One of the key activities I do after a good rain is pull the weeds in my flowerbeds. No, this is not my favorite thing to do but it is the best time to do it. The ground is soft and the tops of the weed as well as the roots come out easily. I have learned if you can’t pull the roots out too then you are making extra work for yourself. The remaining roots will regenerate new weed growth very quickly. All the while you will be thinking… didn’t I just weed that bed?
First in the natural then in the spiritual…(I Corinthians 15:46)
Isn’t it the same way in the spiritual realm? The Rain of Revelation comes to us from the Scriptures about a root of bitterness. The rain could have come during our time alone with God, a penetrating sermon, or a close friend’s counsel. We know that something has to be done about our attitudes and actions. We have tried just forgetting about it or telling ourselves it really doesn’t matter anyway. However, trying to pull away the despised memory without getting to the hidden root cause means we will have to deal with the whole ugly situation when the hurt surfaces again.
Paul mentions the ‘root of bitterness’ in Hebrews.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God;
that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble,
and by it many may become defiled;
How does bitterness start? By someone taking an offense and then choosing not to forgive. At times genuine wrongs are done to us and then we have to deal with the consequences. Other times, an incident is just a misunderstanding but we choose to believe that the action was intentional. Either case, if we continue to rehearse and nurse the wrong (while seeking others approval), then the root of bitterness will develop and spread. Kind of like a fisherman’s exaggerated stories about the size of his catch. If left unchecked, bitterness will manifest in every area of your life including our health. If we act forgiving on the outside without a change of heart on the inside, then the roots will remain and the bitterness will surface again. The longer the roots remain the deeper they will grow and the harder they will be to pull.
However, when we choose to begin the process of forgiving no matter what the circumstances are or how long ago it happened, then we free ourselves as well as the others involved. When we forgive, we do not leave any “heart” ground for the bitter roots to form and a new grace-filled relationship can begin again.