Summary: A sermon on bitterness-Its destructive nature--TO US as well as other we come in contact with.
The Bonds of Bitterness
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Intro: Has someone ever said or done something to you for which you found it difficult to forgive them?
1. Hear their name, it still brings butterflies to your stomach.
2. Think of them, your heart rate increases.
3. When you think about it. You were reliving it again?
4. If so, you are in the bonds of bitterness.
5. Bitterness doesn’t touch the person, but it harms you
Some are bitter toward parents, a boss, a spouse, a business partner who skipped with money, toward the church or the pastors, someone hurt their feelings.
Bitterness is like a cancer that turns healthy bodies into a cold corpse it not removed!
Hebrews 12:15 says, 15looking 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;
Many emotions which we feel are not necessarily sin:
Anger—“be ye angry and sin not”
(it’s possible…righteous indignation)
But when anger gets out of its cage, it’s sin.
(Or when the object of our anger is misplaced)
Guilt is not always sin
Sometimes the Lord gives us a Godly guilt, a conscience, a convicting, to get us back onto the straight and narrow.
But Satan uses guilt to paralyze us in our Christian walk…and when guilt gets out of its cage it is sin.
Grief is not always sin.
Grief is a gift from God when used to help us heal from loss or sorrow of some kind. But if we refuse to allow the Holy Spirit to comfort our grief, it becomes self-pity…a sin.
Anger/guilt/grief, are they sin? Maybe so, maybe not.
There is a human emotion that is always, w/ out exception, a sin: Bitterness!! Bitterness and unforgiveness is always sin!
If you spit in my eye, you have sinned. If I turn away in bitterness, I have sinned.
You question my motives/ injure me falsely…
Have you been sinned against?
Don’t join in on the sinning by responding wrong!
Who is that person that comes to mind?
For whom do you hold bitterness, if you’re honest w/ God today? Don’t explain it away…they came to mind for a reason.
The Holy Spirit brings them to your mind because He loves you and wants to rid you of a cancer that is eating you from inside out!
It may have been last week, month, year or many years ago. …I don’t care if it was decades ago when you were a child…
but you know in your heart that you’ve never truly forgiven them for it.
And whatever you do, don’t say: I don’t hardly ever think about them at all. That wasn’t the question.
The question is when you DO think about them, or someone else brings it up even, what are your thoughts about them? “Thank you Lord for forgiving me though I don’t deserve it, and for not holding my sins against me…and thank you for giving me the power to forgive others.”
Let’s all be honest, no denial…who is it?
6 things Bitterness will do to your life:
1. Bitterness will devastate you spiritually
A. Why? For 2 reasons:
1. Because bitterness necessitates that you walk in the
flesh, and not in the Spirit.
2. Every Christians makes that choice every day, many
times a day, to take a step in the flesh or to take a step
in the Spirit. There’s only 2 choices
3. We can’t control what happens in life, but we can control
how we respond/react!
B. If you have unresolved bitterness in your life, you are not
right with God, and you are not walking in the Spirit, but in
1.Why? Gal. 5:22 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control.
2.These are the very things you hold back from those whom you have bitterness and unforgiveness toward!
3.As long as you are bitter…You are w/ them and don’t feel like displaying love.
4.You think about them and don’t feel joy, and have no peace at all!
5.You aren’t longsuffering, or you would give them more latitude…you’d think about how much you’ve been forgiven for by Christ and it would make it easier to forgive them yourself,
6. even if they don’t deserve forgiveness…neither do you! (which is meekness!)
You can erase them from your hit list if you’re walking in the Spirit!
The very next chapter drives it all home:
Gal. 6:7 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption
Yes, bitterness will devastate you spiritually