The only helpful answer to our bitterness and anger is the gospel. Paul put it this way: “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. “Admittedly, when we are bitter and angry, words like this can sound like a hyper-spiritual platitude, which pushes us to defend our bitterness by recalling the valid reasons for our pain. When we defend our angry bitterness, we appeal to a sense of justice – that to simply forgive someone who has not apologized, changed, or made amends is tantamount to condoning evil.
– Driscoll, Mark; Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in Christ; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, copyright 2013; Page 162
Forgiveness was the focal point in Christ’s teaching because he knew that without profound “to the bone” forgiveness, there is no freedom, no real joy, no peace, and no release from the pain and the root of bitterness that destroys nations, families and individuals. He understood that the key to everything important in life is forgiveness.
Brown, Steve; Three Free Sins: God’s Not Mad At You; Howard Books; New York, copyright 2012; Kindle Edition; Location 884
All of these attitudes – envy, jealousy, bitterness, an unforgiving and retaliatory spirit and a critical and gossiping spirit defile us and keep us from being holy before God. The are just as evil as immorality, drunkenness and debauchery.
– Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness, Navpress, copyright 1978, page 124
In Jesus Christ, God experienced the greatest depts of pain. Therefore, though Christianity does not provide the reason for each experience of pain, it provides resources for actually facing suffering with hope and courage rather than bitterness and despair.
– Tim Keller, Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, copyright 2008, page 27-28