Can I Come In?

Little five year old boys don’t usually want to play with girls putting on makeup – unless it is boring because there are no other boys around. That changes everything. At least it did for Jude, my grandson. My four granddaughters had locked themselves in the... read more

My Mother’s Christmas Wish

Devotion: When I was a little girl, the number one question I asked all my family before December 25th was “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked my sisters and my brother, my mother and my father. It was a huge question for me because my funds were limited to a small... read more

The Bitterness Root


“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15 (NIV)


She didn’t realize that I happened to turn and look back at her at the exact moment that she was making fun of me, but I did. And it hurt.
I was leading music for a church service and had some ideas about making the worship time a bit livelier. I had suggested a couple of changes and hoped that my enthusiasm would transfer to the entire group of singers and musicians.
But when I glanced back at a member of my team, she was laughing and mimicking my encouragement in a high-pitched voice while she walked in a swaggering gait toward the other members.
I quickly turned away but my heart sank. Immediately I began to question myself: Did I appear like that to the other members of our worship team? Did they think the same thing about me? Although I didn’t see it, were they secretly laughing at my attempt to lead the team? Did I look and sound foolish?
My thoughts switched to her. Why did she make fun of me like that? Did she mean it as a joke or was there another reason?
Then something started to build from deep within: the hurt and humiliation I felt were immediately fueled by anger that a sister in Christ would treat another in that way. And a tiny seed of bitterness began to grow in my heart.
Oh how I wish I could tell you that I immediately forgave her and everything was fine. But that would not be the truth. I could have forgiven her immediately, but honestly, I just didn’t want to. Instead, every time I saw her I felt the bitterness root dig a little deeper in my heart as it crowded out the mercy, grace and forgiveness that the Lord had extended to me.
Today’s Key Scripture in Hebrews 12:15 says “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
I had done exactly what the writer of Hebrews had warned me NOT to do. I allowed that bitter root to grow AND I had watered it with my attitude of “She doesn’t deserve to be forgiven!” I had completely forgotten that I do not deserve God’s forgiveness or His mercy and grace that He has extended to me.
It was months before I acknowledged that I could no longer carry the weight of bitterness and unforgiveness and I allowed the Lord full control of my heart.
Was it painful? Yes. Pulling that root of bitterness out of my heart took strength that could only come from the Lord.
I forgave and the Lord forgave me. I extended grace and received grace from my Father. Take that, bitter root!


Father, help me to forgive and offer grace, as you have done for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Has there ever been a time when someone hurt you and you felt you just could not forgive her for what she did or said?


Meditate on today’s power verses and ask the Lord to give you an attitude of forgiveness and grace as you choose to forgive today.


Hebrews 12:15 (NIV) “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Colossians 3:13 (NIV) “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”

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Copyright 2013  Nancy E. Hughes