The following process is meant for Christians only who are struggling with bitterness, anger, grudges, pain, etc against other people and wish to be freed from the same.
It is a very practical process which I have personally done and can attest that it surely works. I have also done the same with some of my close friends and clearly seen the healing it brings.
The root cause of bitterness is unforgiveness
Deep down, the real issue we are struggling against is not bitterness but unforgiveness. Unforgiveness against other people and also against ourselves.
This can be clearly seen in those Christians who proudly proclaim, "I will never forgive so and so after what they did to me".
It is good to note early that this process has nothing to do with feelings, we are acting purely on faith. But if you find yourself crying or coughing, just let it flow. Don't try to stop it.
Our lead Bible scriptures
We will be led by these verses as we go through the whole process.
- Matthew 6:14-15
- For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
- But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
- 1 John 1:8-9
- If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The conditions to receive forgiveness are very clear in the scriptures above: forgive others and then confess your own sins. And that is what we are going to do here.
- Find a quiet, comfortable, private place where you can stay for about two or more hours undisturbed. This ensures that you can release (cry, scream, etc) your heart out.
- Find a private notebook with two empty pages. We will refer to them as page 1 and page 2 going forward.
Open up page 1 and write down, with as much details as you can, any bitterness, anger, grudge, pain, unforgiveness that you may have against anyone. This includes any person who has wronged you and what they did. Write the specific details together with the person's name.
This information is for your eyes only so please be as specific and descriptive as you possibly can. Let the words flow. This is part of the healing process.
If, for example, you are struggling with betrayal, you can write:
"I was really hurt when X did Y to me knowing how I have been faithful to him/her in the past, only for him/her to turn around and stab me in the back. It hurt me greatly since I didn't expect him/her to betray me like that."
At this point, you can ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of anyone you may have a grudge against or bitter about. Ask God to bring into your mind anybody like that. Then write them down irrespective of how small or unrealistic the person or the issue seems.
Take your time, we are in no hurry.
After finishing, turn to page 2.
Open up page 2 and write down all of your sins. The Bible says that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". It's now time to write those sins down.
You know yourself better and can be able to trace exactly where you have messed up and done things against God's will but likewise, you can ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind any other sin you may have left out.
Some common sins include:
- Adultery / Lust - Jesus said that anyone who looks lustfully at a woman (or a man) has already committed adultery with them in his/her heart. Sins to do with sexuality can also come in here - pornorgraphy, masturbation, fornication, homosexuality, etc
- Pride - Sometimes pride can be so subtle it becomes hard to notice. Pride is basically times you have trusted anyone or anything else instead of God. Putting your hope on man, or money, or connections, etc.
- Theft - The main one here is tithing. If you haven't been faithful in your tithing, include it in your list. Other sins which can come in here include bribery, corruption, love of money, etc.
- The occult - involvement with things like horoscopes, palm reading, ouija boards, astrology and star gazing, etc. These things open up demonic influences over your life.
- Others include drunkenness, smoking, indecency especially in our dress code, vulgar language, complaining, etc.
Write all of them down, likewise, with as much details as you can.
And now we have come to the core of our process.
Go through page 1 audibly forgiving the person who wronged you. It is very very important that you say the words out loud and not just silently in your heart.
It can be something as simple as:
"I forgive X from my heart for doing Y to me and I release any bitterness and anger I may have held against them."
Do this for each and everyone in your list. After finishing, go to page 2.
Quoting the promises of God in Matthew 6:14 and 1 John 1:9 (the scriptures above) that if we forgive others their sins and then confess our sins, we will be forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness, proceed to confess and reject and forsake the sins you have written in page 2.
Taking complaining as an example, we can say:
"I confess that I have complained when circumstances have not worked out as I hoped which is against God's Word in Philippians 2:14-15 which tells us we should not complain. I admit I have sinned and confess it before God. And now claiming your promises as written in Matthew 6:14 and 1 John 1:9 that if we forgive others their sins and then confess our sins, we will be forgiven, I receive your forgiveness and cleansing Lord Jesus. I now openly reject and forsake complaning and I pray that God will enable me to give thanks in all situations."
Do this for each and every of the sins you have written on page 2.
Like I earlier mentioned, this has nothing to do with feelings just purely faith. If a feeling of release comes to you, it's fine; if not, it's cool too. What matters is that God will never lie and His promises are yes and amen in Christ Jesus.
And that's it. You are forgiven. You are free from all bitterness you may have held in your heart. Praise King Jesus.
If you can, it is important to find the people you have forgiven above and tell them that they wronged you and that you have forgiven them. If you are the one who did wrong, please humble yourself and ask for their forgiveness.
If these feelings of bitterness or unforgiveness resurface, please confess audibly that you have forgiven those people, you are not tied to those sins anymore and that you are free in Christ Jesus.
Some Scripture references:
You can use some or all of these scriptures in the process above, plus the earlier lead scriptures. All have been quoted from the KJV Bible.
- Matthew 5:23-24
- 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 be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
- Luke 17:3-4
- Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
- And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
- Ephesians 4:31-32
- Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
- And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
- Hebrews 12:14-15
- Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
- Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
- Psalms 32:5
- I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.
- Colossians 3:8
- But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
- Colossians 3:13
- Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
- Proverbs 28:13
- He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
- 2 Corinthians 1:19-20
- For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
- For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
- 1 John 2:12
- I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.