Podcast Episode 002: How to Release the Slimy Grimly Grips of Bitterness


Are you holding on to hurt like a wounded person would hold onto crutches in fear of falling and re-injuring themselves? Did you know that lingering hurt turns into bitterness? Bitterness can destroy a visionary’s ability to see clearly? In this podcast visionaries will learn practical steps you can take to begin the process of  getting free from bitterness so you can walk in freedom and the fullest of God.

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Are you holding on to hurt like a wounded person would hold onto crutches in fear of falling and re-injuring themselves? Did you know that lingering hurt turns into bitterness? Bitterness can destroy a visionary’s ability to see clearly?

First, let’s define bitterness.  Bitterness is not anger.  Bitterness is anger’s dangerous twin. It is a form of malice like anger but the degree of intensity is devastating.  Anger can be expressed both constructively and destructively.  Bitterness can only bare destructive behaviors.   Bitterness comes from hurt that has been simmering and consists of intentional unforgiveness. I believe that bitterness is like cancer and it poisons the heart. When I think of bitterness, I think of a human lung that has been exposed to years of tobacco and nicotine use. It is very dark and callous.  When comparing anger and bitterness, anger is about the present whereas bitterness is about the past affecting the present and impacting the future negatively and in a big way. You can see anger coming, but bitterness is like a quiet storm ready to do major damage. Anger is not always bad but bitterness is never good.

Can being bitter really affect a your ability to see clearly God’s vision for your life. Absolutely! People who are bitter tend to be paranoid, doubtful, guarded, moody and easily irritated causing them to appear to be unapproachable.  Bitter people will easily push people away because of their constant suspicions causing them to miss divine connections.  Connections God ordained. Bitter people feel alone even when they are around others.  A visionary who is bitter can miss identifying and experiencing the “good things” that are right there in front of their face.  Gifts. I am reminded of James 1:17 where it says that every good gift is from God.

Given the characteristics of a bitter person, there is no way God can fully use him or her.  Here’s why.  If you have a God-given vision, your vision entails serving people in some capacity, degree or manner.  If you are paranoid, suspect and unapproachable, how can God use you to the fullest?  He can’t. Individuals who are about the Father’s business have a strong desire to BE about the Father’s business, a yielded vessel. You can’t be a yielded vessel with a cold and callous heart.  For this reason, you must surrender any bitterness to God. Only He can handle it.

What can you do today to begin the process of being free from bitterness?

First, stop replaying the incident over and over in your head. Imagine a repeat button on a recording device.  Stop pressing the “repeat” button.

Second, ask yourself these key questions:image

  1. What exactly caused me to feel bitter?
  2. What positives are being added to my life holding on to the bitterness?
  3. Is being bitter serving me or severing me?
  4. Did the person who hurt me really mean to hurt me?
  5. Was that person out to get or destroy me?
  6. Does the person who hurt me know that they hurt me?

Thirdly, confess your feelings and ask God to show you You. Examine yourself. You are only responsible for your own actions, not anyone else’s.

Fourth, make a decision to look beyond yourself so you can welcome in peace that surpasses understanding. Focus your attention on God.

Lastly, seek non-judgmental counsel if you are finding it hard to release the slimy, grimy and grim hold of bitterness. This person can be a friend that you trust, a spiritual leader or professional counsel. Don’t be afraid to seek help.

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bitterness is poison and begins with hurt. It is worse than anger and tends to linger if we allow it to do so.  Bitterness brings out the worst in a person.  There is no joy in being bitter.  Bitterness is a sign of being focused on “you” instead of the Great Vision Giver.  Let him take the burden.  He can carry it. You can’t.

Your Growth Action Plan (GAP)

Get a journal and write the answers to the questions. Be honest with yourself. Be willing to surrender the bitterness to God. Let it go. Download and complete the “Dig Deeper” Worksheet.

Make an uncommon commitment to do whatever it takes to get rid of bitterness so you can be free to do great things for God with a clean heart.Dig deeper worksheet button


Nanette Floyd Patterson, “The Vision Manifestation Queen”,

Licensed Professional Counselor & Master HIScoach