Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

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BAC Sermons

Perception and Performance 6: Emotions D Bitterness

2004-06-13 Heb 12:15

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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 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.

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: foundationsforfreedom.net/Topics/Marriage/Great_Marriage/GM07_Bitterness.html

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 Jas 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)

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: No good thing will He withhold, from those who walk uprightly.)

B. We get bitter at others when they: do or don’t do what we want or 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. 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?