Burning with Bitterness (Hebrews 12:15)
Hebrews 12:15, 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;
There was a woman who was sick after being bitten by a dog. She went to the doctor to see if the dog had rabies. He examined her, did a number of tests and told her the bad news. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I’m afraid you’ve contracted rabies.” The doctor left the room for a minute, and when he returned the woman was busy writing on a piece of paper. He asked, “What are you doing, writing your will?” She said, “No, I’m making a list of all the people I’m going to bite before I die.” There was a lot people she was bitter at. That’s just the way most people think about revenge.
When a person becomes offended and doesn’t deal with that offense correctly, that bitterness often churns so long in a person’s soul that it turns into a root of bitterness. God is telling you that if you don’t repent of bitterness and remove it from your life, it becomes deeply embedded in your soul. Once it becomes this deeply rooted in your soul, your negative opinion of the offender will become firmly fixed.
Where does bitterness come from? Bitterness can come about as the result of what others do to us or say about us. Sometimes, bitterness can result from the events of life themselves, as we blame God or others for our troubles. Bitterness will affect every relationship within your life, but it will affect your relationship with the Lord most of all. A man who hates to be slapped on the back packs his coat with TNT and waits for the man who always slaps his back. His idea is when he hits me, I will get him, I'll blow him up. Hate may kill the person you hate, but it will also kill you as well. Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.
Hatred and bitterness hurt the hater much more than the one hated. Hating someone holds little effectiveness. The one that is hated often is unaware of the hatred and unaffected by it. Yet the one who hates is often consumed with the feelings and allows them to govern their thoughts and actions. We cannot control everything that happens to us, but we can control how we respond to those things that happen to us. A wise one once said, "I will never allow another person to ruin my life by making me hate him." Whenever someone does something to us, we can choose how we will respond.
Right now, you may be in a mess, but it is never too late to follow the Lord. There is a price to pay for disobedience, but God can take the broken pieces of your life and mend them back together. The Holy Spirit is willing, ready, and waiting to help you grab hold of those roots of bitterness and pull them clear out of your life. All He needs is your invitation, so why don’t you go ahead and ask Him to assist you right now?
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I ask You to examine my heart and expose any resentment or unforgiveness lest any root of bitterness would spring up inside me. Help me to walk in the Spirit that I may produce the Fruit of the Spirit. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.