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
Many Southern home gardeners have made the mistake of planting mint to enjoy in their iced tea in the summer. After a few years they dig up the mint and then discover a year later that they didn’t dig up the mint. It’s still growing and spreading. Mint is one of many decorative yard species that are hard to eradicate once they gain a foothold—especially those that spread by extending their roots (rhizomes) underground. Leaving even a sliver of root in the ground will guarantee that your yard will be continually “defiled.”
Speaking of roots that defile—the writer to the Hebrews warned about a “root of bitterness” that can spring up and defile many. In other words, bitterness is an invasive spiritual species that can spread quickly throughout a group of people. Moses warned the Israelites about letting their hearts turn away from God in pursuit of idols, becoming a “root among you that produces such bitter poison” (Deuteronomy 29:18, NIV).
Don’t be bitter. Rip up bitterness by the root! Stay focused on God’s love, grace, and forgiveness—and extend the same to everyone you are around.
Difficulties make us either better or bitter. Unknown
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