The Root of Bitterness

The Root of Bitterness

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.” ~Ephesians 4:31

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” ~Hebrews 12:14-15

Bitterness. It may seem like a small thing but it is, in reality, very powerful. A small root when allowed to grow will quickly turn to hatred which can become murder in your heart. It can then cause you to dislike others who hang out with the person you are bitter towards. Others who do not want to become bitter may start to keep their distance from you which causes you to become isolated. You may get others to join your “side,” but then they begin to judge another harshly based on your assessment of the person, and they become bitter as well. How much better to not allow bitterness to gain even a small place in your heart.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:34-35

Christians like to focus on God’s love and forgiveness for His children, but I think equal time needs to be spent on recognizing the responsibility that we have to love and forgive others. It drains me to be around people who constantly complain about those who have “done me wrong.” I know that forgiveness is not easy, but the difference between those who refuse to forgive and those who live their life doing so is staggering. If someone is dead bent on holding a grudge against you, you can’t control that, but you can repent for whatever you have done to cause them to feel that way, and you can practice extending grace and mercy to others in spite of the hurt they have poured on you.

I do not believe that Christians are obligated to keep walking with those who make it their life’s ambition to tear them down and abuse them, but I also know people who are too easily offended. Life is too short, dear Brothers and Sisters. As you think of those who have hurt you, picture how you would feel if he or she was no longer around. Some of you may think Good riddance, but if you will wish you had done something differently, I encourage you to do that different thing today. Let our focus of God’s love inspire us to love as He loves, and that includes turning bitterness into forgiveness.

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Sony Elise

Sony has been an avid southern gospel fan since she first heard The Happy Goodman Family on a cassette in the mid-1980s. She is the co-founder of Family Renewal and the owner of Sony Elise Editing Services.

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