The Root of Bitterness

“For ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9
After I was married, some misunderstanding came up between my husband and some of the other Christians where we worshipped. I was hurt and decided I wasn’t even going to speak to those people whom I perceived as being against my husband. I held myself aloof for a while, but I was miserable, and the longer I acted that way the more miserable I became. We really can’t be happy in our souls when we have bitterness towards anyone.
I realized this wasn’t the way the Lord wanted me to live. I was like the man in Luke 6 who couldn’t see past the beam in his own eye, and yet he was trying to remove the mote in his brother’s eye (vss. 41-42). I remembered that in James 5:99Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. (James 5:9) God says, “Grudge not against one another, brethren, lest ye be condemned.” He continues in verse 11, “The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy”; and He wants us to be that way, too. He tells us in Romans 129Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (Romans 12:9), “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay  ...  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink” (vss.19-20). I knew I needed to show the love and forgiveness God had intended me to show all along. He says, “Watching lest [there be] any one who lacks the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and many be defiled by it” (Heb. 12:1515Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; (Hebrews 12:15) JND). I had not looked at my brothers and sisters through the eyes of grace, and it resulted in bitterness that troubled myself and my children.
Throughout this season in our life our children were affected not only by the original misunderstanding but also by the way we responded. How careful we must be, as mothers, of our habits and attitudes. Our children, without even realizing it, are soaking them up. Whether for good or for bad, we are their teachers. The life that we live is the lesson we teach. May God grant us to fill their hearts and lives with God’s gracious thoughts and ways.