Fighting Back Against Family BitternessSeries: Strengthening Family Relationships
Nothing can damage relations with family more than bitterness/resentment. Bitterness often starts off small & grows bigger and bigger. Before long, it can consume everything in our life and destroy our happiness. The Bible speaks on this: Hebrews 12.14-15; Ephesians 4.30-32.
I. Identifying Bitterness.
- Hebrews 12.15 – bitterness is described as a root.
- But yet, many seek to bury the hurt/pain deep in their heart.
- Matthew 15.18-20 – it contaminates everything that comes out of us.
- How do I know if it has invaded my life? Some questions:
- Is there a family member I can’t stand to be around? Avoid at all costs?
- Is there someone you cannot see any good in?
- Is there a temptation to think and speak evil of them?
- Proverbs 14.10 – we can know for sure if bitterness is a part of our life.
- What is coming out of me?
- John 7.38 – a contaminated spring cannot produce fresh water.
- James 3:9-12 – we must be willing to change.
II. The effects of bitterness.
- Bitterness contributes to a loss of joy.
- It robs you of life’s happiness and dictates your life.
- Loss of spiritual growth.
- Matthew 5.23-24 – bitter heart can make it near impossible for God’s word to penetrate the heart.
- Bitterness can lead to our taking vengeance.
- Sometimes the temptation to retaliate can be overwhelming.
- Romans 12.19-21
- Bitterness leads to hatred.
- We think that we are harming others in holding these spites and hates, but the deeper harm is to ourselves.
- Bitterness leads to eternal danger.
- Colossians 3.13-14 – bitterness can lead to & become a sin of unforgiveness.
- Matthew 6.14-15 – speaks for itself.
III. The cure for bitterness.
- Acknowledge it.
- Resolve the source of bitterness.
- Matthew 5.23-24; Matthew 18.15 – Don’t hold it in.
- Go to the person…tactfully…in a spirit of love – Ephesians 4.32
- Pray about it. Philippians 4.6
- Repent of sinful behavior. If we are bitter, we have fallen short. 1 John 1.9
- There is never justification for the Christian to be bitter/resentful.