January 19, 2018

Day 10: Bitter Roots

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15 NIV

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See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15 NIV

Sometimes life deals us some pretty heavy blows, and some of us have persevered through multiple blows over a sustained period of time.

When we become deeply disappointed, it is easy to hold on to the pain. The pain can become a brick wall around our hearts and minds – like a defense mechanism. Since we wouldn’t willingly go through pain like that again, we use different tactics in our attempt to avoid getting hurt.

I’ll admit, our coping mechanisms can get pretty creative and show-up in a number of ways. Maybe we try to numb the pain through food or other indulgences, like shopping. For some, the hardness of their heart rises to the surface and becomes a perpetual frown or stone-like facial expression. Or maybe that pain keeps us from embracing new relationships  or opportunities, again, all driven by a motivation to avoid more disappointment.

Hebrews 12 warns us about not allowing the grace of God to penetrate our lives, which includes our deepest hurts. The writer of Hebrews knows that the longer we stay bitter and the longer we don’t forgive, bitterness will only grow deeper roots in our hearts.

We may think that not addressing our hurts and disappointments only impacts us, but notice how Hebrews says that bitter roots will “cause trouble and defile many.”

Who could we be impacting by not letting go, by not allowing God’s grace to permeate our every thought, feeling and disappointment?

Journaling Exercise

  1. Find a quiet place, close your eyes and prepare your heart for spending time with the Lord.

  2. Pause and appreciate the stillness of this moment with the Lord.

  3. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal any area of your heart that may be holding on to hurt or disappointment.

  4. Listen with an open heart and mind. Try not to filter what comes to mind – receive it without judgement.

  5. Write down what the Holy Spirit brings to your awareness and answer the following questions:

    1. What about this situation am I struggling with?

    2. What’s holding me back from moving forward?

    3. How can I rely on the Lord more to fulfill any unmet needs?

    4. What does Scripture say about similar situations or feelings?

    5. Is there another Believer/strong person of faith that I can invite to be an accountability partner with me as I move towards healing in this area?

  6. Meditate/reflect on the Scriptures you identified. Also reference Scriptures on love and forgiveness. Ask the Lord to give you understanding and application to what you read.

  7. As you close in prayer, ask the Lord to help you forgive yourself and/or others involved in the situation. Remember to be completely honest with the Lord about how you feel because He already knows, and loves you regardless.

  8. In everything, give thanks! (1 Thessalonians 5:18 and Psalm 107:8)

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