June 26 The Danger of Bitterness

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

Bitterness is dangerous, especially in regard to prayer. Bitterness accumulates when you withhold forgiveness. It often indicates a hidden hatred that hurts you more than it does the other person. When you harbor bitterness, it goes to the very source of your life and dries it up. You will not only suffer spiritually, but you will also wither mentally, socially, and physically. Bitterness is like a cancer.

Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity [perversity, moral evil] in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”. Iniquity is a secret sin—not because it’s something you commit in private, but because it’s unseen and intangible, such as having jealousy in your heart. You may smile at someone to conceal that you are envious of him. You may hug somebody you despise and say, “God bless you.” This is iniquity. If we willfully hold such things in our hearts, it doesn’t matter how long we pray; God won’t listen.

Bitterness is an especially hideous, dangerous sin. To guard against this sin and keep our prayers from being hindered, we must maintain pure, transparent hearts before God and men. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you”.

Prayer: Father, I never want to open my heart to bitterness. Please convict me of any sins of jealousy and unforgiveness that I may be hiding. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thought: Bitterness can grow like a deep root into our hearts.

Reading: 1 Chronicles 28–29; John 9:24–41; Ephesians 4:31–32

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