Synopsis of Bible Study June 6, 2018
Delivered by Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III, DMin.
- Ephesians 4:31-32 (NKJV) 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, [a]clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. –
- There has to be consequences going forward. How many people can say they have been a recipient of God’s forgiveness?
- Bitterness can go undetected for years. This will cause you to have issues within your spirit. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
- Bitterness limits what God will do with you and through you.
- Bitterness can cause you to harbor resentment.
- When you think about the pain and what happened in your life, you have to reconcile it with this.
- 37:1-2 (NKJV) says 37 Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. – Stop worrying about who did you wrong. Don’t trip over those people who constantly do you wrong either. God will treat them like grass. When the time is right, He will cut them down.
- You have to let God be God and you be you.
II. The Root of bitterness
A. How Does Bitterness Begin?
- It begins with an offense. Proverbs 18:19 (NKJV) 19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle. – Bitterness is a result of unresolved issues. What started as a small infraction grew and eventually turned into bitterness.
- Get in your spirit, what or whom has offended you. Matthew 18:15-17 (NKJV) 15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.-
- (Verse 15) -If someone offends you, don’t let it fester. You are supposed to go to them and try and work it out. You don’t email them or text them. You go to them in person. Explain what they did and how it affected you. Often they will appreciate that you came to them.
- (Verse 16) – If going to them by yourself doesn’t work, then take someone with you the next time. Bring someone that can be a witness that you are on the up and up. Bring someone that isn’t interested in taking sides.
- (Verse 17) – If they still will not hear you, then tell the church. Go to the Deacons and Elders and let them mediate the situation between you. If they will not hear you after this, then wash your hands of the situation and move on. You might have to depart like Leban did in the following verse. Genesis 31:49 (NKJV) 49 also Mizpah,[a] because he said, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another. .- You have to come to a place where you say, I did everything that I could in this situation.
- You got to learn to let people go and release the bitterness from them.
- Bitterness is not the starting point, it is the end result.
B. Stages of Bitterness:
The stages of bitterness are as follows:
- You become oversensitive to a verbal remarks, action, or lack of action.
- You develop hurt feelings easily.
- You display repulsive feelings toward a person at the thought or sight of them.
- You have frequent rehearsal of the hurt and pain. You always find a way to bring the situation up.
- Alienation of a person that wronged you. You don’t want to have anything to do with them.
- Verbal slander against the person that wronged you.
- You have a lack of obedience to God regarding those who do wrong against you. Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV) says 44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.- Pray for those who have done you wrong. God doesn’t want you to wish bad things on anyone.
- You start becoming like the one you despise. A victim that doesn’t get help, becomes a Hebrews 12:15 (NKJV) 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; – It is at the root. The enemy is trying to get at the root. Think about your life as a seed. You anger keeps growing, and rooting, and branching, until it finally becomes bitterness.
III. The Residue of Bitterness
A. Characteristics of a Bitterness
- Like a tree, the roots have grown into other people’s neighborhood. It starts impacting every area of your life.
- Bitterness is not always visible. The more time that passes, the harder it is to control. The offense is trying to control your actions.
- The following are characteristics of a person who is dealing with bitterness:
- Cares very little for the person he or she is bitter against.
- Often found to be very sensitive. They become very sensitive. They don’t even want to hear the name of the person they are bitter against.
- Can be ungrateful. Because they are so offended, they develop a spirt of entitlement, based on what they’ve gone through.
- Gives empty flattery and harsh criticism.
- Holds grudges and finds it difficult to forgive. People still hold grudges from stuff that happened in high school.
- Displaced stubbornness or a sulky attitude.
- Will help no one and complains sometimes, when asked for help.
- Experiences mood extremes. One day they’re on a high and one day they are low.
B. The Effects of Bitterness
“Bitterness does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than the vessel from which it is poured.” -unknown
“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host.” – Maya Angelou
“Nothing consumes a man more quickly than the emotion of resentment.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
- What if you turn on a water hose and brown water comes out first. What does this symbolize? The answer is, you can be the most anointed Musician, Singer, or Preacher, but all the people will ever concentrate on is the brown in the water. The brown in the water is your People can’t get what they need from you, because the brown water (bitterness) is in the way.
- Bitterness can be a mental disorder. You can get in a vicious cycle over this. This causes you begin to feel devalued over and over again. As a result, you put your life on hold based on what was done to you. This is giving the offender authority over your life.
- *You will never experience release of bitterness, until you stop waiting on an apology. If you are waiting on them to apologize, then you are still carrying it around. Do you have time to hold your life up for that long?
- The hurt cannot bring you to a place of action. Nothing consumes a man more than resentment.
- Ephesians 4:26-27 (NKJV) 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give [a]place to the devil.- God gives you permission to be angry, but don’t let the offense move you to action. Don’t sin as a result of your anger. The moment you do, you allow Satin to manipulate the moment.
- Hebrews 10:30 (NKJV) says 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” [a]says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”- Let God deal with it. He will deal with it in His own way.
- Do not act in a way that is sinful. Some say they will never be a stalker, but every stalker never thought they would one day be a stalker. No car-scratcher ever thought they would one day scratch a car.
IV. The Resolution of Bitterness
A. Deal with Your Hurt
You got to deal with the hurt. Psalm 139:23-24 (NKJV) 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.- Lord show me myself. We are good at camouflaging hurt behind religion. If you got chicken pox, we can put a suit on you and you will look good, but underneath, you still have chicken pox.
The Holy Spirit is the true Convictor and he will show you where you are in the process. He can make you face whatever you have been trying to avoid.
Your hurt can start producing hurt. You got to come to a place where you learn how to release people from your life. Learn how to forgive and live.
B. Forgive and Live
“Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it. Bitterness paralyzes life; love empowers it. Bitterness sours life; love sweetens it. Bitterness sickens life; love heals it. Bitterness blinds life; love anoints its eyes.” -Harry Emerson Fosdick. the longer you hold on to bitterness, the longer it hold son to you. betterness is a slow death. nothing will grow around you and you will corode from the inside out. you need to let it go.
- Proverbs 14:10 (NKJV) 10 The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy.-Each person knows his own sorrows and joys. To be free of bitterness, you got to just let it go.
- You have to come to a place where you see this as a sickness. If the doctor says you have cancer, they said they can get it. You can’t let it sit, because it could metastasize. You want the doctor to get it now.
- Bitterness is the same. You can get it now or you can let it fester. Psalm 51:12 (NKJV) 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.-The reason you don’t have joy and it is controlling your life is because you are letting bitterness control you.
- Today God is going to release you from your bitterness. You need to bring it to the altar.