Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 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; – Hebrews 12:14-15 ESV
The recent episodes at home had shaken me a little to realize my whole family had grew their own bitter roots into a strong tree… It is a “tragedy” to witness how such a small trouble-maker can cause upheavals that are injurious. I am not surprised because my family yet to have their Gardener (God) to help them deroot rotten roots. But ever wonder, Christians who have our Gardener are falling from Grace too? May be some of us do not realize we grow bitter roots, knowingly or unknowingly.
We can defile people by our bitter roots that someone we hold against fails to obtain the grace of God. Cross reference to Deuteronomy 29:18, “Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.”
Our bitterness could cause another person to turn away from God and worship idols. Imagine God holds us accountable for our actions (Refer to Romans 14:12)…
So, how do we deroot our bitter roots? 3 keys: (1) Get rid, (2) Be, (3) Forgive just as
GET RID of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as with every form of malice. Instead, BE kind to each other, tenderhearted, FORGIVING one another, JUST AS God through Christ has forgiven you. (Emphasis in caps) – Ephesians 4:31-32
1. Get rid = action – it means throw away the toxic.
Do you know that you will get poisoned instantly the moment you decide to hoard toxic? So the longer you hoard it, the more you will accumulate. So ridding them must be done immediately.
2. Be = action – Act on it to be kind, tender hearted etc…
Do you know we are not natural doers? Taking actions have to be through conscious effort conscientiously and cultivating the discipline to upkeep it. Practices make perfect? No, practices make progresses.
3. Forgive just as = action – Decide and choose to forgive just as God HAS FORGIVEN you.
Do you know that you have to first decide in your mind in order for your heart to follow? Not the other way round. Your mind is a command center of your body that send messages for your body members to act on them. Decide first and choice will follow. By the way, a good reminder- do you have the right to withhold the same grace God has given you? Recall the magnitude of how much God has forgiven you.
Last but not least, remember that we once live in foolishness and the principles of this world, but Jesus has redeemed you and crucify your old self to free you from the power of slavery of sins ruling your life so that having experienced this unmerited grace of God that you can share the same grace to others. (Romans 6:6-7; Titus 3:3-7; Colossians 3:5-10; Ephesians 4:22-23)
So, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16