Sermon Collection: I Hate You But It’s Killing Me


September 21, 2023
5 min read

God offers hope to every heartache and redemption to every story.


Our experiences influence the person we become. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can find healing for the hurt we carry.

When we are wounded, it’s easy to hold onto anger and pain with a tight grip. Withholding forgiveness feels justified, when in reality, choosing unforgiveness slowly builds a prison around our hearts, leaving us trapped in our offense instead of walking in the freedom that Jesus died to give us.

The beautiful news is that God is rich in love and abounding in mercy. He offers hope to every heartache and redemption to every story. It doesn’t matter if we’ve clung to unforgiveness for fifteen minutes or fifteen years — God is ready to help us discover healing and step into full, uninhibited freedom. Our wounds turn to scars with a story to tell.

Based on the documentary I Hate You But It’s Killing Me, this collection is made up of seven messages. Each one is different but centered around the same theme: releasing bitterness and receiving freedom. If you’re considering preaching this collection in your church, read below for a summary of each message.

1. I Hate You But It’s Killing Me

Hatred is something we often can’t imagine feeling, but think about it — who do you hate? What do you hate?

Hate stems from unaddressed hurt, and the way we respond to our hurt will ultimately determine our future. Just as the Lord forgives us every time we repent, he calls us to forgive others and surrender our hatred and hurt into his hands. When we walk into the forgiveness flow and let God into the hidden parts of our hearts, he will heals us vertically, which flows out of us horizontally into the relationships around us.

2. A Bitter Pill

Unaddressed hurt can lead to hate. When we carry hate in our hearts, we become easily offended. Offense traps our hearts like the bars of a castle — while bitterness wants revenge, forgiveness wants reconciliation. Bitterness leads us to hurt others; forgiveness leads us to heal. Which path are we choosing?

3. Losing Count

We are all in need of forgiveness. It can be easy to focus on the wrongdoings of others instead of looking in the mirror and acknowledging our own sin. When we live bound to unforgiveness, counting scores and marking tallies, we lose sight of the fact that we ourselves are in need of forgiveness. True freedom is found in Christ. When our repentance meets the power of Jesus, we discover that God doesn’t keep score — he loses count.

4. I Love You, But I Don’t Trust You

In life and relationships, we get what we allow.

We are required to forgive everyone, but we are not required to tolerate everyone. We have permission to put healthy boundaries in place to keep our heart pure and our head sane. Boundaries help balance the privilege of access with the weight of responsibility — not everyone is granted the same access in our lives. It’s okay to say that someone isn’t bad, but they aren’t good for me. When used correctly, boundaries are a tool that help us learn to celebrate love and expect trust.

5. You and Me

To be in relationships with others is one of the greatest gifts of this life. Relationships are hard work, filled with opportunities to choose how we will respond to offense. A relationship that goes the distance is one with a path paved by offenses that have been laid down. Jesus calls us to live a life unoffended, walking in true peace. As we choose to go first in forgiving those who have hurt us, we can rest assured that we will make it as long as we stay close to Jesus.

6. Wide Open Spaces

Bitterness is a dark, narrow tunnel that we are only meant to pass through — we’re never meant to live there. God wants to shepherd us out of the tunnel and into wide open spaces. He wants to restore our souls and lay out the fullness of blessings that he has for us. He is faithful to show us who he truly is and that is unchanging in the midst of our suffering. We don’t have to wait for a “why” to follow his voice as he leads us into freedom.

7. I Have Enough

Many of us disdain, dislike and dishonor people because they HAVE something we want. Our hurt leads to hate when we sit in envy. Envy tries to make it seem like it's about everyone else but in reality envy is all about your belief that what you have, better yet what God gave you, is not enough. The truth is someone else's blessing is not your curse. All you have is all you need for God to move. When you forgive it removes the scales from your eyes and you begin to see the blessings that God has given you.

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