We can apply bitterness to our wounds and not even realize that it is there. One of the ways we apply it is by withholding full forgiveness from the person that hurt us. We may forgive them yet keep record just in case they do it again. It is that just in case that is the bitterness that is applied.
It is that just in case that doesn't allow God to do His work in healing the hurt properly. It is that Just in case that festers underneath the bitterness. It is that just in case that will later come out in a negative attitude or physical illness.
Once bitterness gets started it takes over everything. You find yourself hiding behind the mask that everything is OK. When on the inside it is not and the feeling of being a fake compounds the mess on the inside.
I know this because that was me until I gave the bitterness over to the Lord.
My dad was verbally and emotionally abusive. Seemed to have gotten worse my teenage years. Every time something happened I would hold on to the just in case, or next time I won't.
I can even remember crying to God, "But what does the child do when provoked to anger?" I would tell myself that I didn't have it as bad as some of the others in my youth group. All the while knowing I was lying to myself.
All the time the bitterness was growing and feeding the MRSA Staph that I had a problem with since I was nine. Like the bitterness was spreading over my heart the staph was spreading throughout my body.
Then in 2010, the staph manifested as the monster that it Had become. One popped up in the back of my neck the size of my fist. Since I had been dealing with it since I was 9 I had become allergic to all the antibiotics that are used to treat it.
It was after that I started seeing a functional medicine doctor. My brother calls him a witch doctor because he took my family off of grains and sugar. The staph has not appeared that big since I started seeing him.
One day when I went in he told me that I would not be able to get healed until I dealt with the bitterness that I was holding onto. The 90 minute drive home was difficult. Yet very healing. I wished the windshield wipers worked on the inside of the car as I started talking to God about the bitterness and let Him do the healing that the bitterness prevented.
The transformation of my heart was as if a big weight had been removed. If only it would show on the scales. The anger and hurt was gone. No longer did I feel like I was putting on an act of everything was fine. I was free to be myself.