"Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." -Hebrews 12:14-15
A couple years ago I was documenting the flowers in my garden. I wasn't sure whether the above was cow parsley or queen anne's lace so I went on-line to search for it. Well, I found out it was neither. Instead, it was one of the most poisonous plants in North America--Water Hemlock! It pained me to pull up such a delicate flower but my dog will chew leaves in my garden whenever he gets an upset stomach and I could not take the chance he would like these. I got everything I could see, but the next Spring more shoots appeared. This year I only found a few shoots--but so much has grown up in that area they could be hiding amongst the other plants. Because their roots spread underground it probably will be several years before I root it out entirely.
Paul writes about the root of bitterness, that left undealt with, will spring up to cause trouble. There is a saying that "hurt people hurt people." The only remedy is to see that your hurt is healed before it causes you to strike out at another. Even if your bitterness does not cause you to strike out at someone, it will certainly hinder you from reaching out to them. Soon a wall will be built between you and them. If something tastes bitter, we will not eat it. Why then do we hold on to bitterness in our hearts? It is like the poisonous water hemlock--we may think it serves some good purpose, but it actually is the kiss of death. Let it go and seek God's beautiful flower of peace instead.
I am grateful that God has a remedy for my hurt--the healing power of the Holy Spirit.