Did you know that bitterness is a root? Hebrews 12:15 reads, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” So, what is a root? A root is a source that is under the surface. Roots don’t directly manifest or make them known, but are a source of nutrition or fuel for other elements that are on the surface. A root’s job is not to manifest on the surface, but to brew under the surface and fuel things that are on the surface. The same is true with bitterness in a person’s soul. It’s a hidden element that lies under the surface, and out of it springs up anger and other negative emotions against others and against the circumstances around us.
Those who have a root of bitterness find it easy to get upset over things that others around them are doing. Bitterness is a root, thereby making it harder to identify and expose than many surface issues. Nevertheless, it is a deadly poison that needs to be released. If left alone, it will grow and fester, and it has the ability to spring up many surface issues such as anger, hatred, etc.
Bitterness can be caused by a traumatic experience that was forced upon you unwillingly by another. It can be caused by disappointment and shattered hopes and dreams. Also, it can be caused by unforgiveness and refusing to let go of an offense. Bitterness can be caused by rejection by someone you loved and who was supposed to love you.
The root of bitterness prevents you from having great relationships with others. It will keep you from enjoying life and will make you look at life through a selfish point of view. Additionally, the root of bitterness will prevent you from having fellowship with God. Your fellowship with God will be affected because the root of bitterness grieves the Holy Spirit, hinders your prayer life and your worship.
Finally, what are the keys to the eradication of the root of bitterness? First, let God reveal it (Psalm 139:23-24). Second, let grace remove it (Hebrews 12:15). Lastly, let God replace it (Hebrews 12:14).