See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:15)
I painfully remember a time in my life, though it was a long time ago, when I had grown bitter. I don’t think I recognized at the time what my condition really was. I suspect I would have recoiled at the word “bitter,” but it manifested itself in a lot of complaining, blaming and other forms of negativity. Indeed, I was bitter.
When we are bitter, we basically feel our lives would be just fine if it were not for this person or these people or these circumstances… or even God. “They” are to blame. “This” is the problem. And just like the writer says, it causes trouble. It caused trouble in our home. It caused trouble in friendships. It caused trouble in me and in my faith.
But then by the grace of God (which I was surely missing), I was brought to see my heart, and have godly sorrow for what I had become. I was led to confession and repentance and then finally to a much deeper appreciation of God’s grace than I had ever known.
To go from having a bitter root to being filled with God’s grace and his sweet Spirit is perhaps the most miraculous mind change and heart change a person can ever experience. It is the thing that Jesus does and it might need to happen more than once.