Ministry Sheets >> Bitterness
Do you have bitterness in your life?  Most people would say, “No, I don’t have any bitterness.”  However if asked, “Do you have people you haven’t forgiven, are you resentful and angry...?” the answer might be, “Well, yes I do have some of those.”  Bitterness is a spiritual strongman that has many underlings that do his bidding. The seven primary underlings of Bitterness include Unforgiveness, Resentment, Retaliation, Anger, Hate, Violence and Murder.  Each of these leads to the next and becomes more violent.  The key to defeating Bitterness is to first deal with forgiving others and asking forgiveness of others.  God commands us to forgive those who have hurt us, to ask forgiveness of those we have wronged and repent for our bitterness. We must want to be free of the underling sins of bitterness and deal with them.

Foundational to the Christian life is forgiving others and asking forgiveness of others.  Unforgiveness would say, "I am not willing to forgive the offense against me. I will remember what has been done to me."  God commands us over and over in the scriptures:
     To forgive those who have hurt us,
     To ask forgiveness of those we have hurt.

If you are having difficulty forgiving, you may  also need to ask our Heavenly Father’s forgiveness for your cooperating with a spirit of unforgiveness.
Forgiveness -  Forgiveness is not optional, something you do if you feel like it. Forgiving and asking forgiveness is absolutely essential; it is foundational to the process of dealing with the sin in your life.  God commands you to forgive those who have hurt you.  Forgiving others is important because if you do not forgive others then God will not forgive you  (Mat 6:14-15, Psalm 37:1-10, etc.). Also remember to forgive yourself and release the burden of guilt you carry. Forgiveness is releasing someone from the wrong they have done to you; it is taking them off of the hook, they no longer owe you something for the wrong done.
Asking forgiveness. In the same way that you must forgive, you must also ask  forgiveness from those you have wronged - and in some instances make restitution.  Be before the Spirit of God and allow Him to show you the who and the  what of your wronging to them.  Seek His wisdom for the time and the method of asking forgiveness of them and how to make restitution if required. Then be obedient, ask their forgiveness, make restitution.  If they will not forgive you when you ask, that is not your concern, you have done all that is required and you are released.  If they do not forgive you,  it is their sin to live with. 
Asking your Heavenly Father’s forgiveness. If you have difficulty forgiving, your unwillingness could be a spirit from Satan’s kingdom; an underling of the Strongman of Bitterness.  In this case, this spirit of unforgiveness can be an ongoing point of entrance into  your life for the other spirits of Bitterness including resentment, retaliation, anger, hate, violence and even murder. It is important that you repent of this spirit of unforgiveness, and ask your Heavenly Father for His forgiveness for allowing it into your life and for allowing it to affect the way your life is being lived.  The Spirit of Bitterness then must be removed.  See the “Spirit of Bitterness” resource sheet (similar to this one) to deal with the Strongman of Bitterness.
Have I forgiven?  Forgiveness is a process and it is a heart matter.  Turn your heart towards God and speak the words of forgiveness.  Give Him permission to change your heart. As you do so, He will begin to change you and do the work of forgiveness in you.  Every time you come into Ms. Hurtme’s presence, or think of her and have a high-octane ping in your heart, speak the words of forgiveness again.  Do so until you can look the person in the eye, truly ask God’s blessing on her and have no high-octane ping, no bitterness towards her. You'll always remember the evil done to you, but once you have forgiven, you no longer have to carry it as a sin in your own life. Your freedom does not depend on her resolution, it depends on your asking forgiveness.
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The Sin of Bitterness
Link to a print version of this ministry sheet.
Link to print Blue Ministry Card