The Root of Bitterness

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The Root of Bitterness

by Rocky Fleming

Day 1: It Stops Here

After years of wrestling with my own struggle and watching other people, I have come to see how the Root Of Bitterness becomes a destructive force in people. It is a spiritual cancer, and left unattended will destroy a life that will reproduce after itself. This insidious root begins in our life hidden from the view of others until it begins to make itself known with our words, our perspective, our actions, and finally, our personality. When it makes its way to this place, the root of bitterness then defines our life. Bitterness is what people think of when our name comes to mind. It is the characteristic they speak of in describing us, for this bitterness has somehow taken over our life. To say it is destructive is an understatement at best. For this reason, the Apostle Paul was emphatic with his warning that we read below, as he told believers to watch out and not allow this evil spirit to become attached to their life. He said this bitterness would trouble and eventually corrupt them.

“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.” Hebrews 12:15 (NLT)

It becomes an essential battle that God’s man must win if it invades our life, for the stakes are great for us personally and for those we influence. Bitterness will reproduce, and we could very well be the source of it for someone we love. Do you want this bitterness to be reproduced from you to that person or persons? If you do not want them to adopt your perspective and your future, it must stop with you now. The good news is that it can be stopped. But it will take some doing on your part, which is my topic for the week. Hopefully this poisonous root will be well on its way to being rooted out of your life by the time this week is over.

I asked if you want your loved one to share your future? Let me explain. The life of someone who maintains the root of bitterness in his or her life has a very bleak future. This person is eventually described as a bitter old man or woman. Know anyone like that? I did. I do now. I watched a godly woman tormented in her old age by memories of people who had hurt her sixty years before. These people who had hurt her had been dead for decades, and yet her unforgiveness and bitterness was still alive, and it was now the most prominent feature in her life. She knew better, for she loved God’s word and loved Jesus. But she failed to connect Jesus’ instructions to forgive those who had offended her with her need to keep a root of bitterness from forming in her life because of that unforgiveness.

I mentioned how this root of bitterness is reproduced? I watched this godly woman’s beloved daughter take up this same root because of offenses against her, and in her old age this bitterness now personifies her to the point that even her family avoids her. Now this root is being reproduced to the third generation as her daughter is showing the same signs of bitterness creeping into her life. Where does it stop? Someone has to get so sick of the way Satan in hurting and breaking relationships with bitterness that he or she says, “IT STOPS WITH ME NOW!!” Can it stop with you now if the root of bitterness is in your life? This week we are going to do some major damage to this root of bitterness and help you get it out of your life. But you’ve got to do your part with its eradication, by declaring that it stops with you…now. Do we have a deal?