We had a great sermon today on bitterness...it is actually in a series on how the little things make a big difference. I think about that concept a lot, I read this book called "The Tipping Point" that was all on how one tiny thing made a huge impact. For instance, in NYC the subways were having a lot of crime. So, some city official decided to have painters come in each night and paint over all the graffiti and such that lined the walls to and from the subways. That little change brought the crime down significantly...
Anyway, I wanted to post the whole sermon on bitterness. I have a tendency to be a bitter Betty and forgiveness is not an easy thing for me. I hope you all gain something from this!
These are the notes from today from the Sermon by our pastor, Josh Lipscomb.
31He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches." Matthew 13:31-32
14Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15
Steps to getting rid of bitterness:
Step 1.) Stop Avoiding It
Signs of Bitter People:
a.) They Justify their bitterness.
b.) They become overly critical.
c.) They secretly celebrate others misfortunes.
d.) They write off entire groups of people.
e.) They struggle to see bitterness in the mirror.
Step 2.) Acknowledge it
a.) Who/what caused your bitterness?
Step 3.) Get rid of it.
a.) How? (ANSWER: FORGIVENESS)
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31
Five Steps towards Forgiveness:
2-Sacrifice YOUR rights in prayer.
3-Forgive by faith, not by feelings.
4- Follow your words with actions.
5- Remember your own forgiveness.
32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
Talk about powerful stuff! Sometimes we feel as though we have the right to hold on to our bitterness and anger based on the amount of pain someone has caused us. But, the truth is we are called to something more than that, we are called to forgive and to love. It ain't easy, it doesn't come naturally, and we aren't perfect at it, but we gotta try!
I've been holding on to bitterness: some old, some new....my prayer tonight is that God can teach me to forgive, one wrong at a time and that you too can have the freedom of forgiving.
Here's to forgiveness....
Until next time-