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June 8, 2021 2:00 am
Choosing a life of bitterness is to go down a destructive road that banishes peace and promotes self-centeredness. In the message "The Destructive Harvest of a Bitter Heart," Skip considers several attributes of a heart poisoned by bitterness.
This teaching is from the series White Collar Sins.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
The sin of all the human emotions that are out there.
This is one that you want to fear the most.
Because bitterness is emotional cancer is 1 L put it, bitterness blows out the candle of joy and leaves the cylinder unresolved anger in your life can quickly result in bitterness and resentment. And that's when you are around of peace and perspective today on connect with skip-Skip shares hope bitterness gets planted in your heart without cultivate good things in your life that at the end of today's program Skip and his wife Lynn Scher about one important thing to cultivating your life to avoid bitterness change your routine. What I mean by that is if you're kind of a person who says what was bad or I'm in I get the lines of the deal. Everybody else gets. Plus I don't use jargon that are about change your routine go visit a hospital go visit a convalescent home that you Skip if you want to hear more. Please stay tuned after the teacher. Now we want to tell you about an encouraging resource that will help you dive deeper into God's truths look like if God party of the Old Testament shows that the Jewish calendar anchored with regular mandatory holidays and celebrations in the book of Esther says that God wants his variance polite and gladness joy and honor at such time sound like your family celebrations. Listen to this insight from Skip Heitzig sake, not one of our own regular holidays.
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It is his decision. Imagine that foundation for the next holiday on your family calendar. This selection of some of Pastor's holiday teachings are thank $25 or more to help connect more people to God's word visit connectwithskip.com/offer to get online securely or call 819 to 1888 and request your copy of happiness, holiness, and holidays with Skip Heitzig sake. Okay Hebrews chapter 12 is skip.
I took starts today. Scott won a series recalled white-collar sends and I've worn a white collar for the occasion, and there were studying something today that some of you might find very appropriate back something that some of you struggle with in the 16th century were to renowned artisans who were both hired to beautify the Vatican in Rome. One was Michelangelo. The other was Rafael, Michelangelo was a painter who fancied himself a sculptor, Rafael, of course, was the renowned sculptor. Both of them did very different tasks. Both of them were highly regarded in their own particular fields, but interestingly up bitterness broke out between them, a rivalry broke out between them, so that whenever they would pass each other in the hall or even need. They refused to speak to each other. Everybody could see it became a renowned bitterness and the ironic thing is that both of them were doing this for the glory of God doing it for the glory of God while holding on to bitterness at the same time. Unfortunately, when you get people that are that revered and renowned about bitterness that rivalry everybody can can taste it. It defiles so many people and it becomes renowned for example Winston Churchill. Everybody knows most people know that there was this long going long ongoing rivalry between Winston Churchill and a woman named Lady Astor and they would often say things to each other publicly. Even to put down each other and I got to be really bad.
So for example, all on one occasion, Lady Astor said to Winston Churchill publicly sir, if you were my husband I would put poison in your tea, unfazed by that. He turned to her and said Mme., if I were your husband.
I would drink that date. Most everyone can think of a better person but seldom will you find someone willing to admit that they are a better person and yet I think more people may deal with struggle with a root of bitterness than we think. I will admit that when I was a young man a young boy, I became angry and that anger turned bitterness toward my own father.
He was a harsh man not very gracious, very demanding, very exacting and I struggled with that and it became for a period of time, very dark and God had to do a working God did do a work of restoration or reconciliation, but it was something that I struggled with as a young man and I was reading a little article, blog by a counselor by the name of Mike DuBose who lived for years being better in his own father.
He was angry and bitter because his dad left the family when Mike was a young boy. He said he was talking the counselor said you know, Mike. It's interesting that people from similar backgrounds same circumstances as you. Even within the same family can react different ways. For example, he said you might have one child like you become very resentful at the same time in the same family you might have a child who doesn't become resentful, but learns from it and grows from it becomes better because of it. So that set him on a path of healing, but Mike DuBose said tells of a conversation that he had with a friend who was 70 years old.
I'll let him tell the story. He said we spoke about his bad childhood and how he still resented his father, who had been dead for years.
You can imagine a few 70 years old. His dad would've been gone many years before I advised him to forgive and move on. But he said angrily. I will never forgive my father even to the grave. His dead father said Mike is dead father and his negative childhood experiences were still haunting him and generating anger. More than 60 years later and he concluded by writing bitterness had taken deep root in his mind and his heart. The set of all the human emotions that are out there. This is one that you want to fear the most. Because bitterness is emotional cancer. As one leader put it, bitterness blows out the candle of joy and leaves the soul in darkness. You know bitter people are like porcupines a bit. They may have many fine points, but they're very hard to get close to the hard to get close to because they're harsh their critical their unforgiving their judgmental or sarcastic, angry, but it's more than just anger. It's anger that is grown into something morphed into something or there like icebergs there very cold toward you there very cold shoulder Duluth act like they don't need you.
They don't want you they got nothing to say I'm good without you and like icebergs.
Most of the problem is underneath you're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. The real problem is what's going on under the surface. Today were dealing with the garden of your own heart, so to speak. What you allowed to grow in your soul so working a look at bitterness and I want to show you out of this text. The book of Hebrews chapter 12 beginning in verse 12 for attributes of bitterness will follow the stages of its growth from a small seed put into a certain kind of soil that nurtures and nourishes it that eventually grows a root system that eventually produces fruit, so let's begin by saying that bitterness begins with small seeds, I'm taking you to chapter 12 of Hebrews verse 12, where he begins in this paragraph. Therefore, strengthen the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather heal pursue peace with all people, and holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 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. This paragraph opens up with a metaphor of a racer of a runner. It's something the author begins with in the first few verses of the same chapter where he says that is run the race that is set before us. Now he returns to this metaphor. Now here is the runner on the track whose hands are drooping down. He's losing the proper form for running he's becoming exhausted and in his exhaustion, his knees get wobbly and in the very second verse, verse 13. He's veering off his own path getting into the next lane which can become detrimental it can dislocated his own joints or can hurt a fellow runner so the picture that is of a Christian. The believer running the race of faith who becomes discouraged. What is it that discourages the runner people because you'll notice that he says pursue peace with all people you know, the biggest challenge to your peace is people of all the circumstances in life people are the source of rattling your cage. Why is people can hurt us. They can upset us. They can offend us, they confront us. They can ignore us and all of those things hurt.
However, what we failed to lose sight of when people heard us and that is where bitterness begins. By the way, with that anger due to her we fail to see is that perhaps God is actually using those difficult people to get our attention, to use them as a course correction to chasten us. By the way, that is the context of the entire chapter starts with a runner metaphor goes back to it. But in between. He talks about the chastening of the Lord, I want you to see if you verses. Look at verse three for consider him that is Jesus who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not resisted the bloodshed striving against sin, implying that's what Jesus went through and you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons. Here's the quote my son, do not despise the chastening that is chastising that is correction that is spanking. Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by him for whom the Lord loves he chastens and he scourges every son whom he receives that when you lose sight of that fact that God could be using a difficult person to chastise you to course correct. What when you start seeing people not as God's correction.
You start thinking that they're the devils aggravation the scampi from God has to be from the devil or maybe it's from God because he's chastening you God can use those difficulties, but that word that the person says that deed that that person does, it becomes a seed that is planted in your heart that if you allow it to grow leads to bitterness and I noticed something. When people are discouraged like this runner is here when you are discouraged you are most vulnerable to those kind of thoughts inwardly, that lead to a bitter heart. So what is bitterness come from it comes from a seed of anger planted by somebody who is hurt you.
Bitterness begins to germinate when something happens to you that you don't think you deserve. I don't deserve this. I do know why this is happening to me I don't deserve this is like the student who went to his professor in college very angry because the professor gave them a zero on his test. He said excuse me, I don't deserve this. Zero professors that I agree with you, you don't deserve it but it's the lowest grade I could give you that sometimes people want to hurt you.
It's an intentional statement or deed, other times it's not intended at all to hurt you. In fact, sometimes it's imaginary you just are imagining this whole thing.
And yet, though they're not trying to hurt you. We hurt you, you feel slighted bitterness is simply internalized anger that you let fester over time you you hold onto it long enough and the anger will change you will morph into something else and it is resentment and then bitterness an article I found in psychology today the office at all. Bitterness starts out as hurt and then the Austin author says it festers into an anger he continues for anger and its first cousin resentment is what we are all likely to experience whenever we conclude that another has seriously abused us left to fester that righteous anger eventually becomes the corrosive ulcer that is bitterness. So the picture in Hebrews chapter 12 is discouragement has planted a seed of hurt, hurt, has turned anger. The anger becomes resentment and eventually the resentment becomes bitterness.
According to Stephen diamond, a PhD on the subject. He defines bitterness as a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment and I thought that was very picturesque. A smoldering resentment and he said he regards this is one of the most destructive and toxic of all human emotions. So bitterness begins with small seeds within a gross and the second characteristic. The second attribute, I want you to see is that bitterness requires the right kind of soil so you look at something of notice in verse 15. If you don't mind the authors is looking carefully. That means paying attention very diligently, looking carefully last anyone fall short of the grace of God that the truth is you can never outstrip or outrun the grace of God. The Bible says were sin abounds. Grace overflows, but you can come short of it. You can lose sight of the grace of God.
And when a person misses the grace of God in his or her life.
They become susceptible to a life of bitterness. Why, because when we forget how gracious God was to us. Then we cease being gracious to other people and why are we gracious while this is what you deserve.
This know what I did you know we we start forgetting just how merciful and gracious God was to us so we need to grow in grace because if we don't grow in grace. Bad things can grow in us. One of those bad things is this bitterness now some soils are easier to plan things in than others, so it is with human hearts are some people's hearts that are just right for growing a harvest of bitterness. What kinda hard is that people who hold onto things and never let them go. If we keep ruminating on wrongs in the past. Keep chewing on something that somebody did to us in the past, it begins to affect us in the present and it becomes an essential part of who we are is our new identity.
We are that hurt one we are the victim betray a story of somebody who was like that of the Bible. She didn't start out that way.
Her name was Naomi in the book of Ruth, Naomi is a name that means pleasant, agreeable, friendly, what a great name here comes this pleasant.
I can see her coming on the road about them smiling at everybody. She gets married and has kids. There's a famine in the land of Israel. In Bethlehem, where she's from that sort of the breadbasket of ancient Israel. It forces her family to go out and seek food in Moab and neighboring country and things go from bad to worse, she loses her husband a little luck she loses her two boys Braylon and Kelly on the both die, so she's bereft of three males and her family. All of that pain that occurs to her becomes a seed that grows in her heart a seed of anger that becomes bitterness toward God. God's only one left the cheek and blames her she blames God, so she comes back to Bethlehem because now there's food back in the land of Israel. She comes back to town. People see her in a go look. Naomi's back.
This pleasant is back with us and listen to her response. She said don't call me Naomi, which means pleasant, call me Mara. The word means bitter now she's defining herself as a bitter person self admission. Don't call me pleasant you call me bitter to listen to why for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out soul not really true.
And the Lord brought me home again empty the Lord has testified against me.
The Almighty has afflicted me know in that little group of sentences for time she blames God for time. She says I'm better and it's God's fault for time to says I'm not happy and it's God's fault. She's now defying her very life by that destructive emotion bitterness and that'll that'll happen. Bitterness turns you into a perpetual victim which is a bad place to be, but it's a very convenient place to be because if you're always the victim, you can justify your anger.
I Negri and I have a right to be angry if you're always a victim you hold onto that anger you blame others. It's always somebody else's fault. You play the victim and if you analyze it carefully and biblically will discover something. Bitterness is really a form of pride, because in bitterness you are saying God I don't deserve this, by the way, it's not smart to pray.
God give me what I deserve because what you deserve is far from what you may think you deserve but this is a form of pride to say I don't deserve this. I deserve much better.
So when a herd comes your way.
If it's a word somebody says if it's an action somebody does. Don't let that take root in your heart. You can't let that thing continue to grow. Don't water it with self exalting thoughts don't fertilize it with other people. Sympathies got rooted out is if you hold onto it. It's going to grab hold of you and not let you go world is filled with people who have not dealt with past hurts and people who don't deal with past hurts. There's a profile that they eventually fit into their critical they noticed bad things around them. Not good things always a notice all the bad things, not only are they hypercritical, but there fault finders are sin sniffers. Somebody is rotten around here. I confide and smell sin. And when they talk about people they can't help themselves is going to be a putdown in a conversation. Some it's going to go negative. Bitterness is what puts a scowl on one's face and puts venom in one's words. It's bitterness that is grown so it begins with small seeds, it requires the right kind of soil for it to grow. But the third characteristic. The third attribute is that bitterness develops deep roots again. Look at verse 5 x 15 skews me looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God. Last any root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by this many become defiled with the message from the series white conversations.
Now, let's head into the studio with Skip and Linda as they share about one important thing to avoid bitterness today. You mentioned that when we forget that grace in our lives we become susceptible to bitterness.
Skip what are some practical things the listener can do to grow in God's grace every day. You know, a root of bitterness. I was thinking about because I think it's unbelief. I think you get bitter when you fall in the sin of unbelief because you're now disbelieving God's sovereignty. You're not believing God's grace.
You're not believing God's wisdom and superintending your life and because you don't believe that you start getting jealous, angry, bitter, and then another thing I would say is that a notebook helps write something down right one thing down every day of what you can be thankful for and then take that thing and pray thank you for this Lord is asking to sort of turn your heart. If you're inclined toward bitterness is going to give it a different direction. A different bearing your setting it in a different place and you're learning slowly to be thankful that so guide not just writing down thankfulness in your life is what you thankful to God for but maybe trying to turn that around and find good things and that other person that you could write down things that you are grateful about like it's your mother or a spouse or a child. Write down some of the good things remember us yes yeah exactly. Here's another thought about change your routine. What I mean by that is if you're kind of a person who says what was me I'm bad or I'm you know I get the raw end of the deal. Everybody else gets blessed. I don't and you start getting better about change your routine go visit a hospital go visit a convalescent home, go visit a prisoner rehab center see what people who are much worse off than you are have to live with every day, some of whom are very thankful and that's going to help turn things you think you Skip in my hand.
We hope this conversation was stiff and I can't encourage doing your faith help keep these difficult messages coming to you and others filling the neurotic Jesus just as thinking/donate.connectwithskip.com/donate or call 892. Again, I think hundred 19 team. Thank you to meet again tomorrow is six years. You can take your eyes off of bitter situation is so Skip presentation of connection communications ever-changing truth, ever-changing time