Don't Get Bitter, Get Better by James Merritt

Don't Get Bitter, Get Better
James Merritt
Hebrews 12:14-15

INTRODUCTION

1. Of all the human emotions, the one that I personally and actually fear the most is bitterness. Bitterness is an emotional cancer that will eat you up from the inside out. It is a blight that will contaminate you. It is a burden that will crush you. It is a blaze that will cook you in its own juice.

2. Otto Von Bismarck was the Chancellor of Germany during the first World War. Toward the end of his life he got mired down in the quick sand of bitterness, and never got out. He carried the bile of bitterness into his grave.

3. One morning he got up out of bed and proudly announced to his household, "I have spent the whole night hating." The burden of bitterness eventually crushed his health. He had to grow a beard to hide the twitching muscles of his face. Jaundice, gastric ulcers, gallstones and shingles racked his body. When he was offered a small fortune to publish his memoirs he began to write with a reckless disregard for truth, using his pen to spill out the poisonous venom of hatred and bitterness on men and women who had long been dead. Expressing his bitterness became the very thing he lived for, and the very thing that killed him. He died embittered, cynical, lonely, miserable and self-consumed.1

4. Many who are hearing this message are slaves in bondage to the master of bitterness. Some of you are bitter toward God because of a tragedy that happened in your life for which you blame Him. Some of you are bitter toward others, such as a boss who unjustly fired you; a spouse who left you for someone else; a business partner who skipped out and left you holding the bag.

5. Some of you are bitter toward parents, perhaps because you were physically abused, or sexually abused. Some of you are bitter toward a dad who never spent any time with you.

6. Many people get bitter toward the church and toward ministers of the gospel because of a bad experience that they had. They are bitter because somebody hurt their feelings.
They are bitter because something did not go exactly to please them.

7. Bitterness is the result of feeling that someone has done us wrong. I would define bitterness this way: Bitterness is harbored hurt hidden in the heart. At the root of all conflict, whether it be a church fight, or a world war, is bitterness. In my estimation there is not a more dangerous emotion than the emotion of bitterness.

8. Bitterness is like a malignant tumor that will ultimately turn a healthy body into a cold corpse if it is not removed, and the sooner the better.

I. The Deep Root Of Bitterness

1. "Looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled." (v.15) Bitterness is described as a root. A root is something that is beneath the surface, invisible to the eye, but none the less real. It is a de ...


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