Let Bitterness Go

Are you still holding onto bitterness?

This is Vince Miller.

Our text today is from Luke 15:28. It reads:

But [the older brother] was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him. — Luke 15:28

This, of course, is the conclusion to one of the greatest stories Jesus ever told. We know it as the story of The Prodigal Son. But the interesting twist in the story is that the prodigal is not who you think he would be when you get to the end story. The younger son had left and returned. He is a prodigal restored. But now we discover a twist in the plot. The older son is now a prodigal who is left undecided.

The father entreats him to come up to the house and celebrate that his youngest son has come home. But he can’t. All those years, his anger was brewing. Unseen, it was brewing in bitterness in disgust toward his brother. Now that he has returned, so has this son’s anger. Then his bitterness turns to his father, the one who welcomed that younger son home. Now his anger is exposed.

But then we see something incredible from the father. This older son’s anger, contempt, and bitterness do not, in any way, change his father’s love. But that’s because this isn’t any father. It’s the Father. It’s a story about God and his love. And within this incredible story, Jesus tells us about the unthinkable love of God. A Father who loves his sons despite their anger and bitterness.

Brother, this is your Father. And he loves you.

Here is your call to action today:

Let go of the bitterness that has its grip on you. Give it to the Father and come home to his love. If you are ready, say this out loud today. “Father, I am ready to let go of my grip on bitterness and accept your love.”

You can visit me at vincemiller.com.

And live all for him, who lived all in for you!

54 thoughts on “Let Bitterness Go

  1. Eddie Ackerman says:

    Father, I am ready to let go of my grip on bitterness and accept your love. God, Abba, Father, help me to forgive my children and wife quickly so that I don’t fall back into the temptation of holding onto bitterness. Amen.

  2. Randall says:

    Father, I am ready to let go of bitterness and accept your love. I don’t want to dwell on the past anymore. Please help me to forgive my enemies, and forgive myself. Help me to move forward in your love and surrender all bitterness from the past to you.

  3. Carlos Cotto says:

    Need to let go of past disappointments from family (Mom). Even my own unrealistic expectations of myself. Lay at the Cross! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  4. Nathaniel R Parker says:

    I was badly hurt by a church years ago. I am finally now starting to let go. I feel pulled to go back to a new place and need to trust. I know he has my heart just scared to turn it over.

  5. Greg Naugle says:

    I need to accept gods love even though I’ve let anger and self righteousness ruin relationships in my life and now perhaps my marriage as well. I’ve struggled with anger and entitlement for so long in my life that a vicious cycle kept repeating itself, but I no longer am willing to live with it or use the excuse of shame to not break the cycle. I’ll be living seperate from my wife with no guaruntees that our relationship will be restored because of all the emotional abuse and sometimes physical abuse I’ve put her through over 28 years of marriage almost 29. I do have to own my sin but I don’t have to be a slave to it anymore.

  6. Douglas says:

    For me personally, 100% of time when I have a pity party or don’t things don’t go the way I wish they would I hear about or meet or see somebody or other people that got it a lot worse than what I’m complaining about. God calls each day the present for a reason. We love God to look in our hearts and know every day there’s a reason for us being here until it’s time to go home.

  7. John says:

    How could God love a sinful and broken person like myself? I think it’s this age old question that provides me with so much hope. I find myself in absolute awe and wonder of the endless love that he has for us all and imagine myself on the banks of the Jordan river watching with absolute amazement as John the Baptist set the stage for God’s gift by sending his son Jesus down to earth to be baptized and ultimately pay the price for our sins. Imagine that. Standing before Jesus and being humbled by his presence and hopeful that others will too receive this amazing gift. Thank you God for saving a wretch like me and continuing to mold my heart to desire you more. Your love is amazing and I am so so thankful for your presence.

  8. Doug says:

    I am thankful for God’s abundant mercy. Today’s challenge bring a picture to my mind of a small child. He is mad, crying, upset that he did not get his way. He is standing off by himself, but not in a corner. His mother is several feet away desiring a teachable moment. Wanting him to get over himself. This tantrum is so childish. Yet as an adult. how often do I do this? God lovingly and patiently waits for me to get over myself!

  9. Keith Thompson says:

    I Am Thankful that Gods love is never ending. I need to show his love that is freely given to me to others. I need to be quick to forgive rather than quick to anger and lash out on others when I’m angry and acting like a spoilt child.

  10. Michael Prill says:

    “We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God love you and has chosen you to be his own people” 1 Thessalonians 1:4
    I also need to remind myself that God loves me even when I am angry and in a difficult time.

  11. Dennis James says:

    I don’t doubt that God loves me . But I need to show His love through me in times when I get angry.

  12. Todd McClanahan says:

    Remembering Always that God first loved us (me) helps remind me to love others in the same way. Many times that I’m judging others and being angry with them, I’m stumbling over the huge log that’s in my eye. God encourage me to love others today. Amen

  13. Matthew says:

    God is so amazing. This week I have reflected on Matthew 18-the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. I have a tremendous debt of sin that God has cancelled-and the fact that Jesus gave up his life on the cross ( Romans 5) while I was still in debt is the greatest expression of love.

  14. anyhill electric scooter says:

    I got this web page from my friend who told me about this web site and now this time I am visiting this site and reading very informative posts at this time.

  15. Chris says:

    I’m so thankful God loves me even when I throw a tantrum. Just like the older brother, I get like this when i have an inaccurate view of my Heavenly Father. Forgive me Lord and thank you that You never give up on me.

    • Sean Swift says:

      Psalm 86:6 springs to mind and one I should never forget.

      You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
      abounding in love to all who call to you

  16. Daniel Chapman says:

    So, when I’m angry and refuse to be loved, my Father comes out of a good place, having a good time to love on miserable ole me and beg and plead for me to come in and have a good time.

    Father I’m sorry for being so stubborn and grumpy and childish and unloving and …………………
    So make me more like You so I can love others the way You want me to and I can love You the way I should.

  17. Jack says:

    I process things internally. What this lesson teaches me that in my toxic thoughts when I have been wronged, I separate myself from the love of the Father. The consequence is not so much that God can avenge the wrong that was done, but that I cannot love my enemy. It is in this toxic state that God loses an opportunity to use me to love the the one who has done wrong. Pray that I can learn to honor God by my actions in times when I feel wronged.

  18. Tim S. says:

    Thank you for loving me even with all my sin lord. I ask you to help me to trust you. And keep my calm lord

  19. Bobby Johnsom says:

    Lord I thank you for my life I thank you for loving me in spite who I really am.
    Father help me to have forgiveness and grace from my anger

  20. Dean says:

    In my grow group study, we are learning just how much God loves us. When we sin, God runs toward us and offers unlimited love. This has been a good week for me. I am recognizing my anger issues and God is helping me get things under control. So thankful for a loving God.

  21. Jeremy White says:

    I had a loving home and father growing up, so not sure why I struggled with God’s loves so much especially in my mid-20’s. It could have been the shame I felt in how I lived in college. The enemy will do whatever he can for us to stay in that shame and guilt. Had a seminary professor buy me the book, “He Loves Me” by Wayne Jacobson that changed my life. Now, 20-years later, I bask in God’s love on a regular basis. Think and reflect on what the Lord says about you. Surround yourself with people, especially other men who bring out the best in you and can help draw you closer to the Lord.

  22. James Gould says:

    I feel like I have spent a life time building a wall so as to not let people in, to let people love me. Unless I know that they like me or have the ability to love me. I know I need God’s Love to tame my wicked ways. I pray and need to do continuous prayer and ask for that love to tame my heart.

  23. Trent C Rakes says:

    I need to remember I am loved. Not the person I could be if I got my ducks in a row. Me. Right now. And I can never get myself righteous and clean. Therefore I have and need my SAVIOR!

  24. Chris says:

    I needed to here this. I think my anger comes from a place of me not feeling loved. It is a great thing to know that my anger does not disqualify me from being loved by Jesus. I struggle with feelings of not being enough on a daily basis. I am loved by God. I am redeemed.

  25. Dennis James says:

    Vince, this couldn’t be more timely. I know I have failed miserably the last couple days on controlling my anger. Just need to experience God’s love right where I am .

  26. Eddie Ackerman says:

    I need to let God be at the forefront of my thoughts by being in more consistent communication, prayer throughout my day, with my Abba, Father.

  27. Mark says:

    I struggle at times with Loving myself, letting go of past sins and failures, bitterness and anger. In spite of that I know that God loves me and wants only for me to move beyond those things, I pray that God will be present when things trigger me into those things which have passed away – and bring me together with Him to the new wonderful things he has in store for me.

  28. Dave Egesdal says:

    I pray to be loved by God and to be filled by the Holy Spirit and heal my wounds and wipe away by bitterness.

  29. Steve says:

    I need to God to love me out of my bitterness and anger towards myself. I know my triggers, but too much of the time don’t catch them until I’ve acted out; then I get upset with myself for that and the cycle keeps spinning. I need Him to help me persevere and continue to try to do/be better.

  30. Cory B says:

    I like what Collin said about God seeing his heart. When I get angry, I know He always gives me a way out to avoid it. Sometimes I don’t want God to see my heart when I choose poorly. Yet I still know at the end of the day He loves me and forgives me. I just hate that feeling of letting Him down.

  31. Jody Jones says:

    Bitterness is a hard thing to deal with…. When you think you have it beat it comes back triggered by
    whatever.. I need God to love me in those times of weakness and help me let those things go!

  32. Dean Wendler says:

    I am so grateful for God’s love for me. He is the one that can soften my heart in times of bitterness.

  33. David L. Trima says:

    Being an only child to my earthly parents, I have to really think hard when I hear this parable (although one of my favorites). I can’t imagine myself being in the older brother’s position. To have stayed behind to work, while my brother partied. But as life went on, it sort of happened at work. I’d toil and work while others would get the accolades, without them deserving it

  34. Dennis James says:

    I need to allow God’s relentless love flow in my thoughts during my times of failure wjhen I allow the enemy to cause me to stumble. For when I am weak, HE is strong.

  35. Collin Boggs says:

    I need to hear God say, “I see your heart, and I see that you’re trying. I love you for who you are.”

  36. Kenneth says:

    When there are times that I am under attack by the world and I get angry and my self esteem is getting bombarded, I will think of Zephaniah 3:17 “He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but he will rejoice over you with singing.” Imagine that… God loves me so much that He is singing my praises and about His love for me. That immediately puts my in a better frame of mind.

      • Jesse Skytland says:

        God’s Love for me is the most awsome, for he has and always will be here next to me with me loving us thru everything today to eternity.

  37. Richard says:

    I know the Father loves me, I see it every day. My desire is to live a “James “ life, quick to hear, slow to anger.

  38. Vince Miller says:

    I need to let God love me through regrets, mistakes, and trials. I am not a regret or mistake in His eyes, and I must see myself the way that he sees me.

  39. raymond jaurequi says:

    Because of foolish anger I did not talk to my father for 27 years!! Became Christian ( which l need to grow everyday) He died 27 yrs ago but we had a awesome 14 years together before he went to the Lord!!

    • W. James Anderson says:

      There lies my rub. With my Dad. Not as a whole but something specific. Navigating my way through that is difficult.

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