When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an ‘idol,’ something you are actually worshiping. When such a thing is threatened, your anger is absolute. Your anger is actually the way the idol keeps you in its service, in its chains. Therefore if you find that, despite all the efforts to forgive, your anger and bitterness cannot subside, you may need to look deeper and ask, ‘What am I defending? What is so important that I cannot live without?’ It may be that, until some inordinate desire is identified and confronted, you will not be able to master your anger.
We must be careful… that our anger is not a cover for lovelessness or self-righteousness. Anger and bitterness (as well as hatred, jealousy, and resentment) aren’t identical, but they are closely related. Bitterness is anger gone sour, an attitude of deep discontent that poisons our souls and destroys our peace.
Remember, forgiveness is you deciding that you’ve suffered enough because of what happened. Forgiveness starts to sever the suffering, but then we still have to go on a long journey of healing. For a while, you may still have tears that come and go. That’s okay. Freedom from unforgiveness doesn’t mean instant healing for all the emotions involved. But it does mean those emotions will turn into eventual compassion rather than bitterness. Don’t give up in the process. Deep emotions come to us in a rush but don’t leave at the same pace. It will take time. But healing can happen. Keep trusting God.
Regardless of why you have made bitterness and hatred your best friends, if you carry them around long enough, they will eventually eat you from the inside out.
Here’s a question every angry man and woman needs to consider: How long are you going to allow people you don’t even like — people who are no longer in your life, maybe even people who aren’t even alive anymore — to control your life? How long?
When there are dissensions, and jealousies, and evil speakings among professors of religion, then there is great need of a revival. These things show that Christians have got far from God, and it is time to think earnestly of a revival.
Do not be afraid to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal any unforgiveness or bitterness. The longer you hide it, the stronger it will become and the harder your heart will grow. Stay tenderhearted.
Don’t be so bitter that you scare away the better coming to meet you.