Jump Start # 2444
Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
Our verse today deals with attitudes that will wreck the path that we are on and ruin all the good that we have accomplished. These six words are connected and one leads to the next. These words are relationship words. They reflect how one feels and treats others. These words also show a heart that is empty of Jesus. And, by the expression, “be put away from you,” these attitudes can be stopped and tossed out of our lives.
The first in this long series of train wreck is bitterness. You won’t find a smile upon the face of a bitter person. Miserable, sour and mean—that’s the bitter person. And, the bitter person tries to make others just as miserable as he is.
I know some bitter people. They are certainly no fun to be around. It’s hard to talk to a bitter person. They are likely to shoot everything you say down. They don’t want solutions. They don’t want hope and future. Doom and despair is the life of the bitter person.
There are countless reasons why some are bitter. Some feel that they have been cheated by life. Others got things they never did. They had to work hard, but they never saw the benefits like others did. They didn’t have the open doors like others did. Some are bitter because the way they feel others have treated them. Some are bitter because they are jealous. Some are bitter, but they are not sure why, they just are.
It’s hard to understand why a person would stay bitter, but many do. Many have been bitter for decades. They are mad at God. They are upset at the church. They don’t like brethren. Some, hate the job they work at. And, the odd thing to me is that so many remain bitter. They don’t work on getting rid of their bitterness. You get the impression that some like to be miserable. They would rather complain than compliment. They would rather see what’s wrong than what’s right. They aren’t happy unless others are unhappy. Gloom and doom.
Bitterness in a marriage is a sure death. It’s hard to be close to someone who is always complaining and against everything. Bitterness in a congregation is certain to stop growth and kill momentum. There is no ‘I’m happy today, I’m happy today,’ from the lips of a bitter person. A bitter person would find something wrong with Heaven, if he ever made it there.
So, the key to killing bitterness is simply to stop it. Lay it aside, is what our verse tells us. Count your blessings. Look at what the Lord has done for you. Get over yourself and do something for someone else.
There are some things that should not be tolerated, and bitterness is one of them. Left alone, bitterness invites anger and wrath to tag along. Now, you really have problems. Bitterness doesn’t see straight and it doesn’t think clearly. Bitterness belongs to the world and not the child of God.
So, life hasn’t been fair to you…pray.
So, others got things you never did…rejoice for them.
So, some had it easier than you did…grow.
So, someone let you down…forgive.
So, you feel left out and alone…connect.
So, you are upset and angry…get over it.
So, you never got what you deserve…be thankful.
You can tell when bitterness is starting up in you. It’s like having a fever. It starts slowly and gradually. Left alone, it’ll take over. Bitterness will do the same. Stop looking around so much at others and comparing. Lift up your eyes and see what the Lord has done for you.
It’s time to toss the bitterness. Best start now, before it gets too late.