Like other negative feelings, bitterness is destructive. A sad thing about it is that the damage it inflicts is not external nor other-centered. The damage and loss it brings are internal. It is a self-destructive sentiment. That is why the Bible tells us to make sure that our hearts and lives are free from bitterness. Hold onto it and overtime you will deteriorate in many (if not all) aspects of your life. Your physical health will get affected. Your spiritual standing before God will be shaken. Your social life will lose vitality for rarely would anyone keep company with a bitter person who has nothing but negative and unwholesome things to show and say.
Bitterness robs you of joy.
Bitterness in your life will only get worse. There is no such thing as “light bitterness". The feeling magnifies overtime. If you do not deal with it, it will dominate your every thought. It will poison your heart. A bitter person cannot have joy nor can he bring joy to anyone else. (Proverbs 14:10) To allow bitterness to linger in your life is to slowly subject yourself to a defeated life.
Bitterness leads to more sin.
Acts 9 introduces us to Simon, a follower who was impatient to receive empowerment from the Holy Spirit who at that time had not indwelt all believers yet. He may have been a true believer (or not) but he was a bitter person. Peter saw right through him and warned him to repent for he was full of bitterness and “captive to sin."
Bitterness is sin. You have to face that truth. If you have bitterness in your heart, God is not pleased because it is a magnet for more sinful thoughts and actions. With bitterness comes anger. With bitterness comes unforgiveness. With bitterness comes resentment. With bitterness comes retaliation and revenge.
Forgiving and forgetting are hard to do when the hurt is too great. But to overcome setbacks in life, you need to do these very two. Forgetting may be a lifelong struggle because the enemy tends to rehash the past in order to throw us “off our game." Charles Stanley said it right: “Disappointment is inevitable. But to become discouraged, there's a choice I make. God would never discourage me. He would always point me to himself to trust him. Therefore, my discouragement is from Satan. As you go through the emotions that we have, hostility is not from God, bitterness, unforgiveness, all of these are attacks from Satan."
Choose to forgive in the moment. Cancel your offender’s debt towards you. Let go of the anger and desire to punish the guilty of his wrongdoing.
Entrust Your Past to God.
A bitter person is angry and unhappy because he cannot forget bad things which happened in the past. Stop bitterness and entrust your past to God. To entrust is to “assign the responsibility for doing something over to someone else". To entrust is “to put something into someone else’s care or protection."
Leave your past to God and allow Him to deal with it accordingly. If you’ve been treated unfairly, let God work justice out for you. If you’ve been wrongly judged, let God vindicate you. If you have suffered loss, trust God and let him restore the losses in due time.