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23 August 2010

A Green Thumb for Bitterness

While looking for something different, I read Hebrews 12:15 this morning. Here's the way the NLT renders it: "Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many."
Hmm... Bitterness troubles you, and while it's working on you, it is corrupting (contaminating/defiling) those who are watching you, and those who come in contact with you. Isn't that the truth? And it's the opposite of the influence we're supposed to have ("Work at living in peace with everyone" in verse 14, as well as "look after each other" in 15).
In my own experience, I've found that the poisonous root of bitterness is pretty efficient at "corrupting" me, too. And when I have my bitter day(s) and want to just be left alone, thankyouverymuch, I'm reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 18:5-6: "And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea." (NLT) 
Ugh. That is not good.
Going back to Hebrews 12, as we read the rest of the chapter, it's truly difficult to remain focused on bitterness (an attitude that finds its origin in self-centeredness). Check this out:
"No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God's firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect."Hebrews 12:22-23 (NLT)


mel said...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,and temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23

Dean Lusk said...

I never commented that that's a perfectly appropriate verse for thie post! Thanks, Mel!

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