I was eavesdropping on a conversation recently (couldn’t help it – I was at the hair salon!) Anyway, one lady was complaining about her husband and another woman. The stylist listened attentively and threw in an occassional “Ohhh!” or “No!!” The complaining lady was really angry (and I could see why!)
I couldn’t stop thinking about what I overheard because it related to the subject of today’s post. When we’ve been deeply hurt and can’t forgive, it will lead to bitterness of heart.
The problem with bitterness is that, even though your anger and resentment may be justified, it will destroy you. Stephen Diamond, Ph.D., describes bitterness as “a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment,” and deservedly regards it as “one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions.”
He says, ” if we repeatedly ruminate over how we’ve been victimized, our “nursing” our wrongs may eventually come to define some essential part of who we are. Take hold of our very personality. And so we’ll end up becoming victims not so much of anyone else but, principally, of ourselves.”
Hebrews 12:15 says, “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.”
Since a root is the hidden part of a plant or tree, we can think of a bitter root as being the hidden source of bitterness. What is the seed from which that bitter root sprouts in our heart? It’s that tiny speck of unforgiveness, that tiny speck of indignation that we allow to remain in our hearts. It’s that tiny speck of resentment that we justify in our mind.
Let’s call this tree Bitterness. The function of it’s roots are the same as other roots. Roots can keep a tree in place for hundreds of years and nothing can move it . Winds and storms won’t dislodge it!
Secondly, the roots nourish the tree to make sure it keeps growing stronger and stronger.
And lastly, roots can cause trouble when they grow where they aren’t wanted – like when they invade water pipes or sewer systems.
Is it any wonder that God used the analogy of roots when warning us about bitterness? But where He gives a warning, he provides an answer.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:1 NIV
As we humbly come to Him, seeking His way and His will, God will provide the grace to forgive and let go. Many times, the injustice we must forgive cannot be forgiven in our own strength, but God’s grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And what is the opposite of bitterness? Contentment, Happiness, Sweetness! That is God’s plan for you.
“Grace be with you all.” (2 Timothy 4:22 NIV)
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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