Easy Steps to Remember When Dealing with a Bitter Person

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 @ 7:34 PM

We all know someone who is bitter, whether a coworker, a family member, a friend, or a spouse, you cannot deny the invisible stench of their bitterness. Often, you can hear it in their tone of voice, their responses and most often their direct communication.
People who hold onto bitterness can be oblivious that this root is deeply seeded in their hearts. If we were to approach them directly on their bitterness, the response can turn ugly fast. So often we are left not knowing how to respond.

Know this, the truth is at one point of their lives they have decided that they are sick of the hurt and pain that others caused them or maybe the injustice done in their life. They have unconsciously made the decision that they will no longer in their mind “allow anyone to take advantage of them anymore” So they hold on to the anger, thinking it’s their defense and their friend. This causes them to mull over conversations and wrong doings in their mind over and over again. The bitterness seeps in deeper and deeper and they weed grows sometimes so big that they can barely see through it anymore. It steals their joy, it steals their peace and it steals from them daily. And all they must do is give that over to Jesus, who is the one who can cut the root out.

In the meantime, until they give that up to Jesus… we all feel the stinky effects it leaves on us!
So how do we love and approach someone with bitterness?
First let’s define bitterness. the dictionary defines bitterness as “having a harsh disagreeably bitter taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood or aloe. Boy that is bitter! And let’s just think of when we have a bitter in our mouth, noting tastes or seems right after that.
In the same way, they have a hard time hearing god’s truths, or perceive information in healthy ways regarding themselves, others, and God, leaving it very difficult for their loved ones around them to be in a healthy communication.
The bible often talks about bitterness and to get rid of it fast! (Ephesians 4:31:32).

As a Clinical pastoral counselor, I have learned that behind bitterness, is usually a person who has a hard time believing that they are worth being loved themselves.
Somewhere along the line they came into agreement with the lies of not being good enough and/or that God does not love them enough. Unfortunately, the devil loves this type of self-talk because it doubts God’s goodness and loving truth!
True healing for them, is too have them come out of agreement with the lies and into the truth of Gods promises.
You can help them, and protect your own heart as well.

Here are some easy steps to remember when dealing with someone with bitterness,

  • Choose to forgive that person. (Luke 23;24) If we look beyond the layers of bitterness you will truly find a person so hurt and often broken. Before the next phone call, day or meeting up with this person, try saying this “God I choose to forgive_________ I know only you can change their hearts, so therefore I choose to forgive_____________.
  • DON’T Own It! Yes, bitter words can come out like arrows to our own heart. Don’t own it, it was never meant to be ours to wear in the first place. Remember …It is their stuff, not yours! When you start to sense the bitterness coming, you can choose to lovingly cut the conversation short or change the subject. 
  • Pray for this person! My goodness, this person needs our prayers in the worst ways! Can you imagine living with bitterness? It steals their joy, it steals from them living in the moment and it steals from them hearing the truth from God. Pray, Pray and more prayer.
  • Fight back with love, the bible says that love covers a multitude of sins. With every arrow shot to our own hearts, fight back with kindness and love. 
  • Serve Them, consider doing something out of the ordinary, Jesus washed the feet of those who did not deserve it.. However, by washing their feet, he was showing them the loving kindness and authentic love that God has for them. It breaks down barriers! 
  • Lastly, Respond and DO NOT REACT, bitterness is that ugly, it would love to take you down too! It would love for you to exemplify the same behaviors of mulling over the conversation repeatedly. NO! Don’t do it … it’s a trick from the enemy. Keep your joy! And Give it over to GOD 

Finally, you will be shocked if they do break away from bitterness that underneath that mess, is a loving, caring and sensitive spirit that can be a blessing in your life!

I hope this article helped you and please share if it can help someone else.