Joyce Meyer — Burnt But Not Bitter
Well, I know the answer to this is yes but I'll just ask it anyway. Have you ever been hurt by somebody else? Taken advantage of? Used, abused, lied about, lied to? Been cheated or deceived? Have you ever just really done a lot for somebody and then when you needed them, they didn't have any time for you? Man, that's a hard one, isn't it? "After all I've done for you". Well, then I guess if I want to be a really good Christian, I have to go back and say, "Well, okay God, if I'm expecting them to pay me back, then was I really giving when I helped them or was I just buying points so they would owe me something later"? You know, let's just go deep tonight, okay? Let's don't fool around on surface of this thing. Let's really get down to what it's all about and get it over with.
Now, I can't think of a better example in the Bible than Joseph and maybe you get tired of hearing about how Joseph forgave his brothers, but I mean his story is so amazing. His brothers were jealous of him because he was dad's baby and he got a special coat. It had a lot of pretty colors in it and they didn't like that. Then on top of that, he had a dream where he dreamed that he was going to be over all them and they were gonna bow down to them. Being young, he was a little bit dumb and he didn't know any better than to tell them about his dream. But his biggest mistake was just immaturity, it wasn't that he was mean.
So, they hated him. The Bible says plainly they hated him, and they sold him to slave traders. They were gonna kill him and just go back and tell his dad that a wild beast killed him, but they ended up selling him and they did tell his dad that he was dead. And they put some blood on his cloak and took it back, and the slave traders then sold him to a wealthy man named Potiphar. And Potiphar's wife took a liking to Joseph and Joseph was maintaining his integrity with God, no matter what it cost him. I want to repeat that. He was maintaining his integrity with God no matter what it cost him personally. Maybe one more time.
Boy, we need people that will have a standard of integrity in their life and not go below it no matter what it ends up costing them. Compromise inside the church and among people who call themselves Christians is totally ruining our reputation as any place to or anybody to go to when you need help. The very people who tempt you to compromise will hate you if you do it. They want somebody that will stand up and do what's right. They want an example. So, I'm gonna say that again, Joseph maintained his standard of integrity and rather than going to bed with her like she wanted, he refused to. She lied about him, said that he tried to rape her, and Potiphar had him put in prison where he stayed, I think something like 13 years for something that he didn't do.
So, this guy is having a rough go. Then when he was in prison, he met a butler and a baker who were in there for something they did, and they had been the butler and the baker in Pharaoh's house and they were wanting to get cleared, get their jobs back. They had some kind of dream and Joseph was able to interpret the dream and out of that, they ended up getting out of the prison. And one of the things he said is, "Don't forget me". Well, what do you think they did? They forgot him and left him right there. But ultimately Pharaoh had a dream, Joseph was able to interpret that dream and Pharaoh brought him into his house. And if you study the Bible at all, you probably know the story from the pit to the palace. He ended up being the second in charge.
Well, eventually the opportunity came for him to get his brothers back, take revenge. That wasn't part of his DNA either. And so, he forgave them, took care of them the rest of their lives and he said something that we all need to realize here tonight, and sometimes it's a little hard to swallow. But he said, "What you meant for my harm, God intended for my good". So, in other words, God allowed it for the very purpose of maturing Joseph. And I can tell you what, we don't grow up in good times, we enjoy good times, but we grow up in our hard times. And anybody here that's made it through something difficult and you're now on the other side of it, you would look back and say, "That was where I became a man or a woman. That was there I grew up in God". Because when you're having trouble... and it is a test.
One of the messages tomorrow is gonna be about letting your test become your testimony. 'Cause you gotta remember that testimony begins with t-e-s-t, test. So a lot of people, after they have a test, all they have let is the monies, they never get around to the testimony. You know we're so much in love with Jesus when nothing hurts. Oh, we're so in love with the Lord and so happy to praise him when we got the promotion, when he got the guy when, you know, whatever it is we wanted, we got him or we got rid of the guy or whatever. By God will test us. He will test us with hard times, and I'll show you scripture to see if we'll keep his commandments or not and if we'll love him just as much in the valley as we do on the mountaintops.
And God does this because he wants to use every single one of us. God has a plan and a purpose for every single one of you, not one person in this building is left out. God has a plan and needs every single one of you. If you think the world is gonna be won by a handful of preachers on a platform or a few people on television, you are wrong, wrong, wrong, because most of people that need Jesus are not coming to church and they're not watching Christian TV unless for some reason their television gets stuck on it and they can't get it off.
And I did have one guy tell me that. He said, "Scared the living daylights out of me". He said he was high on dope and it was the middle of the night, and he turned the television on and I came on and he didn't want to listen to me so he tried to change the channel and it wouldn't change. He said, "The only button on my TV that worked was the one to turn the volume up". He went and got new batteries, put new batteries in, still same thing. Could not get rid of me. Soon as my program was over, the remote started working again. He said he hit his knees, started repenting, and got saved. But most of the people that need Christ are working around you at work. They're in your neighborhoods. They're in the stores that you go to. And every single believer is called of God, yes, to be happy and enjoy life, but to do something way beyond that, to share with other people what God has done for you.
And if you're afraid of... you say, "Well, I can't preach, I can't talk to people". To be honest with you, I think we can do more preaching and keep our mouth shut. What we need to do is get out there and live the life. We need to get out there and act like Christians. So, what do you think happens when somebody at your workplace has mistreated you? You know they've mistreated you. They know they've mistreated you and all of a sudden they have a need and you're the first one to step up and say, "I'd like to help you with that". Well, you know, nothing embarrasses your enemies any more than for you to help them when they're having trouble and nothing makes the devil any madder than for you to love your enemies because as soon as you start to do that, he's losing control over you.
The only thing that gets in our way is our feelings. "But I feel, but I feel, but I feel". But you know what? You're more than a feeling. Your feelings are something you have and you don't have to let them have you. You can do the right thing and not feel like doing it, amen? Let me say that again. You can do the right thing and yet not feel like doing it. My goodness, if I only did what was right when I felt like it, we'd have a big mess, how about you?
So, Paul was hurt several times. I mean, there's a group of scriptures here that are pretty amazing. 2 Timothy 4:9 through 17 Paul said, "Make every effort to come to me soon: for Demas, having loved the pleasures of this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica: Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia". Well, it looked like all the boys were scattering. This happened to me when God called me to begin to teach the Bible. I was in a church at the time that didn't advocate women being used in ministry. I didn't know there was anything wrong with it, you know, 'cause God called me and I figured I ought to just do what he wanted me to. But I'm telling you what, my friends scattered, I mean they went in every direction and all of a sudden, I was like the subject of everybody's gossip.
We got asked to leave our church. We lost our friends. Family ostracized us. If you want to be used by God, you better get ready to be willing to pay a price for it because it doesn't always come real easy. You're not clapping very loud. See now you're not so sure you want to be used by God. "Oh God, use me, use me, as long as it's comfortable and feels good". He said, "Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very helpful to me for the ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come bring the coat that I left at troas with carpus, especially the books and the parchments that I left there. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm". Now, you gotta watch that. "but that is no concern of mine, for the Lord will repay him according to his actions".
Now boy, is that freedom? I mean, this guy really treated me wrong, but I'm not gonna worry about that. I'm not even gonna think about that. I'm just gonna pray for him, turn it over to God. God will take care of him. God will take care of it. He said, "Be on guard against him yourself, because he vigorously opposed our message. At my first trial no one supported me as an advocate or stood with me, but they all deserted me". Now, get this, "May it not be counted against them by God".
What kind of Christianity are we dealing with here compared to what we have today? I mean, I can preach this message any place that I want to go, any church, any size arena and at the end, I can ask for people to stand who need prayer to forgive someone and I've never had less than 80% of the people get up, never in 42 years of ministry. I'll test you tonight and we'll see how honest you are. But you know what? That's scary and it's concerning to me because God says we're only powerful when we have unity and that we're not to even let the sun go down on our anger because it gives the devil a foothold in our lives. That's why I call this book, "Do yourself a favor and forgive". You think you're doing something for your enemies, you're not doing anything for them. They don't even care. But when you forgive 'em and you start to pray for 'em, then God can reveal truth to them and they can come to a place of repentance and maybe they can be saved instead of lost, which is what our job is as God's little helpers.
I'm gonna back up to verse 16. "At my first trial no one supported me as an advocate or stood with me, they all deserted me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood by me". Everyone else deserted him, but God never deserts us. God never deserts us. I'm not gonna stay mad at a bunch of people, try to have a close intimate relationship with God, expect God's favor on my life. It doesn't work that way. When God says to do something, he means it and everything that God tells us to do is for our benefit. It's not for him, it's for us. So, if God says to give 10% of your earnings, he doesn't need it, it's for us. There's a secret there that's for us, something that's gonna help us. When he says, forgive your enemies no matter how bad they've treated you, and pray for them, and bless them, he means for us to do that. And when we don't do it, we hurt ourselves. And when we do it, then we can see God's favor on our life and the reward that he brings will far outweigh what it is the person did to us.
And I can almost hear some of you thinking, "But you don't know what they did to me. But you don't know what they did to me". Well, I don't but I know what my Father did to me, and I know that I spent a lot of years hating Him and all it did was make me bitter and hard to get along with. And what you've got in you will come out of you toward other people. Come on. I said, what you've got in you will come out of you toward other people. And sometimes you don't even realize the bitterness, and the resentment, and the attitudes that come out of you.
I know I didn't and I can tell ya, I thought I'd forgiven my father until God asked me to help him and then I rebuked God thinking it was the devil. I did, I thought there is no way that God would ask me to do that. They lived in Southeast Missouri and God said, "Move them up close to you, take care of your mom and dad until they die". Was there anything in me that wanted to do that? No one fiber of my being wanted to spend any money on them, do anything for them, see them, give them anything, nothing. But I can tell ya, it was the greatest favor that I ever did myself in my whole life. And people laugh when I say this but it's the truth and God knows it so there's no point in me pretending.
They were pretty old and so I thought well, you know? You can do anything for a couple of years. Well, we have got some longevity in our bloodlines. My mother was 90 when she passed. Had to take care of my aunt too, she was 90. My dad died at 86. I had a grandfather that lived to be 102. I was looking up stats the other day on how many people live to be a hundred or more and it's only 2.02% of the entire population and most of them are women. And it said the two things that affect you living a long time is if you're a female and if you have longevity in your bloodline, so I guess I'm gonna be here a while.
Come on, think with me for a minute. This is not the first time you ever heard a message on forgiving people. You've probably heard, I don't know, 20, 30, however long you've been in church. Surely you're hearing at least one or two a year, but who are you mad at? Come on, who are you still offended at, little bitterness? You know bitterness is kind of, it's kind of like this sneaky little thing because it's like, "Well, I forgave him". I think that we Christians think if we do the official, "I forgive you" prayer... come on, you know what I'm talking about. It's like, "Well Lord, I forgive him".
Well, I wrote down a little test here. Do you think you've forgiven somebody? Well, how do you feel when you hear somebody got blessed or when you hear somebody else speak well of that person? "Oh, I tell ya, they're such a great guy". And you're like, well... maybe not so much, come on. Boy, I tell you what, when God starts making you dig around deeper, it can get squirmy in the seat. It's like, "Okay Joyce, you think you've forgiven? Well then, why do you turn and go in the other direction every time you see that person? Why does your skin crawl whenever you hear that something good happened to them"? Do you pray for them to be blessed?
I was talking to somebody the other day and I mean, they said something I knew right away they were still mad at this person over a situation that happened a long time ago and wanting my to be mad too. I said, I'm not gonna be mad at them. That's not the way I do life. I'm not doing that. And so, then I proceeded for a half an hour to try to convince them that they shouldn't either, and the thing was was the person I was talking to, they really didn't even realize they still had unforgiveness in their heart. But see, this bitterness thing, I mean, literally, you know, if you put something bitter in your mouth, you'll go...
Well, if you think about it, when you have bitterness towards someone and you hear something good about them, you get that same look on your face. It's kind of like... Come on. You even like kind of lick your lips a little like... I bet you can all do it. "But I love you with the love of the Lord". Oh, I just can't stand that.
I remember the pastor making us do that a lot in church and, you know, pastors make people do things that they wouldn't want to do if they were down there doing it. And, of course, there was a girl up there that had hurt me really bad and told some lies about me. And, "Go love somebody with the love of the Lord". She was the first person I saw and I was like... and it was like the Holy Ghost just said, "Get it over with". You know, the only way you can tear down those strongholds is to do the thing that's hard to do. Come on, just one scripture. If we don't forgive our enemies, God won't forgive us. That's the simplest bottom line Bible, forgive us our enemies as we have forgiven those. Forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who trespass against us.
In Matthew 6 it says if you don't forgive, then neither will your father in heaven forgive you. Well, if God doesn't forgive us, then there's a wedge between us and it cuts off our relationship, so it messes with everything in my life. And I tell you the truth, I've been around a few years and I spent a lot of them angry about something. There's something you can be angry about all the time if you're not careful, but don't waste anymore of your time. I would love it if after this conference you would say, "I got it. That's it. I am not going to waste one more day of my life being angry at anybody". Amen?
Who needed to be here tonight? Okay, you talk about getting an upgrade in power in your life, man, you just start living free of anger and offense and see what God does for you. You know why? You know why he'll honor you? Because he knows it's hard but if you wait on him to be your vindicator, people will never get by with hurting you. God will always bring it back around and reward you, but only if we do it His way.
Actually, there's a scripture in Hebrews 12:15 that says, "Help one another secure grace so that you do not get bitter when you're hurt or mistreated, burnt but not bitter". So, he's actually saying here that it's our job as brothers and sisters in Christ to kind of watch over one another in this area and we need to be wise enough with our friends and the people that we're around instead of when you're having coffee with somebody and they're telling you this long tale about what somebody did to them and how upset they are, don't just sit there and agree with them, try to talk them out of it. Try to help them understand that it's a waste of time, a waste of God's time, a waste of their time, and it is not in any way, shape, or form gonna solve their problem.
Otherwise, you know what happens? What they tell you gets inside of you, now all of a sudden, you don't like this person that didn't even do anything to you. First of all, you're not even supposed to believe anything you hear except in the mouth of two or three reliable witnesses. So, we gotta stop just believing gossip and getting mad at people because somebody said something that we don't even know is true, amen? Come on, if we're gonna study the Bible, let's live it, otherwise we're just playing games. We're just being counterfeit. What good does it do to underline in your Bible if we're not gonna do...
Now, you know we all fail and we all make mistakes and we keep getting forgiveness and we go on, but we gotta be serious about this. We are living in very serious times and I would imagine that you are fairly serious or you wouldn't have taken a Friday night to come here and fight the traffic you fought to get in here. Some of you traveled a long way, you paid for hotel you're gonna be back here all day again tomorrow and, you know, it takes a lot to put on one of these things. I mean, we probably brought 50 people with us, seven semi trucks fully loaded. I mean, it takes a day to set this whole place up. This is serious business. God goes to extremes to get his word to his people.
This is not just an event. This is not just a hope, "I want to see what she looks like in person compared to TV". You can get all the pictures of me you want. You don't need to come out here just to do that. But please listen to me this weekend, I believe this is a word from God for your life and this can turn some people's lives around if you'll get a hold of this. Some of you, this is an actual divine appointment. I mean, God sent you here because you desperately need this word and let me tell ya something, if you make a choice to forgive somebody and you don't feel any different, don't let the devil deceive you into thinking that you did not forgive. How you feel has nothing to do with it. If you pray for them, you don't gossip about them, you speak well of them and if there's a need that comes up that you can meet, you meet that need. That is the full force of forgiveness because people are gonna have gooey feelings about somebody and do none of that.
Hebrews 12:15, "See to it that no one falls short of God's grace: that no root of resentment springs up and causes trouble, and many be defiled by it". Don't just try to forgive people, pray that God will enable you to forgive. And you don't even have to wait until you're mad at somebody to pray that prayer. Why not pray that every day? God, the minute that anybody offends me, grant me the grace to forgive quickly. Help me realize what a mess I am and how often you forgive me. Please God, help me. The longer the feelings continue, the more deeply rooted they become and bitter roots always produce bitter fruits.
2 Corinthians 1:10, "Forgive to keep Satan from getting an advantage over you". How much plainer can it be? Don't open doors for the devil by staying mad. Studying the nature of the devil is just good for all of us every once in a while because you talk about sneaky, I mean the stuff that he does and we just let him get by with it. We just not paying any attention to what's going on. Pray that God will show you yourself and that he'll show you truth and then hang on to your to seats.
Now, I love this scripture, Colossians 3:19 because it says, "Husbands, love your wives with an affectionate, sympathetic, selfless love that always seeks the best for her". How many of you ladies like that? I like that. "And husbands do not be embittered or resentful toward your wife because of the responsibilities of marriage". So, I was thinking that over I thought, now, what in the world does that scripture mean? Well, first of all, I mean the same thing goes for wives, this just happens to talk about husbands and I'd rather talk about husband than wives since I've got the platform, that's what we'll do. Okay, maybe she has not met all of his expectations. Do you know I don't think it's what people do that make us so upset as what we expected them to do.
And a lot of times we have unrealistic expectations of people like I expect you to keep me happy all the time. I used to get so mad at Dave because he wasn't keeping me happy. He'd go play golf and I wasn't happy, and Dave needed to make me happy and God said, "Why don't you take responsibility for your own joy. It's not Dave's job". Don't you see that right there might set some woman free? No, maybe, could be? Come on, are you expecting somebody else to keep you happy all the time? It's an unrealistic expectation and you'll end up being bitter about something God's never gonna give you because he doesn't want you to depending on other people for your joy. He wants you depending on him.
He feels trapped. He's been married 30 years and now he has all these responsibilities and he isn't happy. You know what? Maybe if he lived to make her happy, he'd be happier or if she lived to make him happy, she'd be happier. Oh, you like the he part better. Bitterness often begins with several small offenses, little things that we never bring closure to, little things about that other person that just bug you. Don't have a file in your computer where you store all the little things that you don't like about somebody.
The word "Offense" comes from a Greek word scandalon and it was actually the part of a trap on which the bait hung that lured the animals into the trap for slaughter. So, when Satan dangles the temptation to be offended in front of us, it's an invitation to just run right into his trap. Do you know how many people today are offended? I have never seen a time when people were more touchy. I mean, it's like, people get mad at you for breathing. You don't even know... it's like, what?
Paul said that he really worked with God to make sure that his heart was void of offense toward God and man. I honestly think that this is something that we can deal with every day in our prayers. "God, am I mad at anybody? If I am, show me who it is. Have I not completely forgiven somebody? Do I have any offense in my heart"? How much better do you think your day would be if maybe you'd take care of all that early in the morning and just get it over with?
Come on. Matthew chapter 24 is a chapter in the Bible about the sign of end times and you got all these wars, and rumors of wars, and famines, and earthquakes in diverse places, and all these different things but there's a couple of scriptures, verse 10 and verse 12 that I don't think we pay enough attention to and they're also signs of the end time and verse 10 says, "In the last days, many will be offended and they will stumble and fall". Jesus called himself a rock of offense over which men stumbled and what that meant was people could be going along and growing in their walk with God but then when they came to something that was hard for them to understand or hard to do and it offended them like in John 6 when he said, "Your forefathers ate manna in the wilderness and they were excited because of the miracles, but I want to deal with you a different way. I want you to take me at my word, eat my body and drink my blood". And they were like, "I'm outta here".
And it actually says that many of them went back to their old associations. They didn't stick around long enough to let him teach them what they were really saying so they stumbled. When we get offended, we can't grow anymore. You understand that? As long as you're angry, you're not growing spiritually. As long as you're offended, you can go to church six times a week, you're not growing spiritually. You can hear all kinds of good stuff, but you can't keep it on the inside of you because this is a very important issue. I would actually go so far as to say that I think that this business of being mad at people, and angry, and bitter, and resentful, is probably one of the most important lessons that Jesus came to teach us and if we never get this one right, then none of the rest of it's ever gonna go right either, amen?
And then verse 12 says, "The love of the great body of people will grow cold in the last days," and that's what Satan wants. He wants a stronghold of cold love. He doesn't want us to love each other because that's where our power is at and he tells us to love each other unconditionally and to do that, you gotta be good at giving mercy, amen? Sometimes we say, "Well, I'll forgive you, but I'll never forget it".
Well, here's a little story, "There was a priest in the Philippines who carried the burden of a secret sin he committed many years before. He had repented but he still had no sense of God's forgiveness. In his church was a woman who claimed to have visions in which we spoke with Christ and he was with her so the priest however was skeptical about this woman but to test her he said, well, the next time you speak with Christ, I want you to ask him what sin your priest committed when he was in Bible college. So, the woman agreed to do so.
A few days later, the priest asked, well, did Christ visit you in your dreams? Yes he did, she said. And did you ask him what sin I committed while I was in Bible college. Yes, I did. Well, what did he say? He said, I don't remember". Come on, I don't remember. See, and that's actually possible. If you let go of things real quick, I'm asking you to get a masters degree in forgiveness. I mean, just be the best of anybody at forgiving. Don't waste any more of your time. I mean, if you really stop and think about it, if you go home and think about this for ten minutes tonight, you'll realize that staying mad at somebody does no good. It doesn't change them, but it does change you. So, we have to keep our love walk stirred up.
1 Peter says, "Above all, have fervent, unfailing love for one another". If I didn't have to record different things for television, I could go everywhere I went and preach on love, what it really means to love. Love is not just a sermon. It's not just a word. It's not just something that we say to people, but it's action. Love is doing things for people. It's helping people that are hurting. It's building people up. It's taking time with people, something we don't have much of today. We don't have much time for people. Relationships are going to pot because nobody wants to take anytime to talk to anybody. We'll just send a text and they'll answer back "K" and that's it. Not that you probably would get a text from me but if I sent you a text, do not send me back a message that says "K". I mean, if we're too lazy to even say, "Okay".
Sometimes I have to ask, what does this mean? How many of you agree? We're in such a big hurry now, we can't even write out a whole sentence. "Above all, have fervent unfailing love for one another because love covers a multitude of sins. It overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for other people". There's an updated version of the amplified Bible out which is what I use and they use the phrase in there, "Love unselfishly seeks the best for other people". Love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost but we can either keep it stirred up or we can let it grow cold. And this has been very important to me in the last 12 or 15 years of my life and I share in a lot of my messages, and I don't intend to stop.
If you want to keep your love stirred up, there's certain things you have to do. Number one, ask God every day what you can do for somebody else. Don't wait for three prophecies and two trumpet blasts and an angelic appearance. "Now God, if you really, you really want me to help them, God, I mean like really want me to". Listen to what people say they want and need and provide it. Stop asking God to do things for people that you could do and just don't want to. "God, mabel's behind on her rent, she needs help". Well? How about if you get a hundred bucks out of your pocket and help her? "Well, I have plans for my money".
Come on, am I telling the truth? I'm telling the truth. And you know what? The only way I know this is because I've had to take this from God first before I get to dish it out to anybody. I'm not pointing fingers at anybody else. This is how God has dealt with me, some of the things that he's taught me and really all I'm doing is just letting you eat off my plate. Set aside an amount of money each month beyond your regular giving. Now come on, I'm giving you a homework assignment. Set aside an amount of money each month beyond your regular giving and it's not gonna be money you're gonna get a tax write off for, you know? This is gonna just be money to bless people with.
It may be somebody that's poor, but it doesn't have to be. Just because somebody's not poor doesn't mean they don't need to be blessed. I mean, the richest person you know may need a blessing worst than anybody else that you know because when people have a lot, people are usually always wanting something from them and nobody thinks about giving to them. Come on, am I right? Look for opportunities to be a blessing. I mean, get determined. Say, "I am not gonna let one day of my life go by that I don't bless somebody". I don't get around to it every day but every day, I try to give something away, something, something out of my closet. You know how much stuff you got laying around your house that could be a blessing to somebody else and you're keeping it just in case? And if in case ever comes, you won't know where it's at. And you'll go buy another one anyway.
Come on, I'm telling you the truth. You doing okay out there? Galatians 6:10 says, "Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to the household of faith". Now, here's what I'm saying if I could sum this up. Instead of being mad, and bitter, and offended, and angry, even like secretly angry, "I love you with the love of the Lord but every time I see you it's..." Come on, let me see you guys do that. Oh, I'm better at it than you are. You know, it's a feeling we get, isn't it? It's just like, "Oh, did you have to come? I wouldn't have went that to baby shower if I would have known you were gonna be there and I'm sure not gonna sit by you".
Can I tell you something? God is not nearly as interested in your little Sunday morning visit as he is in how you live the rest of your life all week long. I mean, I'm sure God's proud of you that came here tonight, you took a Friday night to come. But to be honest, you have wasted your time if you don't go out of here and put some of the these principles into practice. I don't want to be mad at anybody. Being mad's hard work.
The Bible says in proverbs 19:11, "Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger and it is his honor and glory to overlook an offense without seeking revenge and harboring resentment". Okay, here's the kicker, you know what the word "Glory" means, it's his glory to overlook an offense? It means the manifested excellence of God. So, if I can translate this properly, it's an honor and will produce the manifested excellence of God in your life if you overlook a transgression or an offense and don't seek revenge and harbor resentment.
Coming on, are you waiting for God to do some big things for you? How many of you are waiting for God to do some big things for you? I mean, you really want big-time favor? Well, I do, but you know what? I know that I'll never have it if I don't stay free from this. You can't let it get you, it's the devil. Don't let it get you. Well, you're laying around in bed at night about to drift off and here comes the thoughts. Every once in a while I'll find myself just being, you know, like empty headed. And then all of a sudden, I'm thinking about some specific thing my dad did to me that I detested. And you know what I'll do? I'll say NO. Come on, open your mouth and talk back to the devil. Just say, "No, I'm not going there". There is a place called there and you used to live there but you're not going there anymore. Amen? Fight for your life.
Well, we all need to learn to do things God's way and that means living free from anger and offense and walking in forgiveness, the forgiveness that God offers us but also giving that to other people. When we do that, if somebody has wronged us, God will vindicate us.