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The Bitter Root ~ Wendy Blight

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The Bitter Root ~ Wendy Blight Empty The Bitter Root ~ Wendy Blight

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Dec 2012, 7:49 pm

The Bitter Root
Wendy Blight


"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 1984)

Anger welled within me. How dare she ask this of me ... of us? I reread her
email, which only fueled my fury. Rather than reply immediately, I decided
to forward it to my husband for his advice. Any words I would have written
to her directly would have been unkind.

I poured out my "how dare she" thoughts. Bitterness took root as I typed and
typed, spewing all my pent up frustration. When I finished, I reviewed my
message with great satisfaction. I'd expressed myself well in a safe place
to a safe person. Then I pressed send.

In that moment, I glanced at the "to" box. I could not believe my eyes!
Instead of hitting "forward," I'd hit "reply." My heart sank. All my hurtful
words,
all my vented anger, were in route to her, not my husband.

I felt sick. Never had I experienced the myriad of emotions that filled my
heart.

What should I do? I called my husband and asked for his wisdom. We both
agreed that I needed to email her, explain what happened, and ask
forgiveness.
It was the hardest email I've ever written.

Her gracious response astounded me. She thanked me for my apology and ended
with these words, "I forgive you, so let's just put this behind us."

Tears streamed down my cheeks as her words of forgiveness melted the
bitterness that had consumed my heart just an hour before.

I'm sure she was hurt. My words were harsh. Yet she chose to overlook and
pardon my offense.

It's easy to forget that when we've been offended, we have two choices. We
can go to God and surrender our hurt, or we can resist God and hold on to
the
hurt. We can extend grace or harbor bitterness.

Bitterness is like poison that infects every area of our lives. The author
of Hebrews compares bitterness to a root that overtakes our hearts and
causes
trouble not only in the infected area but also in many other areas of our
lives. (
Hebrews 12:15
NIV 1984)

And although our feelings of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness may seem
justified, they are not. Instead, they're often hurtful and destructive, to
us
and the person who hurt our feelings.

God's Word teaches us to choose forgiveness and instructs us not to let the
sun go down while we are angry. When we do, we give the devil a place to
work
in our hearts and in our relationships.

Instead of allowing the enemy any room to grow between us, my friend chose
forgiveness, extended grace and prevented a bitter root from taking hold.

She became a living example of the grace expressed in
Ephesians 4:32
which says, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you." (NIV 1984) Her wise example helped me
move beyond my initial reaction of anger to her email.

My friend's gracious decision to forgive prevented Satan from dividing our
friendship. It also modeled humility. Her choice to forgive has changed how
my heart will react toward others who offend me. From that day forward, I
have prayed for God's grace, not bitterness, to flow through me.

Dear Lord, search me and know my heart; test me and know my anxious
thoughts. See if there is any bitterness in me. Lead me to forgiveness,
enable me through
the power of Your Holy Spirit to let go of all bitterness and extend Your
amazing grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Join Wendy for her newest online Bible study, "Living So That: Our Call to
Action." The study begins November 13th and will give you a fresh
perspective
on how you read God's living and active Word.
Click here
for details and to sign up!

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story
by Wendy Blight

When you purchase resources through
Proverbs 31 Ministries,
you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of
hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply
can't compete
with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely
grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Reflect and Respond:
Is there someone in your life against whom you harbor unforgiveness? Take a
step toward extending forgiveness. Maybe your first step is to pray; maybe
it's a letter, or maybe it's a phone call.

Prayerfully ask God what your next step is. Ask Him to equip you with
everything you need to forgive. He will be faithful!

Power Verses:
Colossians 3:13,
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against
one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (NIV 1984)

Ephesians 4:26-27,
"'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still
angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." (NIV)

© 2012 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org
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