By A. C. Quinn
Often times brethren will have serious. even minor, disagreements which cause a great deal of controversy in the church. When those conflicts are allowed to “simmer” in the heart, unresolved, bitterness ensues.
Bitterness is the degree to which one is bitter in his heart. Some of the synonyms which are associated with it are: acrid, abysmal, acrimonious, sour, anger. It is little wonder, then, that Paul would warn the Ephesians about this heart-rending problem: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). Notice the words—conditions—with which bitterness is accompanied. Certainly, no Christian should ever want to allow such to dwell in his heart.
Jesus gives the way for brethren to deal with disagreements before bitterness is allowed to develop: “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first and be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). Brethren, this is not practiced enough among us.
Bitterness is a condition which will ultimately destroy the very heart and soul of an individual, if it is allowed a place in the heart; therefore, Paul tells us to put it away, separate ourselves from it lest it destroys our souls.
- A. C. Quinn preaches for the West Main Church of Christ in Wolfe City, Texas. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org