The Root of Bitterness

Cussing isn’t something I do. But I came close today. For several years I have been waging war on a nasty runner grass. This stuff has such strong stems they could be used for rope. It invaded my iris bed by sending runners – get this – under the garage floor! Every year I lost ground. Last year I gave up. I dug all the iris rhizomes up, moved my garden arch, which supported a clematis, dug out all the edging.

I do not like using herbicides. Roundup didn’t work on it when I tried to kill it on the opposite side of the garage, anyway.   As I said, it just burrowed deeper and sought the sky on the other side.

My strategy with weeds is to dig them out. But with this one? I’m licked.

While I was digging and grumbling I thought about a book I’m reading “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere. He says that the most destructive thing Christians can do is hold on to offense. I thought about that filthy grass with its steel runners, rooting every inch, pushing itself under the ground where no one can see it and springing up in a new spot.

Unforgiveness is like that. I pray the Holy Spirit will help me recognize and eradicate that nasty root, which loves to grow in a wounded heart, before it takes over. There’s no compromise. You can’t use poison on it. You can’t dig it out. You can only be free by forgiving the offender.

Jesus said those who refuse to forgive are given over to “the tormentors”.

It must be possible or He wouldn’t ask me to do it.


4 thoughts on “The Root of Bitterness

  1. I am battling this very thing. Family that was supposed to love me that threw me under the bus, friends that were supposed to hold confidences that didn’t……………all of it has built up and I have tried my best to forgive. I stink at forgiving. I can tell because when I see the person again the feelings come storming to the surface and I have to push them back down.

    How do you know if you should walk away from the relationship after forgiving? I’ve forgiven one person in particular over and over and she continually pulls things on me. For now, I’ve just distanced myself from her. I didn’t know what else to do without making things worse.

  2. quietasamouse: I believe that it’s only possible through the knowledge of how much we have been forgiven. I have a difficult relationship, a person that wounds me and the feelings are real and the pain is real. I deal with it by forgiving by an act of my will, understanding that the emotions may not follow for awhile. I simply say “I forgive you” and then accept that it is true. I’m not pretending the pain is lessened or that it doesn’t still grieve me, I’m letting go of my own right to exact a payment. The book I mentioned, “The Bait of Satan”, by John Bevere, has helped me. And it also helps to pray for the person. I mean prayers of blessing and thanksgiving (oh that’s hard!) which seems to help turn my emotions toward lining up with my will. And I also have made a rule for myself: I never ever ever speak ill of someone who has wounded me. I continuously give it back to God to deal with that person. He does a much better job of it than I can. I know it’s all stuff we already know to do. It’s hard. But it’s necessary for our own liberty. I think it was Mother Teresa that said refusing to forgive is like taking poison and expecting your enemy to die.

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