Ephesians 4:30-32 (NLT)
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 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.
Have you ever encountered a sarcastic Christian? Someone who admits to serving God and believing in Jesus but is always complaining about their situation, grumbling about circumstances and pointing out everyone else’s faults all the while saying “bless your heart”, “have a blessed day” and “praise the Lord.” It seems so contradictory and even a bit ironic because it is. A true believer cannot serve the Lord with a bitter heart. They cannot be unapologetic for their own sin and unforgiving of the transgressions of another. It is impossible for blessing and cursing to flow from the same heart just as it is impossible for fresh water and salt water to exist in the same source. We have sorrowed God’s Spirit by expecting His Power yet refuting His Existence by always accusing the Lord of not doing His Job. Before you say, “Oh no, not me!” When was the last time you complained to someone about not having enough money? When was the last time you whined about your circumstances? When was the last time you prayed with doubt that God would intervene on your behalf? Blessing and cursing is revealed by the words that we speak couple with what we believe in heart to be true about the Lord. Prayer is not just saying words and going about our business. It is an opportunity to release our burdens to God and go about His Business. In order to be identified as God’s Child and rely on His Spirit, a believer must get rid of ALL bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, AS WELL AS all types of evil behavior. This seems like it would be a full-time job. When we are successful in this challenge, we should then be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving. God is not ironic and does not operate under the guise of irony which is coincidental and unexpected. It is a lack of knowledge that makes people perceive God in such a way. God’s Word is true containing no double standards. Any incongruity between what is expected and what actually happens is not because the Word is not valid but it is our inability to place our expectation in God’s Word and operate according to it in this life.
Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
The Lord has instructed us to fix our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable thinking about things that are excellent and praiseworthy. There seems to be little room for bitter, envy, jealousy and sarcasm here. A sarcastic Christian is not a believer at all. His words and his heart do not agree on who the Lord is and His Intentions concerning His People. Those who believe in the Lord and confess His Name must have a heart free from all that is contrary to God’s Plan in order to possess the Promise of God for their life. Sarcasm is harsh, bitter derision implying scorn and insult. When we complain about our life, we are indirectly accusing God of not doing all that He has promised Discontentment implies dissatisfaction with God’s Provision and Plan. It reveals a bitter heart. The word sarcasm in the Greek means to “rend the flesh.” Anything that is scorn disguised as praise that really is a knock or slight against God’s Identity is from a bitter heart. The opposite of sarcasm is praise and kindness. To achieve Godly Peace that passes all understanding, it is up to every intentional Christian to get to the heart of the matter to harvest and burn roots of bitterness and have God’s Blessing on their life.
James 3:7-10 (NLT)
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
Some days, I wish I could cut out my tongue to control the words spoken in haste or under great distress. Every day I speak words that reveal my inability to trust the Lord and lean fully on His Word. Don’t get all religious on me! Everyone should survey every word spoken in the course of the day and compare them to the Word of God. Were they kind? Were they praiseworthy? Were they loving and uplifting? Did they reveal my trust in the Lord? Were they faith full? Our conversation can be life giving or murderous. (Proverbs 18:21) They reveal the innermost contents of my heart! (Luke 6:45) It is out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34) God has given us a choice. We can fill our hearts with His Word. Walk in His Way and experience a life of blessing. Or we can allow bitterness, jealously and unforgiveness to live there and curse every prosperity seed we put in the ground! The Lord says, “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse!” (Deuteronomy 11:26)
Hebrews 12:14-15 (NLT)
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.
To live a holy life begins in the innermost workings of your heart. You must believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins AND has the power to save you AND confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Belief and confession are partners. You cannot be saved unless they are in agreement. (Romans 10:10) Believing makes you right with God and confession saves you. If you believe, yet continue to grumble and gripe about your life. There is discord, disagreement and division that can only be made right in repentance. Dissatisfaction is born of doubt not faith and will erode your belief instantaneously. Since this world has nothing for you as a Child of God, returning to this world and the evil darkness in it will produce nothing more than greater discontentment. To seek the Lord and put our hope in Him by faith allows His Kingdom to begin to produce and prosper our life, so we will be satisfied in whatsoever state we are today. (Philippians 4:11) If nothing ever changes, an intentional Christian will be satisfied but a sarcastic one will not. Living at peace with everyone and working to live a holy life begins with satisfaction with the Lord and a peaceful undivided heart.
Proverbs 27:7 (NLT) A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.
Just a side note: People who complain about their circumstances to everyone everywhere are inviting the world to step in where they believe God is not doing enough. By continuing to imply dissatisfaction and discontentment with God, we open the door for the enemy to give us substitutions and counterfeits that the Lord never intended for us to have. For example, marriages forged from loneliness and desperation usually ends up in divorce. Children are involved. Now there is an inner brokenness and emptiness that is much worse than bouts of loneliness from before. The struggles are much greater. God had a better plan. We just wouldn’t wait! Do not open the door of your heart to this world. Do not express your weakness because the enemy is listening to every world compiling a scheme to destroy you! Wait quietly upon the Lord continually searching for more and more understanding in His Word and His Way.
Isaiah 5:18-20 (NLT)
What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart! They even mock God and say, “Hurry up and do something! We want to see what you can do. Let the Holy One of Israel carry out his plan,
for we want to know what it is.” What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
It is time to “cut bait” as they say in the south. We have been fishing in a pond that is polluted with fresh and salt water. There is nothing to be gained here. So cut the line or “ropes” made of the lies of the enemy that have kept you here rather than moving into God’s Best. Your expectation has been misplaced in this world and you are expecting supernatural results via natural means, it is not going to happen that way. You must focus on your heart and meditate on God’s Word to figure out His Way. God has a plan. It is a good one. You may not be ready yet. Focus on getting ready. Naomi had an expectation going into Moab with her husband and sons, but returning to Bethlehem with only her daughter-in-law Ruth she became bitter and even sarcastic. God doesn’t always do it our way. Look at Job, he struggled with bitterness after losing EVERYTHING. (Job 7:11, Job 10:1) Have you lost EVERYTHING? Probably not, because the truth is most Christians would never survive losing EVERYTHING and remain righteous. Only an intentional Christian who finds total contentment in their salvation releasing this world from any and all expectation will survive such devastation. Most believers would not be willing to commit to such a plight. Don’t worry most of us lack the holiness to embark on such a journey. In the end Job would take his complaint before God. He finally understood that only God could give him the peace and understanding to go on. (Job 23:1-6) Are you there yet?
Psalm 73:21-26 (NLT)
Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.
God wants to be your strength today. He wants your heart to be strong and filled with His Spirit. Is there bitterness there? You may not even realize it even though your words have been revealing it. Repentance allows us to turn everything over to the Lord and change directions. Even though we felt so far from the Lord and out of touch, this would prove to be yet another lie of the enemy. Even in the midst of our foolish disbelief, God was still holding tightly to our hand. Ezekiel admitted to a bitter heart, yet the Spirit of God still held him tightly. (Ezekiel 3:14) We will find ourselves in situations in this life that we do not like or understand. We may experience reluctance in following God’s Plan when it seems to be going nowhere. When our flesh becomes weak is when we begin to rely fully on God’s Spirit. Do not sorrow His Spirit today with a heart overridden in bitterness. It is time to strain all the doubt and worry from our praise until it flows like pure rain. He will be your strength and with it His Joy will overtake you. Do not let bitterness, jealousy, envy, unforgiveness or discontentment rob you of the peace and joy that God has for you. It will sustain you until His Plan is ready and His Purpose is fulfilled. Do not be a sarcastic Christian but choose to be intent on discovering all God has for you. Release this world from any expectation. The supernatural is found when the natural is released. You cannot expect to find life in a dying planet. You have been given hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Live like it! Speak like it! It will be yours when you believe it!
James 5:13-18 (NLT)
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.