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. — Hebrews 12:15
At one of the first homes that my wife and I owned, we had a lot of trees in the backyard. A couple of years after we purchased the home, I started to notice that one of the trees started to turn brown. I thought that perhaps the tree was dying and made plans to cut it down one day.
A few months later, I noticed that another tree nearby was also turning brown. It concerned me to see that it seemed like it was almost spreading. I started looking at resources and was directed to call a state agricultural contact. As I described what I was seeing, they started to share with me what was taking place.
The trees had a disease that was quickly spreading. Once the tree was infected, it wouldn’t survive, and any affected trees had to be removed. The disease had ruined the life of the affected trees and, if not removed, would kill all the other trees nearby.
The same could certainly be said for bitterness in our spiritual lives as well. This verse in Hebrews gives a warning against trouble and being defiled. In other words, bitterness can creep into your life like a weed, then ruin your life and corrupt you. There are many Christians who have let a moment of bitterness ruin their lives and their future.
The danger of bitterness not only extends to our lives, but as the verse here says, “many defiled.” Our bitterness can ruin others. It has the power to lead entire families away from God. It’s the danger of being bitter. But thankfully, we don’t have to live this way.
God does not expect us to be bitter over things in life. There are times when people will mistreat us. Many times, we may find that circumstances do not go as we would like. But we cannot let those moments ruin our lives. God has a purpose for us but being bitter can prevent us from ever being all that God would have us to be.
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