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Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger . . . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Eph. 4:31–32)
Bitterness can spring from a small offense, but once it takes root, its effects are devastating. You can see bitterness in people’s eyes. You can hear it in the tone of their voices. It pervades everything, and they wouldn’t know what to do if they got rid of it. But God requires us to maintain a tender heart.
Is it possible to be kind and compassionate and yet bitter at the same time? No. Paul says to get rid of all bitterness and to be kind and compassionate one to another. Therefore, the bitterness must go. But before it can be removed, it is necessary to know what it is—and that it is there.
Since 1990, this book has been read by hundreds of thousands of people in English and many other languages. But because bitterness is endemic, this booklet needs to circulate much more. Those who read it often request more copies to give to others or to start a group study. We hope you will join us in sharing this book.
Jim Wilson has been a pastor and the director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho, for over forty years. Before that, he served as a naval officer for nine years and worked with Officers’ Christian Fellowship for another twelve. He is a father of four, grandfather of fifteen, and great-grandfather of twenty-eight and counting.