Bitterness is a hardness of the soul that eventually expresses itself outwardly in demeanor, appearance, words, and tone. Bitterness is a particular temptation in the relationship of marriage. You know more about that person than any other…and they know more about you. They’ve seen more of your sin than any one else has seen.
Wrath describes the sin of those who explodes in an outburst of anger. When something doesn’t go their way, there is an outburst. Do you frequently blow up in anger in your relationships? Understand this – Every time you explode in anger, you sin against God.
Sinful anger. This word doesn’t describe an explosion, but a slow, simmering burn. Some people blow up when they get angry. Others clam up. They allow the anger to live in their hearts, to seethe inside their souls. We all struggle with anger. But we have to deal with it quickly. Paul admonishes us not to let a day end without dealing with the source of the anger and resolving the conflict. And seek God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the person against whom you’ve sinned.
What are the right attitudes we should put on?
Kindness. To be kind is to show a sweet and generous disposition. It’s a heart that doesn’t delight in hurting others, but in helping them and doing them good. Kindness is ultimately an expression of love.
Tenderhearted. Have you seen a mother holding her newborn child? She’s tenderhearted toward her child; compassionate, sympathetic. Is that how you treat the people in your life?
Forgiveness. How did God forgive you? Freely, with no strings attached. When you expressed repentance toward God, He was eager to forgive you. Is that how you respond to the people who’ve sinned against you? Forgive as God has forgiven you.
If you don’t know Christ, remember: God has been incredibly kind to you. His kindness is intended to drive you to Him in repentance and faith (Romans 2:4). Ephesians 2:7 tells us that God is kind and will shower us who know Him with kindness forever. He loves to do good to those who deserve evil. He’s quick to forgive where there’s real repentance. He’s slow to anger and abounding in unfailing love.
God doesn’t hold a grudge. He’s easy to be entreated. He has compassion on us as a father does on his children. He remembers that we’re just dust.
We are to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving because our new Father is like that. And we are to walk in His footsteps.
“Be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love.”