Healing the Seed of Bitterness
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 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.”Hebrews 12:14-15
Have You Ever Wondered What Causes Bitterness?
Even the word “bitterness” seems to leave a nasty taste! But that seed of bitterness is derived from a hurt that has been planted in you by someone else. It may have been intentional or unintentional, but whatever the case may be, if left unresolved, this hurt has the potential to grow into bitterness.
When this occurs, the actual hurt can at times become enlarged to a point that it can cause us to be confused – why? Because sometimes the hurt can be our own imagination.
Sometimes, the hurt is simply a misunderstanding that escalates into a conflict. Harsh words are spoken in anger, and thus, we experience feelings of being disrespected and discontent. At times, this hurt can be real or even blown out of proposition to the actual offense. Either way, if left unchecked and if the hurt is not dealth with, it has the potential to lead us down roads of destruction, including that of chemical dependency.
“If we allow this bitterness to settle in our hearts, then the condition of our soil becomes compromised.” (The Parable of the Sower, Mathew 13)John MacArthur
The Bibles says in Lamentations 3:40: Let us examine our ways and test them; let us return to the Lord.
How We Can Examine Ourselves?
So, here are two points for us to examine if we are indeed holding onto bitterness:
The Soil of Bitterness:
This is a heart that harbors hostility and does not deal with hurt by the grace of God. When someone becomes bitter, the bitterness takes root in the heart and grows deeper.
As we work with those in recovery, we have discovered a world of people who have not dealt properly with their hurt. This hurt leads to certain behaviors and feelings of hate, anger, and being overly critical of others. People look to find fault in others to justify their own selfish behaviors.
The Fruit that Bitterness Produces:
The root of bitterness is easy to hide and camouflage because seldom do we really want to admit that we may be holding onto unforgiveness. We would rather laugh our hurt away or perhaps mask it with chemical behaviors to ease our pain. But what we see as a temporary fix to a deeper issue can only produce behaviors in people which causes them to become hypersensitive, ungrateful, insincere, hold grudges, and yes – have a wide variety of mood swings.
Bitterness will affect you physically, emotionally, and spiritually because the fruit of bitterness is like cancer that unless dealt with—will spread—
When our heart is bitter, we avoid God’s Word – why? Because it is easier and less painful to bury our hurt than to examine it. The truth be known, hatefulness and holiness cannot dwell effectively in the same heart.
How to Get Rid of the Root
Let God Reveal It
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?”Jeremiah 17:9
A deceitful heart cannot diagnose a deceitful heart. You must ask God to show you if you are indeed festering any wrongful feelings toward another.
Let Grace Reveal
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”C.S. Lewis
A response of bitterness is never right when someone has done something wrong to you. You need to ask God to forgive you, and He will by His grace. By the grace of God, bury that hurt in the grave of God’s forgetfulness.
Let Goodness Replace It
When you forgive, you set two people free, and one of them is you!
Until next time, remember HOPE4:29.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”Ephesians 4:29