Digging Up the Root of Bitterness

In science, our girls recently learned that the roots of a tree intertwine and can actually spread out underground wider than its branches.  Though unseen from above, the roots are important and support the tree.  If for any reason tree roots are damaged, tree health can be put in jeopardy.

Bitterness is a root in our hearts that can grow unnoticed for quite some time.  Eventually, it causes damage to fellowship, grieves the Holy Spirit, and stagnates spiritual growth.

In Carolyn Mahaney’s book, Feminine Appeal, she writes,  “So how do we know if we have become bitter? If we habitually review the offender’s wrong, if we replay the episode over and over in our minds, if we wallow in self pity or withdraw our affection – chances are, we have succumbed to bitterness…”

Ephesians 4:29-32 exhorts us…
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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander,
along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Mahaney explains, “We deal with bitterness by cherishing the experience of being forgiven by God and by forgiving the wrongs committed against us… So instead of dwelling on how we’ve been wronged, let us entreat the Holy Spirit to help us look at the cross.”

Lord Jesus, please help me to show kindness and compassion, to be able to forgive, bearing with others in patience and in love as you have loved and forgiven me.  Turn my eyes upon you and off of myself, entrusting you to change my heart.  Dig up these roots of bitterness.

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