Summary: The dangerous sin of bitterness.
HEB.12:14-15 "SO, YOU’RE EAT UP WITH IT"
A) I read about a news story that was heard on the local news in Liberal, Kansas ...
* It told of an elderly lady driving a big, new, expensive car.
* It seems that she was preparing to back into a parallel parking space when suddenly a young
man in a small sports car zoomed into the space ahead of her.
* The lady, angrily, asked why he had done that when he could tell that she was trying to park
there. * His response was, "I’m young and I’m quick."
* When he came back a few minutes later, he found the elderly lady using her big, new, expensive
car as a battering ram backing up and then ramming into his car.
B) He ran up to her and angrily asked her why she was wrecking his car.
* Her response was, "Because I’m old and I’m rich."
* There are times in life when things happen to us that we resent and oftentimes we react by
venting our feelings in destructive ways.
* There are times when our reaction gets us into trouble.
C) I think about a husband and wife I read about that were having a quarrel over breakfast.
* Their quarrel remained unsettled as it was time to get ready for work.
* As the wife was getting ready, she was having trouble with the zipper on her dress.
* She asked her husband to help her. * In a huff, the husband freed the zipper and then rapidly ran
it up and down several times in anger.
D) It infuriated the wife and all day long she was boiling on the inside.
* When she came home that afternoon she saw her husband’s car parked in the driveway.
* As she walked around the car, there was a man lying on his back underneath the car, except for
his lower half.
* Remembering the incident that morning, she grasped the zipper on his fly, and zipped it up and
down several times and then stomped into the house.
* When she walked in, there to her surprise was her husband sitting in the den drinking a cup of
coffee. * Shocked, she said, "I thought you were working on the car!"
* He said, "No, that’s the neighbor. He’s helping me out."
E) Embarrassed, she explained what happened.
* The husband went outside to find his neighbor out cold.
* He had been so surprised that he had quickly raised up and knocked himself out.
* Paul tells us that one of the things that gets us in trouble is bitterness.
* A bitter heart is always a bad heart and often a boiling heart.
* There are many today that is eat up with bitterness. * Let’s look at what Paul had to say about
bitterness and learn how to handle bitterness rather than it handling us.
(1) DEFINING THE PRESENCE OF BITTERNESS!
* v.15 tells us to carefully guard our lives from bitterness. He says, "Lest any root of bitterness ..."
* Now what is this matter of bitterness that he directs our attention to?
A) Bitterness Explained! * Bitterness comes from an old root word meaning to bite.
* That is very suggestive ... Bitterness is like being bitten by the old serpent Satan, releasing his
venom and poison into our heart and life.
* In Acts 8:23, Peter said to Simon, "For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness."
* The word "gall" means "poison."
* Bitterness is the poison that comes when bitten by certain things in life.
* Bitterness is that feeling of hurt, resentment, anger, hate, and even revenge ...
* That often builds up in our heart when we have been bitten by certain experiences of life.
* Bitterness is harbored hurt hidden in the heart.
B) Bitterness Expressed! * I think of Jeremiah the prophet.
* When he was persecuted by his family, opposed by the rulers of Jerusalem, hated by the people,
he broke down and lashed out at everybody.
* In the book of Jeremiah we have several speeches where he expressed his bitterness.
* He manifested his bitterness to God and accused Him of putting him into the ministry against his
will. * Jeremiah even cursed the man who carried the news of his birth to his father.
C) Jeremiah’s example reminds us that bitterness is basically expressed two ways.
* First, bitterness is expressed outwardly toward man! * You may be bitter ...
* To a boss that fired you ... Spouse that walked out on you ... Business partner that cheated you
out of money ... A friend that violated your trust ... A father who abused you ...