Removing the Roots of Bitterness

Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.

Hebrews 12:15

The author of Hebrews identifies the root of bitterness as a source of contamination that can prevent us from reaching the grace of God. Besides polluting the root of bitterness is an obstacle in our relationship with God. Hindrances should be removed and contamination must be avoided and, if it has already occurred, must be sought way to stop it and eliminate it completely so that no further damage occurs.

The bitter taste is the nastiest of the four basic tastes. According to scientists, this is interpreted as unpleasant taste due to defense mechanism to survive avoiding poisoning. The bitter taste is the least appetizing of all flavors. The reason for this seems to be at most poisons often have this flavor.

One of the traditional ingredients of the Passover meal celebrating the Jews is the Maror or bitter herbs. The bitter herbs symbolize the bitterness and hardship of slavery suffered by the Jews in ancient Egypt. The Maror can be any fresh herb bitter taste, such as chopped horseradish with beets to make a condiment called Jrein. Our Lord with His disciples ingested such bitter herbs during the last supper.

But within the same Passover meal, after eating the bitter herbs is a food that is consumed. Charoset is a sweet paste, reddish-brown mixture of various nuts stony texture, representing the mortar used by the Jewish slaves to build barns and buildings of ancient Egypt. Charoset mitigates the bitterness of Maror and is a symbolic representation of the spiritual. In a way, the Charoset removes the root of bitterness of Maror.

In Ephesians 4:31-32, the apostle Paul urges us to remove the bitterness of us, among other things: Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Forgiveness is the key to remove from us the root of bitterness.

Certainly we’ve all lived part of our lives back to God. Sin has been a bitter poison that has left traces in our hearts. Offenses against us may have left roots of bitterness. But if God has forgiven us, these roots must be taken from us. Isaiah 38:17 says: Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

If you’ve trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your sins are forgiven. Forgive yourself and forgive those who have hurt you. Remove any root of bitterness that pollutes and clogs you for the grace of the Almighty be with you every day of your life. God bless you.

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