The Poisonous Roots (365 Days of Daring Faith – DAY 217)
Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)
Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
Have you ever met a person who is filled with bitterness to the point that it influences everybody around them? Well, that’s how bitterness works. It is contagious. It is a controlling mechanism that quickly poisons everyone who encounters it. When one becomes bitter, it is very hard to break through with grace and love.
If you’re harboring bitterness in your heart that means someone is controlling your life. If you are to the point where someone makes you so angry that you can’t function, that person has some level of dominance in your life. The only way to replace the thought of this person who makes you angry is to replace them with grace.
Grace cures the poisonous roots of bitterness because grace understands that even though life isn’t fair, good things like forgiveness and justice do exist and are necessary for a life of peace. The more bitterness you harbor, the more peace will evade your space. Life is unfair sometimes because all of us are sinful, our world is broken, and our hearts long for a place that is called Heaven.
But God never promised that life on earth would be fair. He did promise that He would give us His grace if we’re open to receiving it. We don’t forgive those who hurt us or make us angry because they deserve it. We forgive because it is right. You don’t want your heart and mind drowning in hate and resentment. You want to live free, just the way God design it to be.
Bitterness costs way more than grace ever will. Grace causes us to do things for people even though they made us feel bad and hurt our hearts in the worst way. God knows how to get justice and how to infuse fairness into our lives. This isn’t a job for us to do because it is too hard and will consume so much of our time. Grace forgives because it is the unlikely path to everything we really want for ourselves and for other people. Instead of allowing your heart to fill up with bitterness, choose to fill it up with grace.
“Too many Christians become bitter and angry in the conflict. If we descend into hatefulness, we have already lost the battle. We must cooperate with God in turning what was meant for evil into a greater good within us. This is why we bless those who would curse us: It is not only for their sakes but to preserve our own soul from its natural response toward hatred.”
— Francis Frangipane