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Defeating Bitterness

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James Dutton


March 9, 2004

Hebrews 12:14-15


1. One of the human emotions that we all have to keep our guard

against is the dreaded, creepy, non-prejudice, sleuth, called


a. 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 can 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.

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


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


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, so

the sooner you remove it the better.

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