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Summary: Letting go of bitterness is possible because of Jesus -- because of His gift that He gives to us all, we have the freedom to release the bitterness of our hearts.

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Imagine a World Without Jesus

A World Full of Bitterness!

Last week, we talked about a world without Jesus. We talked about how if Jesus had never been born, there would be no hope in this world. We looked at the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” and how that the angel jumped in the water before George Bailey to save him. And how, that Jesus by coming to this earth, jumped in the water before us to save us.

Today, we continue to talk about a world with Jesus. So, if Jesus had never been born, not only would it be a world without hope, there would also be some other problems we would have to deal with:

The Bible has a lot to say about “Bitterness.” Obviously, God knew that this would be a real, deep-seated emotion that each one of us would have to grapple with in your lives!

That is why I love the Word of God – real answers for real life situations!

What is Bitterness?

The Dangers of Bitterness?

Healing the Bitter Heart

WHAT IS BITTERNESS?

What is interesting, the Bible uses the word “bitterness” in the following contexts:

A person believes that someone isn’t receiving their “rightful” punishment.

A person believes that he/she should be the ‘agent of correction’ in another person’s life – and God does not allow that first person to be apart of the correction process.

A person experiences the repercussions/consequences of his/her sin – just as Gods moral law has set up – and the person doesn’t like it.

Therefore, “What is Bitterness?”

From the above thoughts, it would seem that:

“Bitterness” is an unjustified emotion that

Persuades a person that he is justified in being the judge of another person’s life in all areas – especially implementing punishment and correction upon another person;

Or,

Causes a person to react negatively to righteous correction – especially from God – for doing things contrary to God’s truth.

THE DANGERS OF BITTERNESS

1. Bitterness starts with you but will soon affect others.

Heb. 12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

This leads to the second Danger…

2. Bitterness will get worse.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

NOTICE that the list of sins get worse-and-worse in this list!!!

Meaning, IF left unchecked, sin in your life will get worse & worse.

“Bitterness”

“Sinful thoughts beginning to boil in your heart” - that justice is not being applied.”

“Wrath & Anger”

“Bitterness at the boiling point in your heart” – at the brink of lashing out.

“Clamor & Evil Speaking”

“A lashing out with your words”

“Malice”

“Conduct that incites violent reactions”

You leave bitterness unchecked in your life, you will start to do things that, on any normal day, you would think would be ludicrous. Yet, bitterness will take you to levels of sin that you never dreamed you would go!

HEALING THE BITTER HEART

Before I share with you how to rebuild a bitter-damaged heart, you must know that without Christ, there is no advice I can offer you.

Sure, someone could suppress your feelings or put a temporary fix on your problems, but there is nothing aside from Jesus Christ that can change the root problem of bitterness – the heart.

Here are Six Biblical Steps on rebuilding a heart that has been riddled by bitterness:

1. Acknowledge & Apologize to God for your bitterness.

Psalm 51:4 Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight.

No Blame Game – King David said, “my bad” not the fault of anyone else.

2. Prepare your heart to forgive them prior to the apology

We looked at Ephesians 4:31 – showing the affects of bitterness (they get worse and worse…deeper and deeper in sin). Now, let’s look at the Bible says to do to rebuild a Bitter-damaged Heart.

Look at the next verse: First, Compare the two:

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

Ephesians 4:32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Kindness – Be kind to those to whom we are bitter. Meaning, you aren’t getting walked over, but you refrain from every other word out of your mouth to them being words of hatred!

Tenderheartedness – Cultivating a tender heart toward them before their apology comes! So that when they do come back and apologize, you’ll accept it graciously and not lay them out with your words.

Forgiveness – Committing that if they come to you, you will not hesitate to forgive them.

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