25 Bible Verses About Bitterness (With Commentary)

Bitterness is a poison that can corrode the soul and destroy relationships, but the Bible offers a remedy for this toxic emotion. Join us as we explore the verses that speak to the dangers of bitterness and the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation in releasing its grip on our hearts, freeing us to experience the fullness of joy and peace that God intends for us.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Being Broken

Bible Verses About Bitterness

Hebrews 12:15

“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

This verse warns against the dangers of allowing bitterness to take root in our hearts. Bitterness can lead to trouble and defilement, affecting not only ourselves but also those around us. It highlights the importance of guarding our hearts and seeking God’s grace to overcome any bitterness we may feel.

Ephesians 4:31

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

In this verse, we are instructed to eliminate bitterness from our lives. Bitterness can lead to destructive behaviors such as rage, anger, and slander. Instead, we are called to live a life free from malice and filled with love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Colossians 3:19

“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”

This verse speaks to husbands, calling them to love their wives and avoid treating them harshly. Bitterness can often seep into relationships, causing resentment and harshness. However, by choosing to love selflessly, husbands can create an environment of unity and joy in their marriages.

Proverbs 14:10

“Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.”

This verse acknowledges that every heart experiences its own bitterness, unique to each individual. It reminds us to be compassionate and understanding towards others, recognizing that we may not fully comprehend the depths of their struggles or the joys they experience. It encourages us to approach others with empathy and grace.

Isaiah 38:17

“Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.”

This verse reflects the perspective of King Hezekiah, who recognized that even in his suffering and anguish, it was ultimately for his benefit. It speaks to the transformative power of God’s love to rescue us from destruction and forgive our sins. It reminds us that God can bring redemption and healing from even the bitterest moments of our lives.

1 Peter 2:23

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

This verse refers to Jesus, who, in the face of insults and suffering, chose not to retaliate or make threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to God, who judges justly. It serves as a powerful example of responding to bitterness and mistreatment with forgiveness, entrusting the situation to God’s justice.

Lamentations 3:19-20

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.”

In this verse, the author laments the bitterness and affliction they have experienced. It reflects a state of deep despair and emotional heaviness. It serves as a reminder that bitterness can sometimes overwhelm us, leading to a downcast soul. However, even in these moments, we can turn to God for comfort and healing.

James 3:14

“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.”

This verse cautions against harboring bitter envy and selfish ambition within our hearts. These negative emotions can lead to deception and denial of the truth. Instead, we are called to confront and address any bitterness within us, seeking healing and transformation through God’s grace.

Romans 12:17-18

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

These verses exhort us not to retaliate with evil when we face bitterness or mistreatment. Rather, we are called to respond with kindness, seeking to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. Additionally, we are encouraged to strive for peace with all individuals to the best of our ability, letting go of bitterness and pursuing reconciliation.

Psalm 73:21-22

“When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.”

The psalmist acknowledges that when bitterness takes hold of their heart, they become senseless and ignorant, acting like a brute beast. This verse serves as a reminder of the destructive nature of bitterness, which can cloud our judgment and lead us astray. It emphasizes the importance of seeking God’s guidance and surrendering our bitterness to Him.

Matthew 5:43-44

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

This verse challenges the common notion of hating one’s enemies by instructing us to love them instead. Even in the face of persecution or mistreatment, we are called to respond with love and prayer. In doing so, we can overcome bitterness and extend God’s grace to those who may have hurt us.

Job 21:25

“Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.”

Here, Job reflects on the fate of the wicked, stating that some die in bitterness of soul, having never experienced anything good. This verse serves as a reminder that bitterness can prevent us from enjoying the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. It urges us to seek healing and freedom from bitterness, so that we may fully embrace God’s goodness.

Luke 6:45

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

This verse highlights the connection between the condition of our hearts and our speech. It emphasizes the importance of addressing any bitterness within us so that our words may be filled with goodness and love. It reminds us that bitterness can lead to hurtful words and actions, while a heart transformed by God’s love produces goodness and kindness.

Acts 8:23

“For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

In this verse, Peter confronts Simon, who is filled with bitterness and held captive by sin. It serves as a reminder of the destructive power of bitterness, which can entangle us and hinder our spiritual growth. It urges us to confront and release any bitterness in our lives, seeking freedom through repentance and God’s grace.

Psalm 64:3

“They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.”

This verse depicts the harmful effects of bitterness on our speech. When bitterness takes root within us, our tongues can become like swords, inflicting wounds with our words. It reminds us of the importance of guarding our hearts, being mindful of the words we speak, and choosing to extend grace and kindness instead of cruelty.

Romans 14:19

“Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

In this verse, we are called to prioritize peace and building up one another. It encourages us to make every effort to avoid bitterness and strive for unity and mutual edification. By choosing to let go of bitterness and pursue peace, we create an environment that fosters love, growth, and harmony.

Psalm 31:10

“My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.”

This verse expresses the deep pain and suffering that bitterness can cause. When bitterness consumes us, it can lead to anguish, groaning, and physical weakness. It reminds us of the detrimental impact that holding onto bitterness can have on our overall well-being and highlights the need for healing and release.

Proverbs 17:14

“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”

This verse warns against the destructive nature of quarrels and disputes. It draws a parallel between starting a quarrel and breaching a dam, implying that once the dam is breached, the damage is uncontrollable. Similarly, once a dispute erupts, it can escalate and harm relationships irreparably. It reminds us of the importance of forgiveness and letting go of bitterness before it escalates into greater conflicts.

Hebrews 12:3

“Consider him [Jesus] who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

This verse encourages us to look to Jesus as the ultimate example of enduring opposition without growing weary or losing heart. It serves as a reminder that Jesus faced immense bitterness and mistreatment during His earthly ministry, yet He remained steadfast in His mission. It inspires us to persevere in the face of bitterness, knowing that we are not alone but can draw strength from Christ’s example.

Proverbs 15:1

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Here, we are reminded of the power of gentleness and kindness in diffusing conflict. Responding to bitterness or anger with a gentle answer can disarm the situation and open the door to reconciliation. It challenges us to choose our words carefully and intentionally diffuse tense situations, even when faced with hostility.

Psalm 37:8

“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.”

In this verse, we are encouraged to refrain from anger and turn away from wrath. It cautions against allowing bitterness to lead us down a path of evil. Instead, we are called to trust in the Lord and release our worries and anxieties. By letting go of bitterness and surrendering our concerns to God, we can walk in His peace and righteousness.

Proverbs 3:7

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”

This verse reminds us not to rely on our own wisdom and understanding. Bitterness often stems from holding onto our own grievances and refusing to let go. Instead, we are called to fear the Lord and shun evil, trusting in His divine wisdom and guidance. By surrendering our bitterness to God, He can lead us on a path of healing and righteousness.

1 Thessalonians 5:15

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.”

These verses urge us not to seek revenge or repay wrong with wrong. Instead, we are called to pursue what is good for one another and for everyone. They emphasize the importance of forgiveness, grace, and love, which can help us overcome bitterness and build healthier, more harmonious relationships.

Ephesians 4:26-27

“In your anger, do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

This passage instructs us not to let anger lead us into sin. It challenges us to deal with frustrations and conflicts promptly, rather than allowing them to fester and evolve into bitterness. By resolving conflicts in a timely manner and seeking reconciliation, we prevent bitterness from taking root and opening the door for the enemy’s influence in our lives.

What Does the Bible Say About Bitterness?

As Christians, we are reminded in the Bible to avoid bitterness and to live in forgiveness. In Ephesians 4:31-32, we are urged to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Bitterness can hinder our spiritual and emotional well-being, and it can also affect our relationships with others. In Hebrews 12:15, it warns us to “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Moreover, the Bible instructs us to forgive others just as God, through Christ, has forgiven us. Colossians 3:13 tells us to “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Instead of holding onto bitterness, we are to turn to God in prayer and seek His help in dealing with any feelings of bitterness. Psalm 37:8 encourages us, saying, “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.”

Ultimately, by following the teachings of the Bible, we can overcome bitterness through love, forgiveness, and reliance on God’s grace.