Summary: We are going to look at how we can become bitter over time

The Road To Bitterness

James 3:14-16

14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

Intro: We are going to look at how we can become bitter over time today…take one of the bitterness pieces of paper and rip it into little pieces making the point that it is a sinful attitude that develops over time…one little hurt followed by another with years of unforgiveness…left with a mess to walk through that needs to be cleaned up so that our front porches are cleared and we come and go about life without that clutter in the way.


There is a TV show called, "What Would You Do?" They put actors into everyday situations with hidden cameras to see what the people around will do.

They sent an actor into a grocery store. The actor asks to cut in line.

When he gets up to the check out, lights and music start playing and a clerk runs out with a huge $500 check saying, "You are our one millionth customer!"

The fun part was watching the person who let them cut in line. Many of them were furious--That guy just took MY prize money. One guy threw his stuff down on the counter and left. A woman ran to the service desk to raise cane…

It's difficult for us at times to see other's blessings without the "Why not me" attitude.

Leslie and I have a good relationship…its not perfect but it’s a good marriage. I would not want to imagine my life with anyone else…but being that we have this good marriage and we like to spend our time together…along with being in the ministry…people have over the years targeted us with their own jealousy…sometimes I don’t think they even realize that they do it…but often these “church people” say very hurtful things to us out of jealousy…

Cherish Jealous of Jacob as the Golden Child…she was the only child for 12 years…then came Jacob…she somehow has forgotten all the good things in her life and sees Jacob as having it better…

People hurt people…it doesn’t matter if they are Christians or not…sometimes they mean to be hurtful and other times they don’t even know that they are being mean…

Most people hurt people because they have some form of Jealousy or Envy

But a Jealous heart is not what God desires from us…Paul says

1 Corinthians 3:3

3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

We are called to live a selfless life…you do know that means putting others feelings and thoughts above your own…

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,


When it happens the next step is anger…and it is often the result of being offended

It is not wrong to feel anger…it is a God given emotion…God himself gets angry and we are created in His image

There are countless examples of God becoming angry in scripture…those times of anger come because he is a Jealous God…

Jealousy leads to anger but just as…

God gets angry but he also loves you perfectly.

You are aware that God is God and he has every right to be angry whenever he wants to be angry…what are you goin to do…shake your finger at him and tell Him he needs to calm down…

God’s anger is righteous, under control and never petty.

Human anger often is filled with pride, hate or other sinful motives.

God opposes the wicked and his anger is meant to turn them from evil and towards the forgiveness and freedom found in Jesus.

Ephesians 4:26 says, "In your anger do not sin."

Best story I read on this, as I was doing research this week, was about a woman who attacked her house with a forklift. This is the news report:

Diane Fittipaldi, 2013 Sunset Lane, told Municipal Court Judge Levi Grantham that she had launched the attack as part of a long-standing feud with her husband about housekeeping.

"Oliver is a horrible neat freak," Fittipaldi said, "and he drives me nuts about keeping everything tidy."

After the couple argued about the proper alignment of table place settings, Fittipaldi rented a 3,000-pound, pneumatic tire forklift Tuesday evening and drove it through the front wall of their one-story frame house. According to neighbors who witnessed the incident, she used the machine to smash the dining room table.

"Oliver yelled at me about where his fork was supposed to go," she said, "and I figured I’d fix it with a forklift."

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