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Bitterness: The Poison Of The Soul

(72)

Sermon shared by Bo Dunford

June 2008
Summary: Bitterness is the most dangerous of all attitudes to healthy Christian living!
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
About Sermon Contributor
Sermon:
HEBREWS 12:15 “BITTERNESS: THE POISON OF THE SOUL”

A) Bitterness is the most dangerous of all attitudes to healthy Christian living!
* It will eat away the vitality of your spiritual life until your testimony is in shambles.
* Bitterness is the cancer of the soul, claiming millions of victims every year.
* It spreads faster than the common cold and, if unchecked, will destroy families and churches.

B) Let me give you a private test?
* Name the three persons who have hurt you most … Name the three persons whose company you
enjoy least … Name the three persons you would most enjoy watching fail in life.
* Name someone you just can’t stand or someone you wish ill against?
* The wrong answers to these questions may mean that you are a bitter person.
* The Bible warns us “Looking diligently (or beware) lest any man fail of (or fall from) the grace
of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

C) The problem with bitterness is that you can’t hide it, nor contain it!
* It spreads like a plague until it affects everyone around you.
* Some of you may be so bitter that you can’t talk about your husband or wife …….
* Parents or children, friends or relatives, pastor or church without expressing bitterness about how
much they’ve hurt you.

D) The reality is that life is full of hurts!
* Jesus Himself warned in Luke 17:1 “It is impossible but that offences will come:”
* Life is full of hurts and it always will be!
* As long as you live, people are going to hurt you, offend you and disappoint you … But you
don’t need to be the victim of their offenses …….
* You can learn to rise above life’s disappointments.

E) Now let’s read Ephesians 4:25-32 ……. How to know if you are bitter!
* No one wants to admit they are bitter … Sometimes everyone else can tell but us!
* Let me give you another test … Let me ask you to be honest with yourself and answer a few
basic questions … Here they are:
* Does it irritate you when people don’t agree with you? … Do you think you are usually right and
others are usually wrong? … Do you find yourself giving more criticisms than compliments?
* Are you short with people? … Do you ask people “loaded” questions just to irritate them?

F) Is it difficult to talk to someone who has hurt you in the past without constantly bringing it up
again? … Do your conversations tend to turn into arguments?
* Do you feel disappointed, mistreated or betrayed? … Do you feel like God has let you down?
* Do these kind of questions make you defensive?
* Several yes answers may mean that you are probably bitter!

G) In Eph. 4:25-32, the Apostle Paul gives us five keys to overcoming bitterness …….

(1) STOP LYING AND START TELLING THE TRUTH – V.25!

A) When someone is upset, another will ask, “What’s the matter?”
* And usually the explosive response will come, “Nothing!”
* What that answer really means is, “Go away, I don’t want to talk about it.”
* Honest communication depends on honest conversation.
* Telling the truth builds bridges … Lying builds barriers.
* When people see you’re not being honest with them, they’ll stop talking to you.

(2) STOP HATING AND START LOVING – V.26-27!

A) In this passage we are warned not to stay angry, because anger destroys communication!
* Anger will lead either to aggressive
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