31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Thoughts of verse
Bitterness is often the root of many emotional outbursts and is too often birthed by a smothering resentment against the injustice or unfairness of another or due to problematic circumstances - some of which may be real while others may be perceived - some of which may have been avoidable and others unavoidable.
Bitterness is seen in this passage as a root that can morph into a few other sinful attitudes and ungodly practices. It can smolder into deep-seated wrath or mushroom into explosive anger. It can be exhibited in slanderous speech, malicious gossip, or clamorous complaining.
But when bitterness takes root in our heart it can grow into a poisonous volcano that spews its toxic venom over all who pass by. Bitterness is also like a tree, which can branch into every area of our life and cause devastation, distress and destruction - to ourselves and to others.
Kindness, compassion, forgiveness and grace were shown to us at the cross of Christ and they are the spiritual fruit that Paul tells us can halt and reverse the growth of bitterness in our heart.
“If there is bitterness in the heart, sugar in the mouth won't make life sweeter. But God’s love makes the heart sweet, And the mouth full of praise.” - Yiddish Proverb
Heavenly Father forgive me for any bitterness that I have harbored in my heart against You or others. Thank You that I have been forgiven by grace through faith in Christ. Help me to live my life as unto Him and help me to be slow to anger, quick to forgive and abounding in steadfast love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness and grace - to the glory of Christ in Whose name I pray, AMEN.