Bitterness is DANGEROUS. The writer said the root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble. Bitterness causes trouble to the person who has allowed it in their heart. It can cause them to fall short of God’s grace. In other words, it can actually cause a person to lose their salvation. It can cause them to forfeit eternal life. That’s a terrible price to pay just so you can stay bitter at someone.
Bitterness is dangerous for another reason – it’s CONTAGIOUS. While bitterness brings trouble to the person who has allowed it in their heart; it also causes trouble for others, too. The Hebrew writer said, “And by this many become defiled.” The 20th Century NT translation reads, “Take care that…no bitterness is allowed to take root…and so poison the whole community.”
Bitterness is not an attitude of heaven; forgiveness is. We all have things that happen to us, whether real or perceived, about which we could allow a root of bitterness to spring up in our hearts. Satan will see to that! The Hebrew writer warns us to not take the bait. If you sense a root of bitterness starting to spring up in your heart, pull it out by the roots and be done with it.
The wisest man in the world gave this bit of advice, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Bitterness spills over and contaminates everything it touches. So protect your heart. Protect yourself. And do what Paul said in Ephesians 4:31-32, “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 Jesus forgave you.”
Pastor Todd Weston