May 31: The Danger of Bitterness
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 hurts the other person. When you harbour hatred, it goes to the very source of your life and dries it up. You will not only suffer spiritually, but 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 in private, but because it’s unseen and intangible, such as harbouring jealousy in your heart. You may smile at someone to conceal that you are envious of him. You hug someone you despise and say, “God bless you.” This is iniquity. If we wilfully hold such things in our hearts, it doesn’t matter how long you pray; God will not listen.
Bitterness is an especially hideous, dangerous sin. “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). 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, clamour, and evil-speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). Note: Bitterness can grow with a deep root into your heart. You should kill it with the commandments of God.
Let’s pray: Father, I don’t ever want to open my heart to bitterness. Please, God, convict me of any sins of jealousy and unforgiveness that I may be hiding in my heart. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles13-14; John 12:1-26
Bitterness Makes Prayers not Answered.