Q: How can I permanently remove bitterness from my heart for person who hurt me emotionally?
A: Forgiveness can be difficult. It isn’t something that comes naturally to us as humans. It can be especially difficult if the hurt was deep. As Christians, it is our responsibility to forgive others and to have a forgiving posture in our hearts toward them. However, if we hold on to bitterness, then one of two thing is true:
1. We haven’t truly forgiven the person, or
2. We have forgiven them but we haven’t handed the situation over to God.
First, you need to determine if you’ve truly forgiven the person in question. I would suggest reading through our article on forgiveness here: https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-forgiveness.html.
If you have truly forgiven the individual, then you need to turn the situation over to the Lord. Romans 12:19 says, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Sometimes we can feel bitter if the person who hurt us shows no remorse or seems to be going on with their life as if nothing happened. In this situation we remember Romans 12:19 and the fact that God is a just God. On the Day of Judgement, He will deal with every wrong committed in this world. Justice was either served on the cross of Christ or it will be served by eternal punishment in hell.
I would also suggest that you pray about the situation and the person before the Lord. Jesus told us in Matthew 5:44 to pray for those who persecute us. I think that certainly applies to those who hurt us emotionally. As we pray for them, the Lord will begin to change our perspective on the person and the situation. It’s hard to be bitter toward someone that you’re praying for.
At the end of the day, forgiveness is something God has given believers the power to do so lean on Him and ask Him to help you with these feelings of bitterness. We are called to forgive and to love our enemies. Holding on to bitterness doesn’t allow us to do that and allows the event to continue to hurt us. Forgive, give it over to the Lord, and pray.