Mind The Creep | Creep Of Bitterness
2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
The Creep of Bitterness
I know what you’re thinking.
- “I’M NOT BITTER; I’M BETTER”
- I’ve learned from my mistakes
- I’M NOT BITTER; I’M JUST MAD
No one claims to be bitter.
- But so many carry it around…
So here is what bitterness often looks like:
- You replay a conversation or experience over and over in your head
- You feel the need to tell someone what he/she did
- You are easily offended by this person
- You have strong negative emotional reactions to things they say and do around you
- You can remember details of things he/she said from months or years ago
- You are keeping a list of offenses
Bitterness has a PATHWAY OF PROGRESSION.
- Don’t just jump to bitterness; you ARRIVE THERE
1st Stop Of Bitterness:
Someone somewhere did something to hurt you
- Broke your trust
- Cheated on you
- Lied about you
- Tricked you
- Took advantage of you
- Stole from you
- Spread things about you/Gossiped
Some of you here are been hurt really badly
- God sees you
- He loves you
- You didn’t deserve what happened to you
A promise of scripture is…
The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.
If you’ve been hurt
- It’s ok to be ANGRY as long as you don’t sin in your anger
- It’s ok to MOURN
- It’s ok to DISTANCE YOURSELF
Overcoming hurt takes time
- It will happen again
Getting hurt is not permission to NEVER TRUST AGAIN
We have ALL been hurt by someone, but it’s not the HURT that lands us at bitterness…
2nd stop of Bitterness
Here’s the difference between HURT and UNFORGIVENESS…
You don’t choose to be hurt
You can choose not to forgive
- Hurt happens to you
- Unforgiveness is the RESPONSE
How you handle your hurt will determine the health of your heart
- A healthy heart forgives
- An unhealthy heart holds on and becomes bitter
Unforgiveness is a REALLY BIG DEAL in the Kingdom of God
This is what Jesus said about it…
24 Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for—believe that you have received, it and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.”
Do you see what Jesus is saying…?
Forgiveness is a PREREQUISITE of answered prayer
- A prior condition of…
That’s a tough teaching
The reason why forgiveness is difficult is because FORGIVENESS IS COSTLY
Someone breaking into your home
- They take some of your stuff
- They leave it a mess
Your sense of Security is gone
Don’t feel safe
The natural reaction is to LOCKDOWN and never hurt again
- This will never happen again
- Security system
- gun under your pillow
The thief is found — What do you do
- Put them UNDER the jail
- Don’t let them do it to someone else
- Find out they SOLD ALL YOUR STUFF
What is forgiveness?
- I forgive what you took from me, even though I can never get it back
- I hold no grudge against you
- I hold to fear because I don’t give you the authority to hold that over me
Christian Forgiveness is recognizing that you can never get back what was taken from you but choose to dismiss the wrongdoing anyway.
Do you know why this is such a big deal
- Because you and I are the thief…
- We have done the stealing
- We have done the hurting
- To others, but more importantly to God…
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive.
We have been forgiven by God
- This grace should compel you to do the same
But if unforgiveness stays in your heart, it leads you to the last stop…
Peter and John in Samaria
- Talking to a man named Simon who wanted to pay them to have the power of the spirit…
22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, your heart’s intent may be forgiven. 23 For I see you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by wickedness.”
Bitterness poisons your life
- But it’s a slow poison that Creeps in…
15 Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many.
How do you battle and get rid of BITTERNESS?
1: Trust that God knows the real story
- What really happened
- What was really said
- What was taken from you
2. God sees the heart of my adversary—and my own.
- God is a God of justice
- They need saving and forgiveness just like you do
- Pray for mercy just as you desire mercy
3: Realize that I have caused hurt as well
- Both known and unknown
- I will cause others to hurt again
- Pray that they may have the capacity to forgive you
4: Refuse the Bitter Cup
- Refuse the Poison of bitterness to your soul
Jesus took the cup of bitterness for our sake
- His sacrifice on the cross was COSTLY
- His loss is OUR GAIN
That is why Paul would later write while reflecting on the LOVE OF JESUS…
22 …take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.
25 Therefore, putting away lying, speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the devil an opportunity. 28 Let the thief no longer steal. Instead, he is to do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by him for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.