"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up troubles you, and thereby many be defiled". Hebrews 12:15.
Harbouring bitterness in the heart is one of the most subtle and dangerous path to travel on as a person of faith, resulting in grounding into a state of spiritual inactiveness.
Hurts, offenses, anger and unforgiveness lead to bitterness when not dealt with in good time. Unresolved hurts degenerate into bitterness, leading to defilement.
ROOT OF BITTERNESS
The root of a plant is underground (unseen). It is the part that holds the plant firm in the soil. This same root absorbs and stores water and nutrients to supply to the other parts of the plant. Giving room for bitterness to grow and advance, irrespective of who caused it and how legitimate the offence is, leaves daring detrimental effects on the bearer.
"… Lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood" Deuteronomy 29:18.
"For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity"” Acts 8:23.
Bitterness will trouble you, so deal with it before it deals with you.
Absalom was the son of King David. He was the supposed crown prince of Israel but lost it because he allowed bitterness to eat him up. What led to his bitterness was absolutely wrong. His only sister, Tamar, was forcibly sexually abused by his own half brother, Amnon, all of whom were children of the great king, David.
This act offended Absalom just as it would any reasonable person. That led to the harbouring of hurt feelings and then developed into hatred. Maybe he expected justice against his half brother from their father, the king, but not a word came from the king or anybody. Everyone expected him to take things cool, but he had already begun that journey of bitterness, the journey of no return. For two full years, he nurtured the seed of bitterness, which was also taking root underground from what any eye could see. Then finally, he murdered his half brother Amnon in cold blood.
He fled after committing such heinous crime only to return later to revolt against his father and tried to take the kingdom away from his own dad. (Read this text for the full story, 2Samuel 13:1-32).
This is how bad bitterness can get. Stop it before it stops you. When you hold too long onto grudges and the mistreatments from others, you make God to be displeased with you. Vengeance belongs to God. Leave every offender to God by forgiving them. The young man Absalom, the crown prince of Israel, died a very pathetic death. God can take care of everyone who mistreats you, and he does it so beautifully. Don’t get in his way. When you remain bitter against those who maltreat or abuse you, you restrain God from taking revenge on your behalf and what should come on them tracks you down to destroy you. Bitterness will trouble you, so let go and let God.
Ahithophel was David's counselor. He was uniquely endowed with the spirit of counsel from the Lord so much that his counsel was like God Himself giving you advice.
"And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom"” 2Samuel 16:23
As wise as he was, he, too, died a very unpleasant death. Why? Bitterness, because of unresolved issues.
"And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father"” 2Samuel 17:23
Ahithophel was not just the counselor of King David, he was also the grandfather of Bathsheba
"… Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite"” 2 Samuel 23:34
"And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. ..." 2 Samuel 15:12
"And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 2 Samuel 11:3.
So when King David used his authority as king to satisfy his lustful pleasure, it was against Bathsheba, the granddaughter of Ahithophel he committed that act against. Besides, she was a married woman. How many grandparents would be proud of such incidents? You will be highly disappointed too, particularly when the offender is one you call boss. This was a great injustice done against the personal and family reputation of grandpa Ahithophel and to also hear later that the death of her granddaughter's husband was orchestrated by the same boss, hmmm!!!
This old man had every human reason to harbour grief, unforgiveness and bitterness within, but that will get in the way of God, the one to whom all vengeance belonged. Your hurt, unforgiveness, and bitterness may be legitimate, but bitterness troubles.
Apart from bitterness troubling you, it also defiles. To defile means to make inappropriate, ineffective, unsuitable for any useful purpose because of pollution or contamination. Bitterness is poison and can make you sick. Constantly holding on to bitterness can affect metabolism, the immune system or organs and lead to physical disease.
Forgiveness alone enables you to let go of grievances, grudges, rancor, and resentment.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6
GUARD YOUR HEART
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life"” Proverbs 4:23.
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"” Philippians 4:7
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful"” Colossians 3:15.
Submitting your life to Jesus will equip you to let go of hurt feelings.
Pray this prayer with me
Father, I come to you today just as I am; I have found my greatest challenge today I.e. I have no right standing with you because of the condemnation that passed unto all human beings. Save me as I open my heart and accept Jesus today as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you for saving me and giving me the right standing in your presence today. Amen.
As simple as it may seem to you, you are saved or born again by this prayer of faith. You have been restored to your right place before God. Get a bible if you don’t have one yet and start reading it for yourself. May the Holy Spirit also be your guide.
If you have been blessed by this post, feel free to tell a friend about it by sharing the link with them. God bless you as you live an offence-free life.