Get Rid of Those Roots

Monday, October 24, 2011

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

Whatever hurts you makes you bitter or better.  Plain and simple.  We have a choice to allow those hurts and the pain to refine us or to hold onto them so much so that they define us as a victim.

Bitterness is really the end result of unforgiveness.  It is ugly and sometimes doesn't always surface.  Hebrews says that it is a "root".  Sometimes roots are readily seen.  They can be hard to spot, and yet they can be so destructive.

Tim created a garden for me years ago.  I am so thankful that he did!   However, this garden is close to some trees. Tim took the initiative to lay down material that would block roots from growing up into the garden.  It has been over a decade since we set up the garden plot, and each spring for the past few years guess what I am doing?  Pulling and chopping out tree roots before I can plant!  The tree roots are strong (they punched through the root-blocking fabric), hard to get rid of, and ever growing.  How similar is the root of bitterness?  Bitterness can get a hold of someone and strangle them!  It is hard to cut out and dispose of.  And sometimes, just when you think you have dealt with it, it rears its ugly head!!! Ugh!

I have found that there are layers to forgiveness.  Sometimes we forgive and yet we have to forgive again when the memories come back of the hurt.  It is a constant "forgiving" that ensures that bitterness doesn't grow.  Maybe that is what Jesus meant when he said we must forgive "70 times 7".  It isn't that there are that many offenses to forgive, but that when the hurt pops back up again when need to be quick to forgive even if it takes 490 times.

Have you ever met a bitter person?  Do you like being around them?  Just seeing those bitter people in my life motivates me to forgive so that the root won't grow.  It is easier to forgive now than to chop away at the root later.

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