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Leaving Bitterness Behind

Opening questions

  • What are you like when you’re bitter? Who do you affect most, and how do you affect them?
  • What hurts, regrets, or disappointments have you been unable to move past?

What if I left all my bitterness behind?

Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” [44] And Lazarus came-bound up in the gravecloth, his face muffled in a head swath. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

John 11:43-44 TLB

  • God wants us to take off the grave clothes of bitterness. Walking around with bitterness is like walking around in grave clothes after God has already changed you.
  • What would it be like if you weren’t bitter? Would you be positive and hopeful, more pleasant to be around?

What bitterness am I carrying?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. [32] Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

  • The Bible calls us to get rid of all bitterness. Before we can do that, we need to identify what led us to be bitter and how it is manifesting itself in our lives.
  • Unmet expectations, hurt feelings, not getting what we want, and life stress can all lead to bitterness.
  • What are some signs that you might be bitter? Some signs include: everything annoys you, nothing is ever good enough, or you easily get down, moody, or melancholy.
  • What kind of bitterness are you carrying?

As I walked out the door towards the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew that if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

Nelson Mandela

3 ways to leave bitterness behind

1) Trust the process

“Yes, now I see it all-it was good for me to undergo this bitterness, for you have lovingly delivered me from death; you have forgiven all my sins.

Isaiah 38:17 TLB

  • God breaks us down so he can build us back up. How do feel about the challenges you face in life? Do you stay bitter, or embrace how God wants you to grow?
  • When you’re bitter, no one can talk to you. Not trusting the process makes you a difficult person to be around because of how frustrated you are by your life.

2) Realize it’s not about me

Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

Jeremiah 2:19 NIV

  • Bitterness happens when you stop appreciating God – what he’s doing, how awesome he is, how he’s moved in your life.
  • How have you seen your focus taken off of God?

3) Don’t miss out

Be sure that no one misses out on God’s grace. See to it that a bitter plant doesn’t grow up. If it does, it will cause trouble. And it will make many people impure.

Hebrews 12:15 NIrV

  • God’s grace gives you confidence that you are exactly who and where you are supposed to be.
  • You can go through life together with close friends when you decide to leave bitterness behind.

What if I left my bitterness behind?

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. [32] Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT

  • What bitterness do you need to leave behind?
  • Take some time to reflect on your life and your heart, and decide how you will start trusting the process, focusing on God and embracing relationships that will keep you free from further bitterness

Kick-Start Your Quiet Time

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