Looking for good Bible verses to reflect on, or wondering why the Bible matters for your everyday life? Check out our verse reflection below. It’s one of our simple devotions, great for getting started reading the Bible, and hearing how Scripture is making an impact in the lives of other believers!

Bitterness in Relationships

What doesn’t kill you gives you unhealthy coping mechanisms. Meaning…no one gets through the hard stuff in life without picking up some habits—and they’re certainly not all healthy ones.

Close relationships with others are bound to bring that stuff to the surface. In fact, it’s often the people you love the most who get the errrr—pleasure—of dealing with the worst parts of you.

It’s not always pretty, but these relationships are where God does some of his best work.

Check out this devotion by @quinlyn.jackson.

Ephesians 4:31
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

Written by Q. Jackson
Real Confession? I didn’t get out of the influence of my parent’s dysfunctional marriage unscathed. Nope. In fact, I picked up loads of unhealthy coping mechanisms along the way.

Like, for example, how I feel an urge to defiantly stop doing nice things for my husband (most recently, replacing his towel) if I think there’s even a chance he’s starting to ungratefully just “expect” it. (If you’re cringing a bit, at least we’re on the same page—I need help.)

The truth is, to have deeply healthy relationships, we all need help.

Ephesians 4:31 urges us to get rid of all bitterness. To truly dig out every speck of resentment or latent anger we’re harboring, we need Jesus’ help. Without him, it’s an impossibly tall order.

But with him, it’s an opportunity to grow and learn.

Even though we’re prone to take bitterness from our past experiences and clumsily lug it into new, unsuspecting relationships, Jesus will help us sort through the (often chaotic) effects. Whether bitterness oozes out to others in the form of intense stubbornness, detachment, or some other extreme reaction to a situation, Jesus letting our relationships with others bring that stuff to the surface is actually a kindness. Because if we accept his gentle conviction, he’s ready (and EXCITED) to show us a better way.

Why It Matters
You—like me and every (non-Jesus) human ever—are almost certainly guilty of overreacting or compensating for bruises or past hurts you’ve collected throughout your life. When relationships with others feel like they’re bringing out the worst in you, instead of regret or shame, you can have hope. Because Jesus isn’t letting others expose you to make you feel bad—he’s allowing them to help you see the broken parts because he wants to heal them.


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