Hebrews 12:15 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;
Bitterness grows from within man much like the root of a plant. If left alone to fester, bitterness will eventually spring up; and when it does, it will “trouble you.” Unfortunately, bitterness is not frequently identified during its infancy. It hides inside the individual with little evidence of its existence. As time passes, our enemies (the world, the flesh, and the devil) feed that bitterness and it begins to spring forth. As it does, it may begin to alarm or even shock us. For instance, we may yell at someone for no apparent reason. Something insignificant can even ruin our entire day. If we are not careful, we can grow increasingly comfortable with our newfound trouble and attitude. As alluded to in the scripture, the solution for bitterness can be likened to the removal of a plant by its roots. Bitterness continues to grow unless removed at its source – from the roots.
- (For children): Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. One day they saw him coming, and just the sight of him made them angry inside. This is bitterness. They planned to kill him but instead sold him into slavery.
- (For everyone): Bitterness often finds its root in one or a couple of incidents. What is the root of your bitterness? Do you remember the time when anger began festering in the depths of your heart?
- Have you ever pulled a plant up on the surface only to have it grow back? This is like bitterness. We may fix the current issue, but the problem will not be solved until the root is completely removed.
- Ask the Lord to keep bitterness from growing inside of you.
- Ask the Lord to help you find the root of any bitterness that continues to trouble you.