Many people harbor bitterness against those who have wronged them in childhood. The following Bible study will help those caught in the trap of bitterness to allow the Holy Spirit to heal childhood hurts.
1. The Bible counsels us to put away childish things, or hurts from childhood.
1 Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
2. Paul counsels us to forget those things which are behind.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
3. We can only forget the past if we are honest with ourselves and others.
Therefore, putting away lying, “ Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
a. God does not forsake us in discouragement
I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
4. God knew us before we were born. He has a plan for our lives.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
5. Since God is sovereign and we are His workmanship, no one can spoil His plan for our lives.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
6. He has a purpose for all that has happened to us and will make all things beautiful in His time.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
7. He heals the broken hearted giving us beauty for the ashes of our lives.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
8. We can honestly forgive others for the way they have treated us because Christ has forgiven us for the way we have treated Him.
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
9. Extending forgiveness to others who have wronged us lances the boil of bitterness. Just as Jesus forgave those who crucified Him, we can forgive those who have wounded us.
bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
10. The spirit of revenge is self-destructive. As we overcome evil with good, we ourselves are healed.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
11. Others may mean us evil but God will accomplish good.
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.