Message 18: How To Get Better, Not Bitter

David: 1st & 2nd Samuel

By Pastor Chris Brown, May 07, 2022

How To Get Better, Not Bitter

An unlikely story with two unlikely endings:

2 Samuel 1

Lessons learned the hard way:

2 Samuel 1, Numbers 32:23, Luke 12:2-3, James 1:14-15, Galatians 6:7-8

We can either of our , or our will of us.

Following David’s unusual response:

2 Samuel 1, Proverbs 19:11, 24:17-18, Matthew 5:23-26, 6:9-13, 18:15-35, Romans 12:17-21

David is now choosing to .

David is now choosing to live in .

In short, give like we have been given , give like we have been given , and as we have been .

Hatred and bitterness are by us, not on us.


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Life Group Study Questions

For the week of May 8, 2022


Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything you heard for the first time or something that caught your attention, challenged or confused you?


  1. This weekend we saw the consequences the Amalekite experienced when he lied about killing Saul. Have you ever embellished or stretched the truth? Did you get away with it? Have you caught someone else doing this? What was the result? What is the harm in stretching or embellishing the truth?
  1. Upon hearing the news from the Amalekite, David mourned Saul and Jonathan’s deaths. Do you have any childhood memories of loss or mourning? What are some ways you were taught to deal with loss and grief (this could include anything from the loss of a parent’s job, moving, loss of a friendship, a pet or a death in the family)?


  1. This week we heard how David responded to Saul’s death in a surprising way. Despite all that Saul had done to him, he wasn’t filled with bitterness and hatred at the memory of Saul. Instead, he mourned his death. The challenge for us is to become people who, like David, can extend grace, mercy and forgiveness to people who have wronged or hurt us. What are some guidelines God’s Word gives us to help us do this?

Ephesians 4:30-32 New International Version (NIV) 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Hebrews 12:14-15 New International Version (NIV) 14 Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Think back to a time when you received forgiveness from God or from someone in your life. How did it feel? How did you respond to God or the person?

Can you think of someone you’re having a hard time getting along with? What would it look like for you to apply one of the guidelines you found in these passages to that relationship?

What are some consequences you, or the relationship, may experience when you hold on to bitterness rather than choosing to extend grace and mercy?

  1. This weekend we heard about David responding with lament and grief when he heard about Saul and Jonathan’s deaths. Grief is a normal response to the death of a loved one. But the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 that Christian grief should look very different from worldly grief. After reading the passage, answer the following questions:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 New International Version (NIV) 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

What makes Christian grief different?

What truths from the passage give you hope about life after death?

Can you think of some things people could say to someone who is grieving that most likely wouldn’t be helpful or comforting to them? How about things that would be helpful or comforting to share?


Looking back on this week’s sermon and study, what’s most important for you to remember?



May 20-21, 2022 at the San Marcos/Escondido Campus

Hosted by North Coast Military Connection which serves all active duty, veterans or retired military and their families. Featuring keynote speakers, Steve & Debbie Wilson with Marriage Matters Now, this two-day conference teaches couples how to take six practical steps to communicate that will deepen the emotional level of their marriage. Check out for more info and to register!