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Monday, May 23, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Hebrews 12: 1-17

“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” Hebrews 12:15

God’s Will for humanity is a BITTERNESS-FREE HEART: “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” (Heb.12:15). The first mention of the word “bitter” or its variants in the Bible is when Esau cried bitterly to his father, “Bless me – me also, O my father!” (Gen.27:34). Bitterness infers being poisonous (Dt.29:18).. It relates to anger, anguish, despair, and discontentment. The seed of bitterness is a hurt that is planted in one, intentionally or unintentionally. Someone may not mean to hurt us, but we are hurt. Sometimes the hurt is only imagined; we feel that we’ve been wronged. The hurt may also be God’s own chastisement upon our life, which is the context here.

A bitter heart is a serious spiritual problem which can be caused by taking offense at how we are treated or feeling deprived of something we think will meet our needs. We could also think we are being left out purposefully. We might feel disrespected, unloved, unimportant, and ignored. We develop a protective shield of a bitter heart that blames others. Then the layer grows as we repeatedly rehearse what happened. Usually, bitterness and defensiveness seem completely justified as if we have no other choice than to harden our hearts. The soil of bitterness is a heart that harbours hostility and does not deal with hurt by the Grace of God. Bitterness takes root in the heart and grows deeper: “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones(Pro. 17:22).

Bitterness attracts bitterness, because Satan oppresses and organizes a party for his demons in a bitter heart. The root of bitterness is like that of a tree that produces a poisonous fruit; it’s any source of sorrow, pain, or resentment in the heart. Bitterness is sneaky, it can sprout up quickly and proliferate like a weed not really needing any tending just left alone to grow and choke out the beauty around it. The world is full of bitter, hypercritical people who have not dealt with old hurts. They look for things to criticize, people to find fault with, and ways to justify the way they feel. Bitterness causes one to disbelieve that God wants the best for us and He promises to provide everything we truly need (Phi.4:19). Bitterness blows out the candle of joy and leaves the soul in darkness.

Bitterness in hearts will trigger a cascade of bitterness. We become bitter when our hearts are wounded by hurtful relationships, betrayal, failure, or disappointments. If we harbour and cause the bitterness to grow and establish, it will extend its tentacles to touch diverse aspects of life. Sooner or later, it may touch one’s job, and cause loss of employment due to poor performance, with accompanying consequences. Some get entangled with addiction, creating even more reasons to be bitter.  Bitterness will extend to one’s health, attracting diverse diagnoses, allergies, and emotional or mood disorders.

Man is a spirit being, and bitterness does to the spirit what poison does to the body. The spirit sustains the body and mind; it controls thoughts, actions, and words (Pro.4:23, Mk. 7:21). To harbour bitterness is to sign up for spiritual disaster. The root of bitterness is underground; and easy to hide and camouflage. Most people will not admit they are bitter at heart. They will either deny or disguise it. A bitter person is hypersensitive, ungrateful, and insincere, holds grudges, and has mood swings. Bitterness will affect one physically, emotionally, and spiritually because the fruit of bitterness, like an acid, destroys its container. God will not be real to a bitter heart, because hatefulness and holiness do not reside in same heart. Without holiness no one shall see Jesus (v.14).

We must break the bitterness cascade before its downward spiral is set in motion! The instruction from God’s Word is simple and clear – put away bitterness. Give no reason to keep bitterness within (Eph. 4:31-32).

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, help us by Your Grace to remove every Root of Bitterness and grant us a BITTERNESS-FREE HEART, in Jesus name.
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