Bitter Is The Root

Forgiveness is a subject commonly talked about today.   I often ask myself why it is so commonly discussed.  Are we really that mean to each other that we need to be taught this lesson over and over?  The answer is – Yes.  We are sinners that make mistakes every day.  These transgressions sometimes cause great hurt to others and hence the need to forgive.  For me personally, it is much more difficult to forgive a person that has hurt a person I love.  Someone can hurt me and I can get over it, but hurt someone in my family or someone I am close to – that’s another story.

Some of us have been grossly mistreated by others.  We find it very difficult to forgive.  How many of us say – Why in the world should I forgive someone that has hurt me or those that I love? You don’t know what he or she did to me, I can’t forgive them.  Well the truth is I don’t.  I do not know what happened to you, but I do know about hurt.  I have been deeply hurt by those I called friends.  So why should we forgive?  When you really consider this question you will realize unforgiveness hurts us.  Forgiveness is not about the other person – it’s about you.

A lot of us are living our lives carrying the weight of bitterness.  We are not even completely aware of it because we have learned to function with a grudge.  We have learned to continue with the root of bitterness.  Our great God teaches us love keeps no records, but bitterness keeps detailed records.  It continues to track actions, attitudes, etc.  Bitterness is like a cancer to the sole.  It continues to eat away at us.

Hebrew 12:15

15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

So why do some of us continue going around holding a grudge?  It’s interesting that in our own lives we are quick to embrace how God gives us mercy, but we are so slow to give others mercy when others have wronged us.  Don’t let bitterness take away the joy of our salvation.  Bitterness hurts our relationship with other people and hurts our relationship with our Father – it hurts us.

OK we know we need to forgive, but how do we do it when we have been hurt so badly?  How do we forgive someone that for years has mistreated us or someone that has lied to us?  What do we do?  Well, we start with prayer.  Pray for those that have hurt you.  Some of us may not feel like praying or we may not want to pray for these people.  Hey I understand and I know it’s hard, but sometimes it takes right actions to trigger right feelings.  You may not even really mean it when you first start praying for them, but sometimes right actions have to come first.  What may seem impossible with man IS possible with God.  Our prayers for others may or may not change them, but our prayers will change us.  Let us pray.

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About the Author: Matthew Johnson

You know some stories are fiction. Some would say my life is a fairy tale, but it is real. My Lord and Savior has blessed me beyond measure with an amazing wife (she is my best friend), four beautiful children and an incredible church family.

2 Comments + Add Comment

  • Matthew, this is a wonderful post! The Lord is speaking mightly through you and I will pray that you continue to listen to His words and continue to feel the burden to share His words.


  • Ok, so I have missed the last several post, and I’m catching, up by oh I liked this one. You said, “Don’t let bitterness take away the joy of our salvation.” You are right being angry and bitter hurts no one but ourselves, and causes us to lose that joy. The other person doesn’t know, and often doesn’t care about your bitterness, you only hurt yourself. This is a lesson that I have a feeling it will take a lifetime to learn.

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