Sunday we looked at the life of Absolom, David’s son and the bitterness and resulting destruction it brought into his life and relationships. Since bitterness has the potential to absolutely dominate our lives and because every Believer is at risk of becoming bitter (because we’ve ALL been hurt), I thought I’d share a few thoughts and passages with you enabling you to do some follow-up on Sunday’s message and hopefully get rid of bitterness in your life. They’re not really structured like a sermon, just some extra thoughts/questions to help actualize God’s Word in your daily life. Blessings…
Hebrews 12:12-17 (NKJV)
12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. 14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking 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; 16 lest there beany fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
1. When we don’t deal properly with Anger (Ephesians 4:29-32 29 ”Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you“), we’re in dangerous territory. What does verse 12 tell you about the need to deal with anger before it results in bitterness?
2. Read v. 14 above. With whom do you need to pursue peace today? Now…we all know the verse says to pursue it with everyone…but name at least one specific person with which you need to pursue peace. (Note: Their reaction, acceptance or rejection of your appeal to peace is NOT your responsibility. You are only responsible for YOUR actions).
3. Name one specific thing you could do this week to try and seek peace with that person.
4. Read verse 32. List below (or name) some of the many sins that Christ forgave you for committing. Dig deep in this for a moment to two and remember the amazing depth of His great act of forgiveness in your life. Take a few moments to remember how wonderfully kind He has been to you in forgiving ALL your sins.
5. Ask yourself, “What am I holding against another person that I need to forgive?” Bitterness is an acid that destroys its own container. Why not get on your knees in serious, repentant prayer right now and ask God to help you forgive those specific people for specific sins so that no “root of bitterness” remains in your life? Do it now and be a more free man or woman…free from all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking and malice. 1 John 1:6-9 tells us, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us oursins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“ If God is convicting you of any root of bitterness in your life, confess that bitterness to Him as a sin right now in serious prayer, remembering what Ed Gravely told us in week one of our series, “As to sin, keep short lists with God.” When you confess it, you’ll be clean and more like Christ our precious Lord. Blessings….