Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice (Eph 4:31)~~ Bitterness acts on the mind in the way poison acts on the body. Bitterness is that state of mind which willfully holds on to angry feelings, ready to take offense, able to break out in anger at any moment. It is resentful cynicism that results in an intense antagonism or hostility towards others.
The person who is bitter can be resentful, cynical, harsh, cold, relentless, and unpleasant to be around. These things lead to wrath, which is the explosion on the outside of the feelings on the inside. This unbridled wrath and anger often lead to brash self-absorption of an angry person who needs to make everyone hear and feel the pain of their grievances. Next comes slander…that speech springing from cynicism, bitterness and anger; designed to wound or injure others. All this then leads to a spirit of malice, which signifies evil-mindedness or feelings of intense hatred. This kind of attitude is sensual and devilish in its influences. Malice is a deliberate attempt to harm another person. The danger in succumbing to cynicism, bitterness and malice; allowing them to rule our hearts is that they are of a spirit that refuses reconciliation.
Hebrews 12:15 warns us to “see to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many”. The cynical, bitter person only sees their own feelings and doesn’t consider and may not even have awareness of the destruction of the lives they impact. Therefore, “every form of malice” must be done away with. We must always be wary of allowing “bitter roots” to grow in our hearts. God wills that His people live in love, joy, peace, and holiness—not in bitterness. Therefore, we must always watch diligently, pray frequently and always guard our hearts and minds…Neither giving place to the devil (Eph 4:27); And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you (Eph 4:32)!