Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611

Lessons For Ladies
This Series was taught by Mrs. James Modlish

Lesson Three

Bitter or Better?



Many years ago I worked with a woman who was absolutely consumed with bitterness; I also met a few Christians over the years who battled this same malady in their lives. If fact, it is often a dead heat tie as to who can be more bitter...the Christian or the non-Christian.

We sometimes keep bitterness as a personal pet; we feed it, pamper it, stroke it and help it grow. And then when it gets big enough, it reaches up and bites us. (Jas. 3:14-16) is a great wake up call.

What bitterness is:

A. Likened to wormwood in (Proverbs. 5:3-4). Wormwood is a plant with a bitter, nauseous taste, but with the ability to excite action in the stomach and to strengthen. 

B. Bitterness can be a powerful motivator. (Deut. 29:18). Bitterness can become a "god."
C. An enabler to sin. (Psalms 64:2-4)

What bitterness does:

(Ruth 1:10-21) - Naomi found herself in an alien land and had suffered the loss of her husband and sons. One daughter-in-law made the choice to stay in her native land rather return with Naomi to Judah, but Ruth professed her loyalty to her mother-in-law steadfastly and traveled to Bethlehem with her.


No one would discount Naomi's sad plight; she indeed did suffer some real trials; however...

A. Bitterness causes self-pity. (Ruth 1:12-13) Another stunning example of bitterness and self-pity is Jonah. (Jonah 4:1-4)
B. It impairs your judgment. (Ruth 1:15) Naomi allows Orpah to go back to "her gods" and advises Ruth to do the same. This was the god Chemosh mentioned in (1 Kings 11:7) ...worship of him involved terrible acts.
C. Bitterness changes your appearance. (Ruth 1:19) Naomi wasn't recognized in her hometown. Another example of such a change in appearance is that of Cain in (Gen. 4:5) where it is recorded that "his countenance fell." This is a deterrent for me... I don't want my countenance sagging anymore than it already is! The remedy for your countenance is found in (Psa. 42:11).
D. Bitterness makes you mad at God. (Ruth 1:20-21)

[1]. The name Naomi means pleasant, but Mara means bitter. We read about this name previously in (Ex. 15:23) in regard to the water that the children of Israel could not drink because it was bitter.

Where bitterness takes aim:

A. Husbands

[1]. Sometimes the focus of our love and hopes for the future becomes the focus of our bitterness.

[2]. Women have a great propensity to become bitter toward husbands than the reverse. In fact, husbands are instructed not to in (Col. 3:19).

B. Family - Bitterness is a great tool for Satan to use in destroying a family. (See Mic. 7:6 and Pro. 17:25)
C. Church - This is critical. (Heb. 12:15) explains clearly that an entire body can be defiled by that root of bitterness. And it begins with only one person.
D. God - Ultimately, all bitterness goes back to God. Whether it's family, husband, church members, etc., it actually ends up being an act of anger toward the Lord. (Proverbs 14:10) - "The heart knoweth his own bitterness..."


A. Accept God's will for your life. (Lam. 3:31-33) He has a purpose! 

B. With God's help, you can become an overcomer of bitterness. (Eph. 4:30-32)
C. Move on! (Phil. 3:13-14) This is a great time for a lapse in memory!


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