Oct 23 2023 From Thought to Action: Chapter 12
Want to get this sent to your email every week? Sign up here!
Before we begin, remember…making disciples can be as easy as reading a chapter of The Four Priorities and discussing it with someone else. This blog series is designed to supplement your journey. Feel free to take what you need and leave the rest! And remember, please share this post with your disciple so they can subscribe, too!
KEY QUOTES from Chapter 12: Emotional Assets – Bitterness or Forgiveness
Bitterness is the “corrosive bile that denies our peace; it is the seething wrath that craves vengeance; it is the vitriol that poisons relationships. The author of Hebrews warned of this corrupting influence and its aftermath: ‘See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many’ (Heb. 12:15).”
“A bitter attitude is so serious that Jesus said you should stop whatever religious ‘thing’ you are doing and go settle the matter with the one with whom you have a problem.”
“It only takes one person to forgive. It takes two to reconcile, but one person can clear the deck of his own bitterness and move on.”
REFLECT: Sometimes we can focus so much on being thankful and forgiving that we suppress our negative emotions of bitterness or anger or unforgiveness. There is a therapy technique for clients struggling with depression that encourages the client to “depress themselves” for a set amount of time each day. During this 5-minute section within the safe and protected space they determined ahead of time, the client can be sad, angry, upset, frustrated, etc. When that timer is up, the client tends to feel more free and relieved from the hard emotions they have been carrying.
As Christians, we know that God is not ignorant to our negative emotions or sinful thoughts/desires. Cultivating a habit of bringing those areas of our life into conversation with God can sometimes be the most helpful thing for making space for the positive and healthy aspects of our life.
- Set a 3-5 minute timer and write about all the negative things in your life where you are bitter, angry, not forgiving, etc.
- Then, set another 3-5 minute timer and write down a list of things that you are grateful for – no matter how simple it maybe!
PRAY: We have a tendency to overcomplicate things – especially our prayers! One way to simplify your prayer life is to pick two phrases or truths from scripture and attach them to your breath pattern. As you inhale, internally say the 1st phrase. As you exhale, say the 2nd phrase.
INHALE: Give me eyes to see what is good
EXHALE: in my life today
MEMORIZE: Take this week to memorize Hebrews 12:15 with your household. Write it on a sticky note to place on your car dashboard, your bathroom mirror, or wherever you will view it often.
Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
WORSHIP: Listen to this song called Forgiveness by Matthew West
Treasure hunt for God throughout your day! During dinner one night, talk about how it can be hard to see how God is always at work in our own lives. It can be kind of like a treasure hunt to see the little clues He leaves for us! Ask everyone to share what clues they noticed from God today or this week.
Steps for forgiveness and releasing bitterness:
- Recognize your own sin. Matthew 5:3
- Be sorry for your sin and willing to quit. Matthew 5:4
- Be cleansed! Confess your sin… 1 John 1:9
- Be willing to see each other as people for whom Jesus Christ has died.
- You have to forgive, forgive, and forgive.
- Press on! Philippians 3:12-17
That’s it for Chapter 12!
Now…go! And make disciples!