The enemy tries to lure us into bitterness and unforgiveness towards others, ourselves, and even God. In His Word, God says, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31 KJV) The enemy knows that if he can get you to take the offense back out again, meditate on it, and grow the bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart, he can lessen your blessings.
He’s trying to draw you into breaking one of God’s commandments and a fundamental principle in His Kingdom. Forgiveness is what the Father established His relationship with you on.
God didn’t wait till we had it all together to offer us forgiveness; even while we were transgressing and sinning against Him Christ died for us. Yet we still get to choose whether we will receive that forgiveness. We joined a family of forgivers when we came into His Kingdom and became born again through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and were restored to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Bitterness and resentment are weapons of the enemy
Many people who come to the For My Life® Retreat are already believers, but they’ve had a rough road in life. This is not surprising because the Word says that the enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour.
He uses bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, victimization, and very difficult circumstances to try to devour God’s people. Many times we play right into it; we may give in to anger and bitterness and excuse them as negative feelings. However, they are strategic tools used by the enemy to destroy us.
Past events don’t have to define our future
Many of us have experienced victimization, unfair things that have been said or done to us, people who’ve tried to ruin our reputation or steal our money or belongings, or even those who’ve worked to divide relationships. It may feel difficult to forgive if we are consumed by the debt that the person has towards us. However, we’ve been called to be consumed with a God who is able to forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors, just like the Lord’s Prayer states.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Matthew 6:12-13 KJV
We can’t hold onto our own past mistakes
Another area that we might hold unforgiveness in is towards ourselves. We must consider whether there are some things in our own lives that we have not forgiven ourselves for. Are there any failures or areas of our lives that we didn’t measure up? Did we say or do something we shouldn’t have?
The Bible says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 KJV). Therefore if we fall short in any area of our lives and confess it to the Father, it is forgiven. The debt is already paid in full!
If He forgives us, then shouldn’t we receive His forgiveness and forgive ourselves too? When we receive His forgiveness and forgive ourselves, we will be more at peace and better able to walk in God’s love. When we can’t forgive ourselves, it will keep us from being able to love ourselves and others as we should.
God can help us overcome bitterness towards ourselves
It’s noteworthy that according to Jesus Christ, the first and greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves. What’s the prerequisite for loving others? Loving ourselves.
Therefore, we violate the first commandment if we agree with unforgiveness towards ourselves. This is not to condemn; rather, we must recognize the enemy’s subtle trap and come out of agreement with his lies that keep us bound to our perceived faults and failures. To overcome bitterness towards ourselves, we need to repent, turn away from the enemy’s way of thinking, and receive God’s forgiveness for our sins, which cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
How to overcome bitterness towards God
The third area to check for unforgiveness is in our relationship with God. It’s important to note that God is perfect in all His ways and cannot sin. But the enemy has caused all sorts of evil in the world, hurtful events, and the evil that was done against us, and then blamed God for it.
The enemy gives thoughts like: Where was God in this situation? Why didn’t God stop this from happening? Why did He let this person die in my life that I was counting on? Why didn’t He save me from this victimization?
The enemy’s strategy is to accuse God and lure our hearts into resenting Him, thereby separating us from the closeness and relationship with Him that we so desperately need. God says we should hate evil, but the enemy has twisted it and projected it back on God.
It’s not necessarily that we need to forgive God because He hasn’t done anything wrong, but we need to release Him from any blame for what the enemy has done and accused God of.
Overcoming bitterness requires recognizing our true enemy
The Word says this in Hebrews 12:15, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God. Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled.” When you experience bitterness in your life towards another, yourself, or God, you are the first one that is troubled. When you have those bitter feelings, you don’t have inner peace at that time. You may feel troubled, anxious, or upset. It can also give you feelings of depression and anger.
Unresolved anger will try to project on others
Then, when a root of bitterness is planted in our hearts, the Word says that many can be defiled. Because when you are not living at peace with God, yourself, or others, it starts seeping out onto other people. We contaminate others with what is happening inside us through the negative things we speak out – when we’re talking bad about others or ourselves. It is essential to take care of the issues of bitterness because it doesn’t only affect you; it spreads and troubles others too.
Jesus Christ gave us an outline in Matthew 18:21-35 about forgiveness. Peter went to the Lord and said, Lord, how many times should I forgive this person? And Jesus said to him, not seven times, but seventy times seven. Jesus also speaks about forgiveness in the Gospel of Mark:
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them]. 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Mark 11:24-16 KJV
Forgiveness is a condition to answered prayers
In this passage, Jesus is talking about how to have your prayers answered. First you need to believe that you receive them, and then it says that if you have aught against any, you need to forgive them. When we don’t offer forgiveness towards others, we are not being a forgiver like the Kingdom of God represents. Therefore it is a block to our prayers being answered.
If you are praying for good things that are according to God’s will and not receiving a response, perhaps it’s time to search your own life to see if there are any areas of unforgiveness. That unforgiveness may be blocking the answers to your prayers and possibly even be blocking your healing.
You can still be saved and be in bondage to a spirit of bitterness
It’s important to clarify that this isn’t talking about salvation. If you truly have repented for your sins and come into the Kingdom of God and called on the name of Jesus that you might be saved, you are saved.
But as you walk in His Kingdom and navigate relationships, if you continue to allow unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment to influence your life, you are breaking God’s law of forgiveness and separating yourself from His best for you.
According to Mark 11:26, if we want Father God to forgive us of our sins, we must also extend that forgiveness to others and represent His love, grace, and mercy.
Can we overcome bitterness in advance?
There’s more to forgiveness than just forgiving things in the past or present. God wants us to be premeditated forgivers. That means that our hearts are ready to forgive when the opportunity comes.
No matter what offense comes our way, we need to be armed with God’s love, grace, mercy, and the power of forgiveness to resist the enemy’s snare to draw us into unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment. We don’t want to give the enemy an open door to lessen the blessings in our lives, interfere with our well-being, destroy our relationships, or rob our health.
It may take time to overcome bitterness
Forgiveness may be a journey. If we haven’t been trained as a child how to forgive, it’s going to take some practice. But if you think about it, it was already taking considerable energy to dwell on unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment.
We need to activate our will to choose to forgive. God said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” So forgiveness is a way to show your love to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ by being a free-giver.
Taking the first step to overcoming bitterness starts with forgiveness
Perhaps you would like to make a list of the people, living or dead, that you need to forgive; also of every offense you have held onto in your heart that is still causing pain in your own life. Then take that list before God and cancel that debt you felt was owed to you before Him. Submit them to Him as the righteous judge and trust Him that He will do everything in His power to recover them to Himself if they will hear and respond to His voice.
Then repent for agreeing with the spirit of unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment, and ask God to give you His perspective and compassion for that person. In the absence of the bitter feelings, you will find new peace in God and feelings of well-being. If the enemy tries to recall the offense, tell him that it is forgiven and move on in God’s peace, joy, and love.
How to overcome bitterness God’s way
Jesus gave the perfect antidote to bitterness in Matthew 5:44:
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44 KJV
If you struggle with feeling bitter, recalling or replaying past events, or forgiving the past failures of others, practice praying for them and ask God for His perspective and compassion for that person. This is the perfect way to take revenge on the enemy and turn his traps back on himself. We promote the Kingdom of God when we repay evil with good.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Corinthians 10:5-6 KJV
A safe place to recognize and overcome bitterness
At the For My Life Retreat, we offer powerful truth from God’s Word that will help you overthrow the stronghold of bitterness in your life. The Bitterness class is one of the discernment teachings we present In the For My Life Retreat at Be in Health®. When God helps you remove bitterness from your life, it will become easier to move forward in your Overcomers’ Journey and will pave the way for a more positive, healthy future.
We have seen tens of thousands of people be healed by God as they opened their hearts to hear and understand God and His Word and made adjustments in their lives to align with Him. In particular, many people who have dealt with the spiritual root of bitterness have opened the door to their healing journey. Why? Because we’ve noted that bitterness and unforgiveness are the number one block to healing, and when that block is removed, healing can be made possible again!
Here are a few key points that the Bitterness teaching addresses:
-What is a spirit of bitterness?
-How does the spirit of bitterness operate in the enemy’s kingdom?
-What is God’s heart and mind towards a spirit of bitterness?
-How can bitterness block our healing?
-How does bitterness destroy relationships?
-How can we recover relationships that have been broken by bitterness?
-How can we overcome bitterness in our lives and walk in freedom?
This teaching will answer these questions and more!
Would you like to learn more about what bitterness is and the other Spiritual Roots of Disease®?
In addition to the Bitterness teaching, we present over twenty other life-changing classes in the For My Life Retreat. These teachings will lead you to the truth you need to find healing in God for your spirit, soul, and body.
The Be in Health Team invites you to join us on this life-changing journey of healing and restoration that we call the Overcomers’ Journey. We want to help you regain your life, overthrow the enemy’s works in the world, and be a successful overcomer.
Maybe it’s time to take some time out for your life
The For My life Retreat is a 5-day, intensive healing retreat. It is a safe place to take time out for your life to be renewed in your mind, spirit, and body by the truth from God’s Word.
There is also a For My Life Online Course available, where you can participate with us from the comfort of your own home.
Be blessed and enjoy your Overcomers’ Journey!
The Be in Health Team
Here is a small clip from the For My Life Online Bitterness Teaching:
This article is part of the For My Life Sound Bite Series.
Check out these articles to learn more about the other teachings we offer and get more insights into spiritual discernment, the power of God’s love, and how He can heal you and help you become an overcomer!
Foundational Insights – This is the core foundational teaching that encompasses the heart and mission of the For My Life Retreat. On this foundation, the whole Retreat is built.
The Father’s Love – The number one most important thing for every person’s Overcomers’ Journey is to be restored to Father God’s Love. Without a relationship and trust with the Father, it is very difficult to move forward as an Overcomer.
8 Rs to Freedom – 8 steps to recognize and overcome the enemy’s influence in your life.
7 Steps to Sin – Discover the enemy’s strategy to lead you to sin and learn how to stop him at his game.
Godly Order – God has established an order of authority in His Kingdom. Discover how Godly Order will help restore you to peace in God and in your life.
Spirit World Realities – Learn how the enemy’s kingdom can operate in the earth and the Biblical origins of our spiritual enemy. This understanding will demystify Satan and his kingdom and help you defeat the fear of evil.
Separation – Learn how to recognize the enemy’s strategy to divide and destroy relationships and get smarter than him. You can recognize and hate the sin but still love the person just like God does for us.
Pathways of Thought – How can a spiritual kingdom influence our thoughts? Discover the pathway of thought from the spiritual through thoughts, feelings, and emotions to its effect on our physical health.
Disease Profiles – Discover the possible spiritual roots that can lead to specific disease classes.
Water Baptism– Water Baptism is one of the sacraments of our faith. Discover why Water Baptism is an essential step in your Overcomers’ Journey.
Blocks to Healing – The Bible tells us that there are certain things that we can agree with that will get in the way of healing. Learn how to recognize and overcome these spiritual blocks to healing. And discover the surprising #1 Block to Healing.
Self Pity – Dr. Henry W. Wright often said that Self Pity is the superglue to hell that binds us to our past and prevents us from moving forward in our future. Learn how to discern this evil spirit and overcome it in your life!
Accusation – Accusation is a tool that the enemy uses to twist the truth and lead us into bondage to sin. Learn how to recognize and overcome the spirit of accusation in your life.
Envy and Jealousy – Discover how Envy and Jealousy keep your eyes on the object of your desire to prevent you from trusting God and receiving His best for you.
Rejection – Learn how to overcome rejection in your life.
Occultism – Understanding Occultism and why we need to be free from it.
Unloving – Recognize if you are not giving and receiving love to God, yourself, and others. And learn how to walk in love as God intended.
Addictions – Learn what the Bible says about overcoming addictions. God wants to help us be free, and receive our comfort and identity from Him.
Fear – Fear is something that most of us have had to face at some point in our lives. Discover where Fear comes from, how to recognize it, and how to overcome it!
Walk Out – We have the freedom to walk out of things that have once bound us. Learn what is walk out, why it is important, and how to do it.
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