Summary: This is sermon is about biblical steps on overcoming bitterness.
Series: Where Is God When It really Hurts
Topic: Changing Your Bitter Life into A Better Life
Offenses and pain are bound to happen especially in our relationship with people. These things will be faced by us even if we try to avoid them because we are living with people who are imperfect like us. Our response to this reality can either break us or make us which can also affect the lives of others. Jesus Christ even warned us that things like these will happen but He showed us how to deal with it in a way that will give us freedom and joy. Are you willing to follow His way of facing your hurts? Are you willing to let Him direct your course of action?
Truths We Need To Know . . .
• 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 .
• We are either motivated by fear and bitterness or love in dealing with our relationships especially when we face conflicts. Love builds bridges but fear and bitterness builds walls when pain is involve.
• What we are today is primarily how we have responded to circumstances in our past. We can’t control, change, or stop people’s choices and reactions towards us but we can control ours.
• Forgiveness is God’s only way for us to be healed from our hurts!
Releasing Forgiveness Is Possible When I….
A. Honestly admit that I am are hurting .
• Revealing your feelings is the beginning 0f healing.
• Most people cant release forgiveness because they deny that the hurt exists. However they don’t realize that the first step to releasing forgiveness is acknowledging that we have been hurt by the offense.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE BITTER
No one wants to admit they are bitter. Sometimes everyone else can tell but us. Let me ask you to be honest with yourself and answer a few basic questions:
1. Does it irritate you when people don’t agree with you?
2. Do you think you are usually right and others are usually wrong?
3. Do you find yourself giving more criticisms than compliments?
4. Are you short with people?
5. Do you ask people "loaded" questions just to irritate them?
6. Is it difficult to talk to someone who has hurt you in the past without constantly bringing it up again?
7. Do your conversations tend to turn into arguments?
8. Do you feel disappointed, mistreated or betrayed?
9. Do you feel like God has let you down?
10. Do these kind of questions make you defensive?
B. Continually refresh myself with God’s love and forgiveness.
You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. ( Colossians 3:13 )
• People who will not forgive are those who have either not receive the forgiveness of God or have forgotten God’s forgiveness in their lives.
• They have have fogotten that they themselves are imperfect and capable of hurting God and others.
C. Realize that extending forgiveness is more for my benefit than for the person being forgiven.
• 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 people are so bitter that they can’t talk about their husband or wife, parents or children, friends or relatives, pastor or church, without expressing bitterness about how much they’ve hurt them.
• If we are unable to deal our hurts in the past and our pains now, these will affect our relationship in the future. If we are not at peace with our past we will never be at peace with our future.
• The only way for us to be healed and be free from the pain of offenses done by people we love and respect is to RELEASE FORGIVENESS. We are the ones who will receive the benefit when we forgive. This is the only way that God has provided for us to be healed. This is the only way that we can fully experience God’s forgiveness and freedom. ( Matthew 18:21-35 ).
• Some people are robbed of their sleep and their diets are being affected because of trying to push their pursuit of getting even. Some even make themselves miserable in trying to make a statement. The problem here is that sometimes people who have offended us are unaware they have hurt us. However, if we release forgiveness we enjoy the benefits of living a life released from unncessary baggages in our hearts.