Refuse to be bitter
Roots are really important for plants. Most of the time they can’t be seen, but the work of the roots is shown in the health of the plant. If the roots are in the right type of soil, then they can provide nutrients to the plant and the plant thrives. If the roots are in the wrong soil, or are damaged in any way, the health of the plant will suffer. In Hebrews 12 it says: ‘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’ (v.15 NLT). Bitterness can be like the root of a plant. It’s often unseen in our lives, and it can grow deep, taking away our healthy faith. When something happens in our lives that hurts us, bitterness can take root. And the more we allow it to have a room, the more it will take us over. It determines our actions, our thoughts, and our spiritual health. If we’re acting out of bitterness and resentment then we’re not living God’s way – we’re not journeying through forgiveness, we’re not growing through trials, and we’re not allowing God to step into our hurt and comfort us. Our lives should be rooted in God, not bitterness. And when we’re rooted in God, the fruits of the Spirit are evident in our lives. The fruits are: ‘love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’ (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). Unsurprisingly, bitterness doesn’t feature in the list. It’s something we should be uprooting from our lives, and we should be allowing forgiveness and peace to grow instead.
Spend a while honestly assessing whether there’s any bitterness that’s taken root in your life. Ask God to help you go through the process of uprooting it.