Bitterness

Bitter Circumstances

Steven Viars: "we do not have to give bitter circumstances the final say. Wise Solomon warned us that “the heart knows its own bitterness” (Proverbs 14:10). In the power of Christ, we can learn to process these episodes of suffering in our hearts in ways that moves us toward the Lord in greater dependence and faith." - Challies

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Curbing Our Complaints: Lessons for the Church in the Desert

"Because the water was bitter, everything was viewed through the spectacles of bitterness.... Pessimism is where one takes the worst perspective on a situation and then from that perspective extrapolates out their entire disposition, their worldview, and even their understanding of God. For Israel, bitterness not only defines the water or the region, it defines them." - Ref21

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From the Archives: Five Ways to Beat Bitterness: #1 – Worship

Bitterness often begins as a normal—maybe even healthy—response to the losses, disappointments, failures, and unfairnesses of life. In that sense, the term “bitterness” is pretty much synonymous with mental, spiritual, emotional (and often also physical) pain.

But the Bible reveals that when indulged and nurtured, bitterness becomes an infection of the inner man that taints—and has the potential to corrupt—all our activities and relationships. I’ve written about the forms and harms of bitterness previously (see Bitterness Happens, and Six Ways Bitterness Can Poison Our Lives).

The good news is that both Scripture and experience (as application of biblical principles) point us toward some practical strategies for overcoming bitterness in our lives before, or even after, it becomes a chronic problem.

Feed the Attitudes of Worship

Worship is not an “experience.” In Scripture, worship is a set of attitudes and beliefs finding some form of expression. Acceptable worship is the right attitudes and beliefs finding a right expression, in the context of a right relationship. That’s a lot of things to get right. But it all begins with the attitudes.

Much has been written about the attitudes of worship, but for now we can simplify: at their core, these attitudes are humble, submissive, repentant, thankful, and joyful.

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