WATCH OUT FOR BITTERNESS, ANGER, RESENTMENT, UNFORGIVNESS AND OFFENCE. IT CAN RUIN YOU. BUT THERE IS A WAY OUT…
Many people ruin their lives and their health by eating the poison of bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. When you hold onto grudges, and unresolved anger, and when you allow offence to build up in your heart, you end up poisoning your life.
Before you think that this does not apply to you, please consider this word.
DON’T POISON YOUR LIFE
Sometimes people will hurt you. Sometimes people will mess up. This often leads to feelings of ill will. When you get bitter, or angry, and choose to harbour grudges and hatred, you can end up poisoning your life. Offence can be like a snake bite. It can poison your whole system.
I read an article from Billy Graham Ministries where they say that “professional counsellors have revealed that a large percentage of those been counselled today are angry, bitter and resentful. Bottled up feelings eat away until some people become emotional cripples and physically ill.”
Their ability to function is impaired and this often leads to difficulty sleeping, to break ups in relationships, and their lives begin to fall apart.”
Let me add, that offence and unforgiveness can also lead to bondage in other areas of your life too and may even mess up your relationship with God.
You might have been mistreated. You may have every right to feel hurt, and betrayed. But don’t let these things form a bitter poisonous root that contaminates your life.
Romans 12:17-21 NIV
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PLANT. IT WILL GROW AND WILL BE MULTIPLIED BACK TO YOU.
In Luke 6:37-38 Jesus said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
This principal from Jesus is great when it comes to blessing others, offering forgiveness and even with your money management. When you give, it will come back in abundance. If you live this way, you will live THE BLESSED LIFE.
But watch out! The opposite is also true.
When you judge and condemn others, the judgement and condemnation will come back in full force. And, if you choose to hold onto unforgiveness, it can ruin you. It will come back good measure will also come back pressed down, shaken together, and rolling over!
Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
You will harvest what you plant. If you plant an apple seed what will you get?
Not just apples, but a whole apple tree. That one tiny seed can produce a tree that will produce many apples each season.
What are you sowing into your life? You will always harvest what you plant.
Plant good seed and you will reap a good harvest. Plant rubbish and you will harvest a swamp. If you plant bitterness, anger, resentment and unforgiveness, and you will harvest a poisoned life.
Are you ruining your life with unforgiveness? Are you easily offended?
Watch out for the poison that can wreck your emotions, cripple your health, and kill your spiritual life.
Romans 12:14 says, “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.”
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO FORGIVE?
You may ask, Clinton, how many times must I forgive someone who continues to really hurt me? I’m glad you asked the question. Let’s see how Jesus answered this question.
In Matthew 18:21, Peter had come to Jesus and asked him, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” Jesus replied, “No, not seven times, “but seventy times seven!”
Jesus was saying, you must just keep forgiving.
UNFORGIVENESS LEADS TO A LIFE OF TORMENT AND BONDAGE
Jesus then told a story to illustrate the danger of holding onto unforgiveness in Matthew 18:23-35:
There was a King who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions. This guy couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold as a slave, along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
But this desperate man fell down before the King and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ When the King saw this broken man, he was moved with pity. The King released him and forgave his debt.
Right after receiving this undeserved mercy from the King, this man wasted no time. He tracked down a person who owed him a small amount of money. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. His debtor fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He was ruthless and had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
When others in town heard what had happened, they were very upset. They went to the King and told him everything that had happened. The King was mad.
Matthew 18:32-33 says, “The king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?”
Matthew 18:34 it says that the King “handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”
The King sent the man to prison to be tortured and tormented until he had paid his entire debt.
Jesus concluded by saying, “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” (v35)
If you choose to withhold forgiveness you are putting yourself in the danger zone. Consider what happened to this man.
When you hold onto bitterness and unforgiveness you are sentencing yourself to a life of torment, bondage and prison. Put another way you are poisoning your life.
Many end up tormented, because of the bondage of holding on to bitterness and offence.
Think about what Jesus did. We all owed a huge debt to God because of sin, but Jesus offered his undeserved kindness to you and me. He chose to pay the price on the cross for the sins of fallen mankind.
How many times have I let God down? Yet he still chose to forgive me. I have messed up so many times, yet God still chose to love me. Surely, we should show the same kind of love and forgiveness to others.
You might think it is hard to forgive that person. You may think it is unfair, but it pays to forgive.
When you forgive that person, you are releasing them to God. When you do, you are giving God the right to deal with that person, and you give God the power to bring freedom and healing to your life.
WHAT ARE YOU BOUND TO?
I am sure you will agree with me that love is a passion that binds you to another person. But hate and bitterness are also passions that can put you in bondage to another person.
The root of love comes from God, while the root of bitterness and hate is bound by satan. He wants to destroy you, and if you let a root of bitterness and resentment form in your heart, the enemy will get his teeth into you and infect you with poison that will destroy your life.
Hebrews 12:14-15 says, “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
Don’t let a bitter root form in your life. It will wreck you.
WHAT CAN STOP GOD FROM ANSWERING MY PRAYERS?
I believe that God wants to set you free today. He can move mountains in your life.
Look at what Jesus said in Mark 11:22 – 24… “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
God can do the impossible. He can move the mountains. All we need to do is ask for his help and put our faith in Him.
Many years ago, I was facing a mountain that only God could move. I cried out to God and asked Him to move the mountain. I knew he could make a way. I knew all things were possible with God, but nothing changed.
I asked God why the mountain was not moving, and I felt God impress on my heart to read the next verse, so I did.
In Mark 11:24 Jesus said, “You can pray for anything, and if you believe that we will received it, it will be yours!”
Jesus went on to say in v25, “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
I realised that by holding onto offence I had prevented God from being able to move in my life. God always honours His word. I chose to forgive. I repented. And God came through for me.
God still moves mountains, but if you are holding on to unforgiveness, you can actually stop God from intervening in your life. Be careful!
If you want to see mountains moved in your life, make certain that you forgive.
But it gets worse.
CAN MY UNFORGIVNESS AND OFFENSE STOP GOD FROM FORGIVING ME?
Jesus paid the full price on the cross so that we can be forgiven. Gods grace and mercy is available to all, no matter what you have done. But, when we choose not to forgive others, we actually prevent God from being able to forgive us too.
In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus gave us a template on how to pray effectively… “Our Father in heaven. Blessed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.”
Jesus tells us that we can pray to God and ask him to forgive our sins, just like we forgive those who have sinned against us.
Jesus continues … “And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Right after the Lord’s prayer, Jesus emphasises something important, as though he needs to highlight something.
In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Don’t cut yourself off from God.
When you choose to hold onto unforgiveness, you can stop God from not only forgiving your sins, but also from answering your prayers. If you want to be forgiven by God and have access to God, and see God answer your prayers, you need to forgive.
If you choose not to forgive, you cut yourself off from God, and you prevent God from being able to work in your life.
Do you need a breakthrough?
Then please do yourself a favour and forgive. Make sure your heart is right with both God and with people. Get rid of bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, grudges, offence and resentment.
Could you have cut yourself off from God’s best because you are holding onto offence?
CHOOSE TO FORGIVE. IT IS TIME TO BE FREE.
So many people are battling with serious health issues and many are left in bondage to depression, worry and anxiety. Still others are left defeated and their prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling.
Could it be that the underlying problem is a root of bitterness and unforgiveness?
Life is too short to be bitter and twisted!
Unresolved resentment can leave you stressed and anxious. It can cause obstructions in your life and can hold you in bondage.
The first step to freedom is to let go of unforgiveness and then hand the reigns of your life o to God.
Choose to forgive.
In Matthew 5:7-9, Jesus said, “God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
In a nutshell: When we choose to harbor feelings of bitterness, offence, grudges and unforgiveness in our hearts …
- it comes back to you multiplied over,
- you stop God from being able to move mountains in your way,
- you prevent God from answering your prayers
- you end up poisoning your life,
- you end up tormented and enslaved to this bondage.
Today God wants you to be free!
Imagine a blockage in a pipe. If that pipe remains blocked, and the pressure builds up, the pipe will eventually burst. That’s what happens when we hold onto unforgiveness.
But when we forgive we unblock the pipe, the pressure is released and the water can flow freely, and this allows God to work on your behalf.
Today God calls you to unblock the pipe.
I want to share a picture that God has given me…
It is a picture of a large body of water. Many years ago, this was a beautiful crystal-clear pool of fresh water. It was cool and refreshing and pure.
However, over the years it has been neglected. The water that once was well circulated has now stagnated. The pipe that had a constant flow of living water has become blocked. The pool has turned slimy green. This once beautiful pool of water has turned into a stagnant swamp. The water has started to smell. It has become polluted. It is mozzy infested.
This picture represents your life if you have let bitterness, unforgiveness and resentment into your heart. You feel betrayed and you are hurting. You know that you have been cut off from the life-giving water supply and this has left your life completely polluted and contaminated, because of the bitter root in your heart.
God is in the picture. He wants to come to your rescue. He so dearly wants to heal your broken heart, but the wedge of unforgiveness is preventing Him from bringing you freedom.
God is waiting for you to forgive and to let go of the offence. He is waiting for you to return to him.
Today you can choose to forgive. You can return to God.
In my vision, I see that when the hurting person surrenders their hurts to God, and chooses to forgive their offender that God starts to move in. There is a release from hurt and pain. Everything seems a little brighter. All of a sudden, the pipe begins to supernaturally unblock. I see a river of living water beginning to flow into the swamp. The slimy green stagnant water starts to disappear and the swamp transforms back into a brilliant bright crystal clear purified beautiful cool refreshing spring of living water.
God wants to do this in your life. He can make all things new.
It is time to forgive. It’s time to surrender your life, along with your hurts and pain, to God.
Proverbs 4:23 AMP says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Let go of the unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness is spiritual filthiness. God wants to wash you in the water of his word. Allow God to pour out his supernatural rain that can cleanse you. He can turn your stagnant waters into living waters.
Ephesians 4:22-27 tells us to “throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.”
Don’t give the devil a foothold in your life. When you give the devil a foothold he will turn it into a strong hold.
Be quick to forgive.
Ephesians 4:31-32 continues, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
It is time to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, and offence. It’s time to forgive. It’s time to be set free.
I want to encourage you to let go of all bitterness, anger, resentment, offence and unforgiveness. These things will poison your life and will put you in bondage.
Don’t allow the devil to create a stronghold in your life. Holding onto these bondages will cut you off from God’s best. It can stop God from being able to forgive you sins. It can stop God from being able to move mountains in your life.
If your life is poisoned, or if your life has become a swamp of stagnant polluted water, know this: If you will forgive and let go of your hurt, God is able to revive your life and restore you. He is able to let the living water flow in. He is able to move the mountains.
If this is you, make a decision to forgive and to return to God.
Acts 3:19-20, “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.”
I ask you to make a decision. Don’t wait until you feel like doing this. That won’t happen.
Today you can resist the devil in his attempt to poison your life, and when you stand up against him with God at your side, he will flee from you.
Make a decision to forgive and give God the opportunity to break you out of your bondage and to set you free. You cannot do it alone. We need the power of the Holy Spirit. But if you are willing, God will enable you.
Hebrews 4:16 … “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Today I believe God wants to set you free. He wants to heal you. He wants to unblock your pipe and he wants to pour out his blessing on your life.
The first step to freedom is to let go of unforgiveness and then hand the reigns of your life to God.
STEPS TO FREEDOM:
- Ask God to help you…
Father. I so dearly want to be free. You know me through and through. I ask you to lead me and to bring breakthrough to me. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
- Ask God to reveal issues in your heart …
Father, today I come before you. Lord I ask you to show me the people that I need to forgive. I also ask you to reveal areas in my life where I have held onto bitterness and offence. Lord today I ask you to help me deal with these issues once and for all. I surrender to you. In Jesus name amen.
- Choose to forgive …
Will you forgive that person who has hurt you?
Will you let go of the bitterness and the offence?
Forgive quickly. The quicker you forgive the easier it is. Forgive freely.
Father today I’ll bring __________ before you. I acknowledge that I have been bitter and offended and hurt by __________, and that I have harbored unforgiveness in my heart towards them. Today I choose to forgive __________. I release them to you. I let them go and I choose to be free. In Jesus name. Amen.
- Cast your cares and burdens on God
Now, give God your burdens, along with all your hurts and pain.
1 Peter 5:7 AMP … “Cast the whole of your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”
As a symbol of surrender, I want you to picture yourself placing all your hurts in your hands, along with your anxious thoughts and pain.
Now let us pray.
Father today I give you my burdens. I cast all my cares and worries on you, along with all my fears, hurts and pains. I let go and give all these issues to you. Thank you that you paid the full price for me on the cross. In Jesus name. Amen.
Now, open your hands and turn all your hurts and worries over to God. Let go and let God. And don’t ever take them back.
Jesus Christ paid the full price for your life. Although our sins cut us off from God, Jesus came as your Savior and he shed his blood on the cross so that we can go free. He made a way for you and I to be reconnected to God. You can begin a close walk with God. It can start right now and will go right on into eternity.
If you are not a child of God or if you have fallen away, call out to God now. Today is your day of salvation.
Father God, I surrender my life to you. Lord Jesus, thank you for paying the full price on the cross for me.
Today I repent of my sin and I ask you to forgive me.
Please clean me and fill me. I turn my back on my old life and I thank you for setting me free.
Thank you that I am your child and that I can start a new walk with you, that starts today and goes right on into eternity. Lord Jesus I ask you to be my Lord and Savior. In Jesus name. Amen
Let us pray that God will bring complete healing and restoration to your life.
Father, I plead the blood of Jesus over my life today. I thank you that I am your child.
Lord break all chains of bondage off my life. Unblock any pipes that are causing stagnation in me.
Lord I ask you to pour out your cool refreshing rain of your Spirit. Lord let your Living Water flow over me. Please purify and cleanse me.
Lord I ask you to move the mountains of bondage out of my life.
I ask for the joy of the Lord to be my strength. Lord Jesus, please come flood my heart with your peace. Please pour out your blessing and favor over me and bring breakthrough. May I produce good fruit in every area of my life. Lord I ask you to heal me and to restore me. I thank you that I am free. In Jesus name. Amen.
John 8:36 NKJV
Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
May your life never be the same again. May you be fruitful and filled with God’s abundant favour.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
- Praise God
Jeremiah 20:13 says, “Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord! For though I was poor and needy, he rescued me from my oppressors.”
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