What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bitter Roots (recycled & updated)

I just realized that today is the first Friday of the month, so therefore it is also "Random Journal Day"...the day we peruse old journals/writings and share with you something from the past.  I honestly don't have time today to go digging in my old journals as I have company...but something has been on my mind this morning..."Forgiveness"....because some bitter roots started to come back up to the surface regarding a relationship that has had difficulties from day one...and even though I have offered forgiveness and have actually tried hard to maintain this friendship, it would seem as though that is a one sided feeling.  So I needed to re-read what I wrote about this and remind myself that forgiveness is a choice that I can choose to continue to live, or I can slip back into an unforgiving spirit and cause myself more sorrow.  I can't control what other people choose to do or how they try to cause division and hurt between my loved ones.  But I can choose to demonstrate Christ's love appropriately regardless of the outcome.  Lord, help me to do what You have taught us to do. Amen.

"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
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 12:14-15

bit·ter  (btr)
adj. bit·ter·er, bit·ter·est
1. Having or being a taste that is sharp, acrid, and unpleasant.
2. Causing a sharply unpleasant, painful, or stinging sensation; harsh: enveloped in bitter cold; a bitter wind.
3. Difficult or distasteful to accept, admit, or bear: the bitter truth; bitter sorrow.
4. Proceeding from or exhibiting strong animosity: a bitter struggle; bitter foes.
5. Resulting from or expressive of severe grief, anguish, or disappointment: cried bitter tears.
6. Marked by resentment or cynicism: "He was already a bitter elderly man with a gray face" (John Dos Passos).
1.bitterness - a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will
root 1  (rt, rt)
1. The usually underground portion of a plant that lacks buds, leaves, or nodes and serves as support, draws minerals and water from the surrounding soil, and sometimes stores food.
2. Any of various other underground plant parts, especially an underground stem such as a rhizome, corm, or tuber.
3. The embedded part of an organ or structure such as a hair, tooth, or nerve, that serves as a base or support.

In the physical, earthy sense, if you have ever worked in a garden or a yard, you know about ROOTS.  Those are the essential parts of a plant or a tree that feeds the plant and enables it to grow and flourish.  If the roots do not have any food, (water, nutrients) the plant will die.  It cannot develop and prosper without the roots providing food.
In the spiritual sense, the roots feed the heart and soul and mind of man.  In order for the spiritual man/woman to be healthy, the roots need to feed on good food...solid teaching, God's Word, love, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness...the "Fruit of the Spirit"
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law."  Galatians 5:22-23

However, when the heart and soul of a man/woman feeds on bitter roots, i.e.; anger, fear, anxiety, lies, unforgiveness, false teaching, hatred, jealousy, selfishness, idolatry, dissension, ~  the Spirit of that person cannot survive. 
"....Of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."   (Read Galatians 5:16-21)

When we allow such thoughts and feelings and unforgiveness to control our minds, we die a slow, painful death. That bitter root of resentment and anger takes control, causing not only our own heart, mind and soul to be severely injured and endangered, but according to Hebrews 12:15, any root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by this many become defiled.  We not only hurt ourselves, but all those around us.  Our pain and anger ferments and oozes out of our being with every word we speak and every movement we make. We become prisoners, bound within the vile chains of self-righteousness and hatred toward anyone and everyone who does not show us pity and align themselves with our "cause". 

What is the cure? How can we escape such painful self-destruction?

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  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!" Ephesians 4:30-32
Can it be that simple?  Is it even possible? How can I let go of my feelings of hurt, humiliation, shame, anger, disappointment, self-righteousness, resentment, and allow myself to forgive?

"Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2

Christ forgave me.  Christ forgave you.  Christ died for me.  Christ died for you. Christ suffered agony on the cross for me.  Christ suffered agony on the cross for you.  Christ didn't have to do that, but He did it anyway, willingly, lovingly, deliberately.  Why?  Because He loves me.  Because He loves you. Because He wants to spend eternity with you and me. That's why.  I don't deserve that. You don't deserve that. We deserve to die. But Christ came and saved us so we could have eternal life. 

He forgave me...and all He asks is that I forgive others just as He forgave me and gave His life for me. Is that too difficult for me? Is that too difficult for you? Forgiveness...freedom...eternity...This is something to think about.  This is something to do.  With God's help...it IS possible.
Please click on this link for a song that speaks to what I've been saying here.  Let this message settle into your heart today."Forgiveness" by Matthew West  Let it permeate the hidden places in your heart, soul and mind that are still harboring bitter roots of unforgiveness...and ask God to help you let it go.
Set the prisoner free...and "that prisoner is you"....


  1. You're right, this IS something to think about. Especially in this day of quick angry words to one another and to strangers online every day.

    1. Oh, you are so right! We are so quick to condemn our neighbors and "online friends" who may not agree with us politically, ethically, or even spiritually. If we would simply let Christ LOVE them through us, we may actually win a brother or sister to Christ...and let HIM do the changing...He may even choose to change ME in the process! Wow! What a concept! Love our neighbors just as Christ loves them....where did that idea come from? Thank you, Susie!

  2. Pam: I love the scriptures you used here. They speak what we must do in order to live for Him. Sometimes we have to forgive someone through Jesus Christ. He is our hope and our forgiveness,

    1. That is so true, Cecilia. Without Christ setting the ultimate example for us by forgiving us for all our sins and literally dying for us...without accepting His free gift of a life forgiven of all sin, we would be most miserable and without hope. Therefore, we need to extend the same grace to others...even if they don't "deserve" it. If they refuse to accept or acknowledge it, no matter. We have done our part. God will have to help them take the next step.

  3. Such great words, Pam. Thoughtful...and timely for me (probably for each of us in one way or another). A bolt, you might say. We've been thinking about roots a lot this spring (taking down stumps at our cabin), and really ugly viney weeds. The comparison is chilling in what happens within. Thanks, I needed that.

    1. Thank you for your words of confirmation...this is something we ALL need to be reminded of from time to time. Human forgiveness never seems to be like God's forgiveness..."once for all"...we have to keep relearning, re-accepting, re-doing, renewing the act of forgivness, because we tend to forget. And then we wonder why we are all bound up again in the bitter roots of unforgiveness... I am so thankful for God's Word to remind me and teach me again and again. (slow learner). Thank you for your thoughts today my friend.

  4. Hi Pam, I shared these words tonight on the FB page. Powerful...May we learn to live like the one who laid all down for us- He is our example. So perfect for me to read and ponder after an incident among believers I know on Friday. Thank you for your posrtion my friend!

    1. Oh dear sweet Dawn...isn't it neat how God works these things out? I think we all need to have refresher courses in forgiveness frequently. At least I do. And it usually IS between believers...why? because we are still in this human flesh, that's why! Until we get to heaven we will continuously need to forgive as we have been forgiven. Love you girlfriend.

  5. Pam- I agree with the others...this was a timely post...our sermon series is on forgiveness and the pastor preached on "be imitators of God" today. God is doing a work in my heart pulling the weeds of bitterness. I love how you wove this post together with definitions, scriptures and your experiences.

    1. Thank you Kelrohlf, for sharing your thoughts and insights. I pray that God will continue the work that He has begun in our hearts. He knows best. We just have to let Him take the lead when we aren't sure which way to turn or how to handle difficult situations. Even today He helped me through a difficult time and helped me over a hurdle of unforgiveness...a little bit at a time. So thankful. Thank you for your visit here. Your words are an encouragement to me.


Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.