Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
When I engage in conversation with people I don't know very well, it usually does not take long to figure out who is holding onto bitterness in their life. This always saddens me because holding on to bitterness does so much damage to the person who cannot find a way to let go. Bitterness is like a thorn left in one's flesh causing a deep untreated wound.
A hard and deep bitterness allowed to fester will grow a deep root whose tentacles will spread a poison to every aspect of one's life. It will derail us. Stop us. And eventually, we will find ourselves going backwards.
Lingering bitterness will lead us to justify, rationalize, and reason that we have every right to feel this way until we even convince ourselves that we have made peace with living with this bitterness in our life.
This is a dangerous place to be. God does not give us permission to live a life rooted in bitterness. He warns us against this because He knows the damage it will do to our life, and to our testimony. It truly is God's will for us to allow no place for bitterness in our lives. Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Simply put, there is nothing like bitterness to make a life bitter. But there is good news...
We can remove the thorn. It does not have to remain. We can let it go. We can remove the thorn and heal, and breathe the fresh air of a life free of bitterness.
Where there is bitterness
There is brokenness
Where healing should be
When the bitterness is gone