5 Verses to Combat Bitterness

Author: Karly Grant

When I think about the role of bitterness in my life I quickly become prideful. I am either too proud to admit that I am one of “those” people who are bitter, angry, and miserable, or I go the other route and think that I deserve to be bitter because nobody understands how I’ve been wronged or hurt.

Bitterness Karly Grant (1)Admittedly, the last few years I haven’t been a shining example when it comes to bitterness. There have been some extremely difficult times in my family and in other relationships. There have been periods when I was too proud to admit to being bitter or unforgiving. There were periods when I thought it was my right to just sit in bitterness. Then I think of Jesus and the rights to be bitter he could hold over me.

During these times, Jesus reminded me over and over that I was not alone in this. I have a God who cares about me, and to him I long to bring glory. My bitterness and pride does not give my God the sacrifice of praise I desire to lay at his feet. I have often heard a paraphrase of the Josh Shipp quote, “You either get bitter or you get better…” combined with some version of “the difference is just one letter, and that letter is I.” I am here to tell you that I have seen a lot more healing and growth when it’s not all about the “I” of pride, but when it’s about the J-E-S-U-S who paid the ultimate price to give me freedom.

His wisdom is better than my own. His words are true and have helped me through difficult times. I have held to the following verses to help me in this fight against bitterness:

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 (ESV)

“Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.” Isaiah 38:17

“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

Bitterness Karly Grant“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21

“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.” Psalm 4:4-5

These are just a few of the amazing words that God uses to speak into our lives and hearts. Many other verses could be used as well, but I think the biggest message is that God is for us and Bitterness is against us. It breeds angst and pride. As I have gone through, and will continue to go through difficult times, I am so thankful to have a God in my life who accepts my repentance my bitterness and leads me to glorifying Him for all the blessings I have in life.


image1 (1)Karly is a single 30-something who is striving to follow Jesus and trust Him in every situation. She can be found with a cup of tea or a good beer in hand while cozied up with a good book or enjoying a laugh with family or friends. God has her on a wild journey. In the last year she has quit her job of 15+ years and gone back to school full-time to pursue a career/ministry in the realm  of adoption. God has laid this heavily on her heart and she is willing to trust Him. This homebody is taking the biggest leap of faith yet this spring and moving 1,700 miles away from the life and people she has known as long as she can remember. She is  both terrified and so stinking excited to see how God moves and what opportunities He provides in this adventure.
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God Makes Me Thrive

Author: Karly Grant

January is an interesting time of year. Honestly for me, it is often a difficult time. It is a time when people look back at the past year and forward for what they hope. For those that make resolutions, often it’s a time when they make the same ones as the year before—they didn’t succeed the previous year and know the change is still needed. While some are hopeful for the new start, others like myself can sometimes fall into a pit of feeling like they haven’t accomplished or have failed.

My birthday weaves into the beginning of January as well. For much of my adult life, January has brought heartache as I realize I am yet another year older, still not married, and my dreams of one day having children are looking more and more like fantasy. While I still have moments of sadness over these things, looking back on 2017 and ahead to 2018 provides brighter glimpses of hope this time around.

The reason is simple: God has shown me how He helped me to thrive. I clung closer to Jesus than ever before, and took scary steps of faith to follow where He led me.

thrive Karly GrantGod showed me how thriving very well could have been my word of the year for 2017. I just discovered it a year too late. That’s kind of how I roll. I’ve never been one to jump on the bandwagon of things just because everyone else is doing it. I’m too stubborn. Instead, I jump on later when it’s not longer popular. I know, I’m weird and stubborn, but God loves me and gets me. That’s why he gave me my 2017 word a year later. Maybe, I’ll reverse the trend and just start naming years after I have lived them. #onewordforlastyear

Being fresh out of a relationship as the year began, allowed me to cling to Jesus more. I saw that I didn’t need a relationship to thrive. My dreams of getting married and having a family may have been put on hold, but other dreams that I had forgotten about were about to be resurrected.

I had dreamed of furthering my education in a different part of the country and taking the opportunity to be adventurous. I let the realities of a relationship overshadow those ideas. I would have been tied down to a small region with fewer schooling options. Once the breakup happened, God reminded me what He placed in my heart.  I truly believe I will thrive as I continue to walk through the doors God is opening.

In February of last year, after much prayer, I decided to take another huge step of faith. I gave notice that I would not be returning to my job in the fall as I would be going to school full time. By earthly standards, this may have seemed foolish, but God has provided what I need. While it is stressful and scary at times, I am at peace with where God is leading. I know He is the one who is guiding me to abundant life. I know He goes before me.

Karly Grant ThriveSpring brought some unexpected health challenges. God was with me each step of the way as I dropped out of classes that term and pushed my moving plans. I had to trust that His timing was better than mine. I had to rest and get healthy. Sometimes, with God, resting is thriving, and doing what you have to do puts you right where you need to be.

And now with 2017 in the past and full time school in the future, I trust God to use me as I thrive exactly where He puts me for such a time as this. A time where I am able venture across the country to follow where He leads.  As I look ahead to 2018, I have no idea what is in store. I do know that God will be with me every step of the way, as He continues to help me thrive for His glory.


image1 (1)Readers, What challenge are you allowing God to move you into in 2018?

Karly is a single 30-something who is striving to follow Jesus and trust Him in every situation. She can be found with a cup of tea or a good beer in hand while cozied up with a good book or enjoying a laugh with family or friends. God has her on a wild journey. In the last year she has quit her job of 15+ years and gone back to school full-time to pursue a career/ministry in the realm  of adoption. God has laid this heavily on her heart and she is willing to trust Him. This homebody is taking the biggest leap of faith yet this spring and moving 1,700 miles away from the life and people she has known as long as she can remember. She is  both terrified and so stinking excited to see how God moves and what opportunities He provides in this adventure.