Beware Roots of Resentment and Bushes of Bitterness

     Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting manyHeb. 12:15 (NLT)

     Resentment kills a foolJob. 5:2 (NIV)

     Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph. 4:31-32 (NIV)

Heavenly Father, these Scriptures cut to the chase, bringing conviction to our hearts. We are your beloved and “busted” children, for resentment can well up in our hearts as soon as we get overlooked or underappreciated. It’s amazing how quickly a little sleight can launch us into a big spite. Have mercy on us, Lord, and grant us fresh grace, thicker skin and bigger hearts.

Being slighted is one thing, but being hit with betrayals and failures, deceit and lies is an altogether different matter. These aren’t things to “shake off,” but wounds and pain to bring to your throne of grace. Indeed, you’re not calling us to denial but to yourself. Have mercy on us, Lord, and grant us wisdom, strength and grace.

Through the power of your Holy Spirit, the truth of the gospel, and the gift of community—don’t let our healthy anger morph into destructive revenge. Don’t let our hurts become a band of revenge-full marauders—not just bent on getting even, but upping the ante.

Don’t let our vulnerable hearts become gardens for the planting of roots of resentment and bushes of bitterness. Keep us from medicating our pain foolishly. Father, as Jesus has forgiven us, help us want to forgive others. Make the gospel more defining than our pain and sweeter than revenge. Write stories of redemption and restoration, with the pen of our hurt and the ink of your grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.