What is the antidote for a bitter spirit?
The only counteracting remedy for bitterness comes from a tree.
In the Old Testament, we read in Exodus 15 verse 23 that when the children of Israel came to Marah, they found that they could not drink its water because it was bitter. Then the Lord showed Moses a piece of wood, which he threw into the water and it became sweet. When the tree (the cross) is cast into the world of bitterness, life becomes sweet.
The cross of Jesus Christ is a symbol of God’s love that can root out all bitterness in our lives. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:21)
God doesn’t call us to forgive most of the wrongs, but it’s all of it. He doesn’t tell us to watch out for most bitterness in Hebrews 12:15, but no bitterness at all must be there in us.
If someone offered you a piece of cake with just 2% rat poison added to the total mixture and said “Want one?” I am sure that no one would want to have a piece, even though the poison is just a small percentage.
It is not the amount that matters, but it’s the presence of any little poison that makes them dangerous.
We are like the cake, and bitterness is rat poison. As someone has said “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Bitterness in us kills us.
The only antidote to the poison of bitterness is to remember the greatness of our forgiveness through Christ.
Forgiveness is a verb, not a feeling. It is something we have to do, not something we will feel or pray for. Peace comes after we have gone and forgiven the one we were in conflict with. Whether they accept or not, once you have forgiven, you get the peace of God in your soul.
Forgiveness is not something we give to people when they come crawling to us on their knees. Forgiveness is not something we extend to people when they finally realize that they were wrong and we were right and they beg for forgiveness. But forgiveness is an attitude toward people that we don’t hold grudges. We don’t carry bitterness because bitterness does not hurt them but us.
Have you come to the cross and found your forgiveness? Rise up and offer His forgiveness to the one who has wronged you. Don’t kill yourself by living in bitterness.
"Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” – George MacDonald
Lord, I do realize that it is the forgiveness that You have offered me on the cross that enables me to offer forgiveness to others. Help me to come to the cross and find this forgiveness. Amen.