“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you; and thereby many be defiled“, Hebrews 12:14-15
The effect of harbouring bitterness in your heart towards anyone is dangerous. There are many people who live with bitterness in their hearts and as the Bible states, this can lead not only to trouble but defilement. Defilement in the sense that you become impure before God.
Offences will come since we live in a human world. People will offend you including friends and loved ones. Without offence, there won’t be forgiveness. When you don’t forgive people the root of bitterness will begin to develop in you. And when you become bitter, your mood changes negatively, which does not only affect you but people around you. You become troubled as stated in the above verse.
So, what is the solution to preventing a root of bitterness developing in you? In Hebrews 12:14, we are advised to “follow peace with all men“. There you have it. If you are able to live in peace with everyone, there is no chance of bitterness springing up in you. In a world of chaos, peace is very important. And the effort to live at peace with everyone actually lies with you.
In Romans 12:18, the Bible states, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men“. The main condition to live at peace with anyone is willingness. An Old English proverbs says, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. The will to live at peace with anyone has to come from both party, but as a Christian, you should be the initiator of the process, because you know how important living in peace is to your life. If you don’t have the desire to live at peace with someone, then the root of bitterness will soon develop in you. This will steal your joy. Sometimes, it is not possible to live at peace with everyone, which is why Paul said, “If it be possible”. When you try to reconcile with someone and the person is not willing, there is nothing you can do other than follow the advice Jesus gave in Matthew 18:15-17. You can also pray for that person to change. And because you’re praying for the fellow, there won’t be any hatred towards him/her.
Make every effort to reconcile with everyone you’re currently not living at peace with. The reward of living peaceably with everyone is great – your joy will be full. May the Holy Spirit of God help you in all your efforts to remove every root of bitterness springing up in you. Amen!