short to spend it with a heart of bitterness. Instead, choose to move on and love the life God has given you.
It can be hard to move on, yet it is vitally important. There again, it doesn’t mean anything they said or did was okay, but rather, you are making the choice to move on in life. Don’t allow someone’s hurtful remark, statement, or decision to cause you to go into a downward spiral of bitterness for years. Don’t let a memory of the past dictate your future. Give all of the pain over to God and trust Him. Genuinely forgive the person or people who hurt you and make the decision to choose to move on.
By moving on, you are opening up your life to a new set of adventures and opportunities to serve Christ. There is true freedom in forgiveness and moving on, which staying in bitterness will not give you. Choosing to uproot the bitterness in your heart will give you an opportunity to grow in your walk with Christ as well as to grow in your life.
Choose to take that first step today and remove all bitterness from your heart. Uproot it with the help of God and strive not to allow any bitterness to plant deep in your heart again. You will continue to go through difficult times throughout your life, but it is up to you if they are going to cause you to be hindered in your walk with Christ, or you can use them as an opportunity to grow in Christ. God wants us to use the hard times as an opportunity to grow in our relationship with Him. We cannot grow in Him if we continue to allow bitterness to root itself in our hearts.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.