Forgiveness and the Root of Bitterness …
Years ago, while on my hands and knees weeding a flower garden at Friendship Baptist, Jim Reese politely and humorously gave me weeding advice. Yeah, not the best at flower gardening … but I did appreciate his advice. I think the chairman of deacons enjoyed way too much watching me struggle a bit.
I saw a commercial this week of a handy, dandy weed remover — you don’t even have to bend over. One step on this marvel of science digs up the weed by the roots, then push the release handle and let the weed simply drift harmlessly into the trash bin … voila (or wahlah for this southern drawl). If only it were that easy in life.
Getting rid of weeds quickly is important. They have abundant seed production and rapid population establishment. They adapt, spread, take over. They reduce crop quality, interfere with harvest, serve as host for diseases, and can produce toxic chemicals to humans and animals. Pretty heavy stuff. Which may be why the Bible warns against the root of bitterness in our lives – a poison. One clear verse is found in Hebrews 12.15 …
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness, springing up, causes trouble, and by it many be defiled
Also this week, I got a chapter excerpt from Mark Driscoll’s October’s upcoming book Spirit-Filled Jesus. It dealt with forgiveness and gave seven benefits to true forgiveness. This brief excerpt was an excellent encourager and gut wrenching reminder of why believers should always be forgiving people.
If you are forgiven by God, then you are to be forgiving like God – Mark Driscoll
Here are the seven points …
1. Forgiveness glorifies God
2. Forgiveness blesses the one forgiving
3. Forgiveness blesses the one being forgiven
4. Forgiveness defeats the demonic (doesn’t give him a foothold)
5. Forgiveness is grace to your offender
6. Forgiveness is a witness to others
7. Forgiveness opens you to the flow of the Holy Spirit
I will just throw them out there, let you ponder, and maybe entice you to dig a little into these principles.
I await the whole book to see if it becomes a resource as I hope it can be. Forgiveness and non-forgiveness are critical issues in people’s lives and I pray that this work may be help to those who need it. I know there are times I do. And I bet you have times you need it as well.