The Struggle With Forgiveness

Trust God with your hurt, and refuse to let the poison of bitterness take root.

Hebrews 12:14-15

Yesterday we discussed forgiveness and how to incorporate it into our relationships. Now, let’s look at its opposite.

Unforgiveness is the deliberate decision not to let go of resentment toward someone else or of your rights to get even. Unfortunately, this attitude is common. Both outside and inside the church, people seem to enjoy nursing a grudge. They broadcast their hurt and focus their energy on retribution. What a waste!

In Hebrews 12:14-15, we see a warning against the “root of bitterness” that springs up and causes trouble. Bitterness may start with a simple grievance because of a person’s actions, but then that little seed of resentment begins to grow. And what happens at the root impacts everything else: If love and peace are your foundation, then you will produce loving and peaceful fruit. If unforgiveness is your foundation, you’ll find a crop of anger, malice, hostility, and bitterness. The sooner you deal with it, the less that bitter fruit will spoil your life.

How can we accomplish God’s will while harboring an unforgiving spirit? How can we grow in Christ when we willfully let bitterness erode our heart? Uproot the unforgiveness in your life today, and offer the Lord your finest crop of spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).