See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled… -Hebrews 12:15
Who wants to miss out on the grace of God? Not me! Yet, the writer of Hebrews tells us we can miss out on the God’s grace when we let a bitter root spring up in our lives. The flow of God’s grace doesn’t stop, but like a kinked water hose, we restrict the flow.
So, how then does this bitter root spring up? Like any vegetation, it begins when a seed is planted – harsh words, a betrayal, an abuse, or anything else that wounds. If not dealt with in a healthy way, the hurt begins to take root in our hearts and from that root springs forth a plant that produces bitter fruit – negativity, a critical spirit, division, cynicism, slander, clamor, anger, wrath, and malice just to name a few (Ephesians 4:31). Bitter root – bitter fruit.
Our natural response when we try to correct the bitter fruit we see in our lives is to merely pick at the fruit. But simply trimming the fruit will never get to the root of the problem. The entire root has to go! Like a stubborn weed in your garden; keep pulling at the top and missing the root and the persistent weed will keep coming back. There is only one way to eliminate the bitter fruit:
…forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32
Forgiveness! Much easier said than done. But perhaps it’s because we have some misconceptions about forgiveness.
Forgiveness is NOT:
Is unforgiveness really worth kinking the hose on God’s grace?