Summary: Bitterness is a root that grows in our lives & seeks to destroy us. However, there is hope.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; (KJV)
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (NLT)
Bitterness is never legitimate. No matter what someone has done to you – how bad or how often – bitterness is a wrong response & will never be acceptable to God.
Ask yourself this:
Is there anyone that I have bitterness toward?
Is there an anger deep down inside that I’ve never dealt with?
Is the poison of it seeping into every facet of my life?
How can I know that?
Is there anyone that when you’re around them you don’t feel joyful or happy? Is there anyone that when their face comes to mind, you can honestly say I don’t have any bitterness toward them?
Tonight we’re going to talk about Bitterness.
The word Bitterness comes from the Greek word “Pikria” which translates “Sticky.”
It’s one thing to be angry for a moment, but to allow the anger to grow into resentment, sticking to you until a spirit of bitterness grows, is another thing.
Once it sticks to you it’s hard to get it off. It’s like getting gum in your carpet.
You cannot harbor bitterness in your heart, because it’s one of the most devastating, destructive things that exist within the human life.
It is known as the “Spirit of Bitterness.”
“Bro., you don’t know how I’ve been hurt. You don’t know what he did to me….”
Answer this question. How did Jesus respond to those as he was crucified? The Bible lets us know that he could have called ten legions of angels to fight for him, but he didn’t. He simply said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Most people think that if they have bitterness they would know. However, that’s not necessarily the truth. You see, bitterness comes on slowly; it is invisible. You may not even be aware that it’s happening.
18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. (KJV)
Simon never knew he had bitterness.
The book of Hebrews calls it a root of bitterness & goes on to let us know that as a root it grows in two directions.