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Perception & Performance 6 - Bitterness




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Heb 12:15  Perception/Performance 6: Emotions D Bitterness

©'93 '04 '18 WF Cobb Truthbase.net DailyTruthbase.blog

Heb 12:14  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 be any immoral (sell self -idolater) or profane (ungodly-secular) person like Esau…when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected…

I. Our Habits & Values create Filters/Expectations, influencing our Perceptions & Emotions, determining Performance.

A. Anger: irritated, livid, resentful, furious, rage – outgrowth of hurt {build-up} (how you deal will result in closeness or distance)

Message: important rule or standard has been violated (clarify or compromise {personal stds})  Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. Eph 4:26 do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

Admit You're Angry and Analyze Why   see: http://foundationsforfreedom.net/Topics/Marriage/Great_Marriage/GM07_Bitterness.html#Anchor-47857

Nostril Flaring Legitimate? Nose around your self-talk for the source  Jonah 4 "Do you do well to be ANGRY?"

Grow as the irritation contributes to your beautification/beatification

Go to God for power to manifest the Fruit of the Spirit; Relinquish Your Rights; Ownership turned over to God; Withhold Wrath 

Express/Verbalize your Forgiveness and Feelings Wisely 

Reconcile and Relinquish Rm 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. 19 do not avenge yourselves, give place to wrath; "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay 20 

II. Unresolved Anger rejects God’s grace (Heb 12:15) resulting in Bitterness and Joylessness. Bitterness is:

Poison, harming all it touches  Ac 8:23  "For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."

Highest non-violent sin, that prevents us from blessing others Ro 3:14  "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."

Replaced by love Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

Prevents life in everything we do Js 3:11  Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?

Demonic Js 3:14  if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts…lie against the truth.  15 This…is earthly, sensual, demonic

Bitterness is a red flag for demonic influence because in it one usurps God’s throne through vengeance and rebellion. (2Cor 2:10-11 forgive)

 III. Remove the Roots of Bitterness (unresolved anger) through Submission and Realization

A. We get bitter at God when He a) doesn’t do what we want, when we want,  or b) does what we don’t want.  God allows irritations and trials into our lives to deepen our dependence on Him.

1) Submit to the goodness, wisdom and sovereignty of God;  (Gen 50:20  you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good)

2) Be holy and wholly blessable (Ps 84:11 No good thing will He withhold, from those who walk uprightly.)

 B. We get bitter at others when they: don’t do what we want/do what we don’t want; say untrue things about us (which shouldn’t bother a true disciple); or say true things about us in a way we don’t like (which shouldn’t bother a humble disciple walking in the light)

1) Rejoice that when you’re pleasing God, and only caring what He thinks of you, Satan will attack by the words and works of the ungodly

Mt 5:11 Lk 6:22 Blessed are you when they revile/hate/exclude/persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

2) Remember that the truth only hurts the proud when they’re hiding in the dark. 1Jn 1:5-7 walk in the light…have fellowship with one another 

C. We can both reduce the reaction of pain, as well as remove any feelings of resentment and bitterness: if we are fully conscious that God is pleased with us (thus having unshakeable self-worth) we won’t care what others think of us (justly or unjustly or unfairly). 

IV. Resolve the Fruits of Bitterness (poor relationships) through Forgiveness and Service Col 3:12-13

A. We need to acknowledge/confess the hurt, pain and hate, if we don’t bring it to the light it will fester and grow in the dark

1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

B. We need to forgive, agreeing to live with the painful consequences of another’s sin, which God’s grace can erase in time (Mt 18:35)

Mt 6:14 if you forgive men…your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 if you do not forgive…neither will your Father forgive… 

C. We need to invest in their life through prayer, kindness, treasure  Mt 6:21 where your treasure is, there your heart will be also cf Rm 12:20

V. Things that help us Forgive as Christ has Forgiven us  2Cor 2:11 (forgive)… lest Satan should take advantage of us

A. We’ve been forgiven much more for our rebellion and rejection of God. Our fellowship with God is dependent upon forgiving others.

B. No one’s perfect; people who damage others were hurt and damaged themselves, and will continue to be so until someone loves them

C. Abuse is inevitable; get used to it. Being hurt by others is a sure sign that we’re seeking worth from them rather than getting it from pleasing God.

D. We allow ourselves to be hurt by having unbiblical perceptions and responses; The hurt can help us transform into Christlikeness. (Rm 12)

E. Watch your thoughts and what you dwell on 2Cor 10:5b bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ Php 4:8

F. God uses the situation and person to shape and perfect and reward us, sometimes working out a better plan than we could imagine

Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

1. What are some symptoms of bitterness? Why is it difficult to recognize? How does bitterness differ from anger? Which comes first?

2. What are some consequences of bitterness? Why would anyone chose such disaster? How does submission solve or prevent bitterness?

3. Why are some people easily offended? Why are some people easily offensive? What happens when opposites attract and marry?

4. Why is forgiveness sometimes difficult?  What makes it easier? Why would we have to forgive someone “49” times?

5. What steps could you take to “bitterproof” your soul? Whom do you need to forgive and for what? Where should you change your rules?

N E I L   A N D E R S O N   D A I L Y   D E V O T I O N A L

             from Freedom in Christ Ministries 

April 30


Forgive your brother from your heart (Matthew 18:35 NIV).

Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another

person's sin. Forgiveness is costly; we pay the price of the evil

we forgive. Yet you're going to live with those consequences

whether you want to or not; your only choice is whether you will

do so in the bondage of bitterness or the freedom of forgiveness.

That's how Jesus forgave you--He took the consequences of your

sin upon Himself. All true forgiveness is substitutional, because

no one really forgives without bearing the penalty of the other

person's sin.


Why then do we forgive? Because Christ forgave us. God the Father

"made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might

become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Where is the justice? The cross makes forgiveness legally and

morally right: "For the death that He died, He died to sin, once

for all" (Romans 6:10).


How do you forgive from the heart? First, you acknowledge the

hurt and the hate. If your forgiveness doesn't visit the

emotional core of your past, it will be incomplete. This is the

great evangelical cover-up. Christians feel the pain of

interpersonal offenses, but we won't acknowledge it. Let God

bring the pain to the surface so He can deal with it. This is

where the healing takes place.


Ask God to bring to your mind those you need to forgive. Make a

list of all those who have offended you. Since God has forgiven

them by His grace, you can forgive them too. For each person on

your list, say: "Lord, I forgive (name) for (offenses)." Keep

praying about each individual until you are sure that all the

remembered pain has been dealt with. Don't try to rationalize or

explain the offender's behavior. Forgiveness deals with your

pain, not another's behavior. Remember: Positive feelings will

follow in time; freeing yourself from the past is the critical



Lord, I desire to be free from the hurt and the hate of offenses

in my past. Today I move beyond desiring to forgive and asking

Your help to forgive. Lord, I forgive _________ for ___________.


This daily devotional is published and distributed by

Crosswalk.com.  It is written by Neil Anderson

April 29


Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other,

just as God in Christ has also forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).


Most of the ground that Satan gains in the lives of Christians is

due to unforgiveness. We are warned to forgive others so that

Satan cannot take advantage of us (2 Corinthians 2:10, 11). God

requires us to forgive others from our hearts or He will turn us

over to the tormentors (Matthew 18:34, 35). Why is forgiveness so

critical to our freedom? Because of the cross. God didn't give us

what we deserve; He gave us what we needed according to His

mercy. We are to be merciful just as our heavenly Father is

merciful (Luke 6:36). We are to forgive as we have been forgiven

(Ephesians 4:31, 32).


Forgiveness is not forgetting. People who try to forget find that

they cannot. God says He will "remember no more" our sins

(Hebrews 10:17), but God, being omniscient, cannot forget.

"Remember no more" means that God will never use the past against

us (Psalm 103:12). Forgetting may be a result of forgiveness, but

it is never the means of forgiveness. When we bring up the past

and use it against others, we haven't forgiven them.


Forgiveness is a choice, a crisis of the will. We choose to face

and acknowledge the hurt and the hate in order to forgive from

the heart. Since God requires us to forgive, it is something we

can do. (He would never require us to do something we cannot do.)

But forgiveness is difficult for us because it pulls against our

concept of justice. We want revenge for offenses suffered. But we

are told never to take our own revenge (Romans 12:19). "Why

should I let them off the hook?" we protest. You let them off

your hook, but they are never off God's hook. He will deal with

them fairly--something we cannot do.


If you don't let offenders off your hook, you are hooked to them

and the past, and that just means continued pain for you. Stop

the pain; let it go. You don't forgive someone merely for their

sake; you do it for your sake so you can be free. Your need to

forgive isn't an issue between you and the offender; it's between

you and God.


Lord, I stand amazed at the example of Your forgiveness. I desire

to grow in my willingness to forgive those who have hurt me. 


This daily devotional is published and distributed by

Crosswalk.com.  It is written by Neil Anderson at

< http://www.ficm.org >.