Job 5-7, Acts 8:1-25 • Key Verses: Acts 8:21-23
Stephen Harnock once observed, “Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other
person to die.” It would be comical if it were not so tragically true.
Simon the Sorcerer wanted to do what the apostles were doing, so he offered to buy the
giftedness they had from the Holy Spirit. Peter was quick to answer, discounting completely the
idea that anyone can buy the gift of God with money.
But Peter saw deeper. He saw that Simon’s heart was not right before God. In it was bitterness
and captivity to sin.
Why bitterness? Bitterness begins with dislike, and Simon disliked the apostles because they
could do what he could not. He disliked them even more when they refused his offer. His
bitterness intensified when his way was rejected totally and completely by. Peter. This brings us
to the core of bitterness—wanting for self what others have and resenting them for having it.
Bitterness is like an unpleasant taste in the mouth, but it is so much deeper than a taste. It comes
from within, from the heart. The Bible warns us against allowing bitterness to develop. We can
prevent it from taking root when we effectively deal with our pride and covetousness. But as
long as we seek to serve self, we provide the seed bed for bitterness to grow.
Ask God to help you determine if there is anyone toward whom you are bitter. If there is, ask for
His forgiveness, and make right your relationship with that person.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett