Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Bitter Root

It starts out as a hurt, real or imagined. It plants itself in my mind and heart. I water it with my distressed thoughts, raking it over time and again. Before I know it, bitterness has taken root and soon blooms into what looks like Jack's beanstalk. Or more like that plant, Audrey Jr. from The Little Shop of Horrors.

It's huge and feeds on my thought life for weeks or months. When finally I get sick of this thing eating me alive and come to my senses, I decide enough is enough. That's it. I'm forgiving this person. I take hold of the hurt, give a pull and up it comes. Easy. There it's gone.

What I didn't see was the root left behind, below the surface, and the next time that person comes to mind..whoosh! I turn around and there it is, bitterness, anger, resentment in full bloom again. It always surprises me. Where did THIS come from? I dealt with that weed long ago.

We all know weeds are almost impossible to get rid of. You pull, you dig, you spray, you set it on fire and if you work REALLY hard, you MIGHT eradicate it. God in his wisdom offers a much better plan. Don't plant it in the first place.
Hebrews 12:15 "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."

Here is what I am learning. Dispense with hurt while it's still a seed. Take it to God and if possible, to the person that caused it. It's alright to examine it, but then choose to forgive and cast the hurt away. Don't allow yourself to dwell on it any longer. Give it no room to grow in the garden of your mind. Philippians 4:8 states "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." These are flowers in the garden.

Weeds and flowers don't grow well together. The weeds will eventually choke the flowers out. Deal ruthlessly with bitterness and anger. Ephesians 4:31 "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."

As for dealing with old hurts and resentments that we have cultivated.....

Lay an axe to the root.


ttcrook said...

Thank you for giving me something interesting to reas when I am supposed to be doing a project on the Song Dynasty of China... :)

M and N said...

Amen! Now if I would just give it to God and not try to take it back all the time.

tori said...

Love it Pam. I'm counseling someone right now through a hurt and i wish she could realize this truth. keep it up.

Carly said...

Oh my gosh, SERIOUSLY. I wish that axe were easier to come by...