Recently, I spoke to a man who felt offended and disrespected. While he had all the reasons to feel upset, it was very clear that his unforgiveness was eating him up. But it wasn’t just him, even his wife was greatly affected by his unforgiveness.
As a result, their relationships with their children, friends and other relatives were being affected. They would skip certain events and miss out on family gatherings because of the offense.
Hebrews 12:15 tells us to “see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”
When we allow bitterness to take root, three things happen.
1. Bitterness causes us to fail in obtaining the grace of God.
God’s grace is available for us to do the right thing. Morever, it is availble for us to be the right person even in a very difficult circumstance.
2. Bitterness causes trouble.
We may not perceive it but there are stumbling blocks that would hinder us from moving forward to all that God has for us. We end up staying at home. We avoid people. We lose our joy. We miss out on the peace God gives. These and so much more happen as a result.
3. Bitterness defiles other people.
To be defiled means to be ‘polluted’ and ‘contaminated.’ This is something God doesn’t want us to be in. When we are polluted, our minds are clouded and we end up saying things to others that can be hurtful, cutting and unkind. As a result, people get ‘contaminated’ and influenced by our words that they too look at other people the same way.
Lord, we know that your grace is available for us to release forgiveness and offense. We recognize that it is not the easiest thing to do, but that is why your grace is more than sufficient. Help us to embrace this grace so that we will not cause trouble and end up defiling others. Thank you for the freedom we will receive as we move in faith and respond to your grace to forgive. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.