Bitterness: A feeling of deep and bitter anger; ill-will; animosity, hatred, jealousy
“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you” Hebrews 12:15
Did you know that bitterness is a spiritual poison. Like a root, not visible on the outside, but dwells deep within the system.
We all know that a plant doesn’t walk around bragging about it’s roots – it’s the flower they show off. With good fertilizer, water and sunshine, the flower will be pretty.
That is how we are. If our roots are full of bitterness, resentment, hatred or hurt feelings – guess what, it will “show” in our life.
O.K., so maybe I’ve had my feelings hurt. Someone has offended me at some point in my life. All too often, we hear of an offense or “hurt” within the Church. I guess, maybe we expect better from them. You know that your boss, coworker, unsaved heathen will offend you, but a saved Christian – no way. Right?
My new quote is “if you are looking for something to get mad or bitter about, I guess you WILL find it.” We are all still human – some more flesh than spirit.
I chose bitterness to write about today – because, I know a thing or two about it. I’m not proud of it, but through many hours of talking to the Lord about it – he has helped me to see how holding on to the things people have said or even done to me can cause bitterness. He helped me see a new way to look at offenses.
My brother Frank, is an assistant pastor. I’ve asked his advise on this. He said something that really helped me. O.K., you know, sometimes when you have had your feelings hurt and you tell someone and that person sees your point of view and understands your position; you have confirmation that whatever was done or said was hurtful. Now, how can I correct it – or correct them. When is it my time to “slap them in the face with my words???” This is where Frank helped me….he said “it isn’t your place to do that….you don’t know how God is dealing with that person or how He will handle it. You might never know.” That took a while to sink in…but, he is right!
My responsibility as a Christian is to love one another. God will judge us – make no mistake. I don’t want to be held responsible to our Savior for some dumb thing I said that hurt a person enough to leave a church. Nor, do I want to be the person dumb enough to leave. We are responsible for our actions, including forgiveness of an offense or hurt.
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth” James 4: 13-14 (Thanks Frank, you old wise man)
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice; And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32.
Let it go….Blessings from Ringle, WI.