ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Box Of Bitterness

Updated on August 25, 2014

About 10 years ago, I was ministering to a female friend and neighbor about forgiveness. She had been abused very badly by several men in her life, the worst being her own Father when she was young.

I believe that people who purposely and continually hurt and abuse others, are internally hurt and broken themselves. My friend's father was one of those people who was seriously hurt and broken inside.

Many children, though they are victims, somehow feel responsible for the actions caused because of the brokenness of their parents. I believe this feeling of responsibility often causes children to willingly accept the abuse.

Tragically, my friends father had passed much his inner hurt and pain down to her through his years of abuse. This is a typical example of the generational curse of abuse being handed down to the next generation.

I believe that God has placed a strong desire in the maternal instinct of women, to try and repair broken people. This instinct often draws young women towards men who seem to be broken like their fathers. Seemingly, they are not broken as badly. Their attraction toward these men, besides love, is also that they see many of the good qualities their father has.

A woman often believes in her heart, that she can fix her man's problems once they're married. At best, she is probably facing a lifetime of drama and trauma, unless God enters into that relationship.

I shared the above information with my neighbor and she nodded in agreement and told me that yes, I had pretty much just described her life. I then tried my utmost, to gently share her need to forgive those men who had hurt and abused her.

The mention of forgiveness abruptly ended our conversation. She stood up, tearfully declared "Absolutely not," then left.

I believe that unresolved anger can turn into hatred and bitterness. Harboring that hatred and bitterness in our heart makes us judgmental. John 3, teaches that hatred is the same spirit as murder.

There are numerous scriptural references warning us not to allow a "Root of bitterness" to grow up and take hold of our hearts. The Bible say's this root of bitterness will "defile many."

Let me share a physical example of this spiritual principle. Imagine being the fifteenth person stuffed into a fifteen person elevator. Unbeknown to you, a person in the back of the elevator has a deadly, contagious, airborne disease. They suddenly begin to sneeze uncontrollably, over and over, right toward you.

They say that between 40,000 to 100,000 germs go airborne with every sneeze. By the end of that elevator ride, you and everyone else is now at risk of becoming infected with that same contagious disease.

Now compare that elevator ride to a person who has a root or "spirit" of bitterness in their heart, caused by hurt and the unwillingness to forgive. That spirit eventually takes dominion and like a contagious disease, eats away at the person's heart and soul.

They slowly lose their joy, happiness, zeal for life and begin to turn cynical. Eventually they will run the risk of contracting mental or physical ailments and addictions. That spirit of bitterness defiles and "spiritually" infects others around them, similar to the sneezing person on the elevator.

Matthew 7, tells us "Judge not, lest you be judged...." The scripture continues on to point out a crucially important principle. In the same fashion that we choose to either judge or forgive others, God will judge or forgive us. Everything in life is based on cause and effect.

After contemplating all these thoughts, I suddenly began to envision in my mind what the Lord told me was a "Box of bitterness."

If we choose to judge and take out vigilante justice on another person, in essence we spiritually make that person climb into this "box of bitterness." God in turn, makes us climb right into that same box with them. As we judge and choose to punish them, we are also punishing ourselves.

There's an old Bobby Bare song called "The Winner." Two men got into a huge bar fight and the result was, "He was cursin' and nursin' 7 broken bones, but he only broke 3 of mine, so I'm the winner."

I usually chuckle when I hear that song being played. Truthfully though, it makes a good point about the cost of suffering from self inflicted pain to teach someone a lesson. The same principle holds true in the spiritual realm.

There are many scriptures throughout the Bible declaring how God wants to take up our cause and fight for us, if we let Him. "Vengeance is mine says the Lord." Just like in our American legal system, if we take the law into our own hands then we ourselves become subject to the law.

How do we get ourselves back out of the box of bitterness? The answer is simple, we follow the principles that God shows us in the Bible. We choose to stop judging, forgive, and then turn the matter over to God. Only then, can we climb out of the box.

Forgiving someone, in no way means that we are now declaring that nothing ever happened or that no harm was ever done to us. We are simply turning the whole matter over to God. God can now judge and bring the matter to justice as He deems fit.

My same friend came back a couple weeks later and she was very distraught. She had just undergone a series of unsuccessful wrestling matches with God, over the issue of her unwillingness to forgive her father.

I shared with her my new revelation about the box of bitterness and she listened quietly with intent. She agreed in principle, but felt that forgiving the man who hurt her was letting him walk away free and clear, like nothing had ever happened.

The Lord gave me the perfect response. I asked her to consider the scriptures that talk about God coming to our rescue when we cry out to Him in prayer. I used the illustration from Daniel 9-10, where Daniel prayed and fasted for 21 days, desperately seeking God's help and guidance.

The Angel Gabriel arrived in person with the answer that Daniel had requested. Gabriel said that he was dispatched immediately upon God hearing Daniel's request, but was held up along the way by a demonic entity that he was forced to battle.

The point being, when we pray and ask for God's help, God dispatches His angels to answer our prayer requests. I then asked my friend to envision herself standing face to face with the person she was the most angry and bitter against.

Then I said, envision now that God has just sent an angel to help you, and that he is standing directly behind you. This angel has a special bow in his hand loaded with a fiery arrow. God has instructed him to shoot the arrow into the persons heart that hurt you.

The angel cannot do this however, because you are standing directly in his path. For the angel to finish his mission, the path must be cleared. The blockage is actually your unforgiveness and your judgment against the person that you are bitter against. You must choose to forgive.

The important fact is that after we do forgive, we can then be loosed from the spiritual bondage, and the physical and emotional trauma attached to that bitterness. God can then begin to fully heal our broken hearts, remove all of our hurts, and cast away all the dreadful memories that tagged along with them.

Forgiveness is about us being spiritually set free so that we are able to receive God's healing and deliverance. This is all part of the fullness of our salvation.

Ultimate forgiveness is what Jesus showed us on the cross when He lovingly declared..."Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

My friend then allowed me to pray with her. She asked God's forgiveness for harboring bitterness and unforgiveness toward her father. She forgave her father for what he had done and then asked God to heal the brokenness in her father's heart as well as her own. She also asked God to end the cycle of that generational curse of abuse in her family.

Understanding this principle of forgiveness, allowed my friend to get up and go on with her life. Actively applying this principle to her life, allowed God to clear her path for His restoration.

I have personally seen and experienced many miraculous spiritual and physical healings. I am always amazed to witness the love and power of God, when the truth of His Word is acted upon in faith.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MyChristianMyths profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from N.E. Tennesee

      Thanks suzettenaples, I'm glad that you enjoyed reading the article on The Box of Bitterness. I am very new at all this but I will heed your advice and add graphics and such. Thanks for your helpful suggestion. Keep checking back and be surprised.

    • MyChristianMyths profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from N.E. Tennesee

      Thanks Timlove for your comment on unforgiveness, you are certainly right. Forgiveness should be part of our daily spiritual housekeeping. It doesn't take much for the enemy to grasp a stronghold on us.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Very interesting and informative article. It would help if you had photos or images of some sort to break up the script. It also makes for a more interesting visit to your hub. I think your writing on bitterness and the causes and solutions to bitterness are good ones. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us and think about adding images to your future hubs.

    • Timlove profile image


      4 years ago from upstate New York

      Good word for all to keep in mind, Mychristianmyths. I find forgiveness is a daily thing. Be quick to forgive and don't allow any ill feelings to take hold in our hearts. Don't give any place to the devil. Unforgiveness is an open door for the enemy to come in and build a stronghold. The best thing to do is stop it as soon as it pops up its ugly head.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)