I was thinking the other day, praying really, about the roots of bitterness. I have always thought that the roots of bitterness were the very beginnings of unforgiveness. But as I was praying the other day, a thought occurred to me. What causes the unforgiveness? Unforgiveness may be weed seed from which the stalk of bitterness grows, but what burrows that weed deep into the soil is pride.
We all have people to forgive at one time or another. That’s no sin. But what allows that unforgiveness to hang around too long and to eventually take root is pride. Pride keeps us from forgiving. Pride is the root of all bitterness. It is the character weakness that precedes the unforgiveness that allows it to linger in our lives like a stinkweed.
Pride is an ugly, haughty, vengeful belief in one’s own superiority that spreads its tentacles and grabs a hold of our hearts and doesn’t let go without a fight. Pride convinces us that that person is not deserving of our forgiveness. That we should hold onto our unforgiveness like some prize after a fight. But what pride forgets is that we don’t deserve forgiveness, either.
But God, (those precious words that interrupt someone’s existence to give them life) showed us true humility when He sent His only Son to be the bridge between us and Him; but Jesus was born a poor child and died a sinner’s death to grant us forgiveness; but the Holy Spirit allows Himself to be contained within us to ever so patiently and gently teach us and shape us, and pull out roots….
“Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord; looking diligently lest any fail of the grace of God, or lest any root of bitterness springing up disturb you, and by it many are defiled.” (Hebrews 12:14-15)