Bitter vs Angry

I was informed the other day that I am bitter. I simply responded with, “No, I am not bitter. I am angry.”

Since that day, I have been thinking about these two words. I probably have been overthinking since that tends to happen with me, quite frequently, I might add.

But regardless, I have been thinking…..

Bitter?

Am I bitter?

Bitter is such an ugly word. When I think of bitter, I think of crab-apples, or even worse!, grapefruit!

I don’t want to remind someone of a grapefruit!

Or….

Am I angry?

Let’s see, bitter vs. angry or any variation thereof…..

Are the words used interchangeably? Can the words be used interchangeably?

According to Miriam-Webster dictionary is the following:

angry (adjective): (a) indicative of or proceeding from anger (b) seeming to
show anger or to threaten in an angry manner

anger (noun): a strong feeling of displeasure and usually antagonism

antagonism (noun): actively expressed opposition or hostility.

bitter (adjective): marked by intensity or severity
(a) accompanied by severe pain and suffering
(b) being relentlessly determined
(c) exhibiting intense animosity
(d) harshly reproachful, marked by cynicism and rancor.

Now that we understand, what the words and their variations mean, let’s understand the story behind what I was told.

The story -in short version- I have two teenagers that don’t belong to my husband. Their dad and I haven’t been together for 15 years – wow, it’s amazing that I can say a number so high in regard to my children! Unfortunately, these two teens were raised mostly by their dad because he had custody. Since our break-up, the relationship between he and I, for the most part, has been non-existent. He had custody so other than required visitation, didn’t try to keep me involved. I was young and naive and was fooled by him and the court for many years. One of the children is now old enough to be on his own. The other is almost there. Over the last few months the younger one came to live with me, got into some trouble and had to go back to his dad’s because of it. Now I could go on and on and on just bashing this man, but I won’t because I really don’t think I am bitter. However, I know I am angry. And I am hurt.

Does that equal bitter?

Regardless of the answer – for now anyway – I have turned to the Bible for my umm…shall we say ‘someone else’s choice of words’ dilemma.

The Bible speaks very clearly about bitterness and anger:

bitterness –
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; – Hebrews 12: 14-15

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32

angry, anger –
For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – James 1:20

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. – Matthew 5:22

Now, none of these verses really answer my question directly. However, each one is helpful to me.

In the end, I must admit that

Yes, I am angry, but I am also bitter toward my teens’ dad.

So, great, I remind people of a grapefruit!

I guess it’s time for a little heart to heart with God, for a little digging deep exercise that will end in a less bitter, angry heart and forgiveness because as the Bible also states:

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, – Ephesians 4:26

and

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” – Mark 11:25

Therefore, down on my knees I shall go.

Prayers are greatly appreciated.

A blessed day to you all.

Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, renew a right spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10

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3 thoughts on “Bitter vs Angry”

  1. I have found forgiveness to be the key to unlocking the hurt of anger and/or bitterness. Forgiving the offender, forgiving ourselves and receiving forgiveness from the Lord.
    When we forgive it doesn’t mean we forget, or have to trust the person again…not all relationships are meant be restored. What will be restored is your peace with the Lord.

    It’s okay to be angry, we were created with emotions, but don’t stay angry deal with it and move on.

    I say all this as one who lived angry with a root of bitterness for many years until I released it to the Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Most of the time I don’t feel bitterness in my heart, but when a situation comes up with the person mentioned in my post, I feel angry very quickly, like I don’t have an ounce of patience to deal with him and whatever is happening at the time. Pretty much all the time, I go about my daily life without a thought of him. So I question, am I really bitter or just angry? As stated in the post, are the two words interchangeable? That’s what I wrestle with 🙂

      Like

  2. I don’t think bitterness and anger are the same or interchangeable. Jesus was angry with the money changers at the temple. His anger was righteous indignation and certainly not from a root of bitterness.
    Bitterness stems from unforgiveness.
    Anger can be for righteous reasons, but it can also be for unrighteous reasons….jealousy, pride, with holding forgiveness…you get my point.
    So in the unrighteous type of anger if it is left to fester it can develop into a root of bitterness.

    Ask the Lord to reveal the cause of your anger and when he does, be prepared to obey his instructions. Freedom awaits you my friend.

    Like

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