Bitterness and malice are offshoots of unforgiveness. There are folks who say, “I will never forgive so and so for what he did to me.” Others add a different style to it and say, “I have forgiven him for what he did to me, but I don’t think I can forget it.” We ought to encourage ourselves to act like our heavenly Father who never recalls offenses.
Malice and bitterness take the shine out of us, and we need to put them away to embrace God’s beauty in our lives. The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:20, “brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice, be ye children, but in understanding be men.” Babies don’t know how to keep malice; they are too innocent for that. They don’t have any sense to regard or recognize any wrong done to them. And so, the Spirit of God admonishes us to be like babies! Don’t regard the wrongs done to you by others to the extent that you become bitter. Harboring bitterness or malice in your heart short-circuits the power of God in your life, making you unable to function in the Spirit.
This was what happened to the Prophet Elisha in 2 Kings 3. When the kings of Israel, Judah and Edom came to inquire of the Lord from him, the Prophet spoke out in anger to the King of Israel: “…as the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the King of Judah, I would not look towards thee, nor see thee” (2 Kings 3:14). He had to call for a minstrel (a musician) to play, so the anointing could come on him. Elisha was so angry and bitter against the king of Israel that he could not hear what the Spirit was saying.
Be admonished today, to completely put away bitterness and malice; give no room for Satan in your life. Sincerely forgive those you hold something against. Do that today; don’t wait till tomorrow. Show them the love of the Father, as the Father has shown you His love through Christ.