Get Rid Of The Bitterness – October 21, 2016
Ephesians 4:29, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Philippians 4:6, Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been in a teaching series at Cottonwood Creek titled, ‘Relationship Goals God’s Way!’ During the first few weeks I spoke about four aspects of great relationships, which are love, humility, forgiveness and commitment. If you missed any of those thoughts, you can find them on my daily blog.
The next fundamental key to great relationships, is knowing the do’s and don’ts of successful relationships. In Ephesians 4, Paul gives us that list. The fifth and final do and don’t of the week is found in Ephesians 4:31, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and slander, …instead be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Did you get that? Paul says to have great relationships, don’t be bitter and unforgiving. That is your ‘don’t.’ The ‘do’ is when Paul says to be kind, compassionate and forgiving. Let’s face the reality, none of us are perfect. We all need and want forgiveness when we do something wrong, but far too often we don’t grant forgiveness when someone does something wrong to us and instead we stay bitter. It’s been said that “Unforgiveness is choosing to stay trapped in the jail cell of bitterness, serving time for someone else’s crime!” So this weekend, get out of the jail cell of bitterness about someone else’s crime, instead forgive and be free.
Think about that and have a blessed weekend!
John Mark Caton, Ph.D