“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright..” Heb 12:14-16 KJV


We can all look back in our lives to an unwelcome event or angry exchanges with another person that caused hard feelings. Those type memories, when allowed, will fester over time causing bitterness toward the offending person or persons. Bitterness ruins relationships, family, husbands and wives, friends, coworkers, and will prevent new relationships from developing. I know that at times the Lord is calling me out when memories come floating into mind, memories of events and crushing words that have left me with anger and uncertainty that eventually turned to bitterness because

I did not deal with the offending person or event according to God’s way. (Mt 18:15-16)

It’s been said, the root of bitterness grows in the soil of hurt that has not been dealt with properly. Our verses remind us that this root of bitterness can cause trouble and defile many. In other words our bitterness cannot stay hidden; it will manifest itself and will cause problems and defilement to others.

Another result of bitterness is that our Christian witness goes out the window and we then wear the label hypocrite. (Eph 4:1-3- Col 4:5)

The writer of Hebrews describes bitterness as a poisonous root and when allowed to continue, that root like any other plant, will grow deeper and deeper into the “soil of hurt.” My friend Paul wrote me this; The Builder of our townhome planted several Crepe Myrtle trees as part of the landscaping plan. I called them mutants of nature fed with nuclear waste as seedlings, because they will not die. When cut to the ground this mutant aberration will regrow, taller and wider. Trim a branch and three to four new branches grow off the stub. Finally, we had them removed, but soon visually learned that if so much as a tiny, tiny off-sprig of a root breaks off and remains in the ground after the tree and its roots are pulled out, within a day the tree grows back multiplying 4”-6” a day.

Perhaps a better more Biblically descriptive name for the Crepe Myrtle, “Crepe Bitterness.”

Ephesians 4:31-32 states there is only one way to eliminate the root of bitterness and that by forgiving. “ 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.”

Give up thinking, “I have a right to feel this way!” You don’t! Forgiveness may be one of the hardest things to do, but know this, only by God’s power can we be brought to that place of willingness to forgive, even forgiveness to the worst of those whom we consider our offenders. I grew up hearing this phrase, “I can forgive, but I’ll never forget.” Bitterness is sin, and forgiveness and forgetting is what God does. With God, once sin is repented of and confessed through Jesus Christ (See 1 John 1:8-9) we are restored, cleansed from all unrighteousness, and after God cannot remember the very sin we confessed and repented of. He has “removed them as far as the east is from the west” (Ps 103:12-Rom 4:7-Heb 8:12) “We can rationalize many excuses to avoid forgiving, but only through God can we employ the sheer strength needed to battle our feelings of anger, hatred, and bitterness, and fight our way back to the cross. That’s where Christ forgave us and it’s there we can find the ability to forgive those who’ve wronged us” (Craig Goeschel) As for me I’m still learning that. forgiveness is the only way to totally clean out the Crepe Myrtle roots of bitterness in (my) our hearts

TCC Ministries

The Narrow Road

Inspirational Stories for Truckers

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