Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The Bible calls bitterness a root (Hebrews 12:15).

I'm thinking, if we aren't careful, bitterness will become the whole tree.

It starts as a seed of resentment.

Something we just can't let go.

An expectation that wasn't met.

A circumstance that can't be controlled.

A loss that seems unfair.

An overwhelming disappointment.

A hurt that leaves one wounded.

A seed of resentment can be very small.

But it can become very powerful.

All it needs is to be buried, and to be held onto tightly.

We think that we can keep the seed of resentment from growing.

And when we realize that we can't, and that it has turned into a root of bitterness, we convince ourselves that we can surely keep it hidden.

We think that no one will ever know the ugliness that is growing inside of us.

But we can't keep the ugliness hidden.

The roots of the trees that stand on the bayou shore are exposed.

They had no control over the waves that washed their covering away.

They weren't uncovered by a series of storms but by the day to day events of high tides, winds, and wakes from traveling boats.

And I know what that's like.

To have the ugliness in me exposed by the everyday of life.

I never see it coming.

I don't see how, in the "underneath,"  the roots have spread and reached out to touched the people in my life.

I don't see, in their being buried, how ugly and dark and nasty they have become.

I am shocked to see how time has made them grow into a gnarly twisted mess.

Some of the roots started as just "a little slight."

Just "a little disappointment."

And some roots started as a life-crushing event.

An event that crushed me into a million little pieces.

But either way, the ugly mess in me started as a seed.

A seed that was held onto and buried, instead of giving it up to God.

My ugliness exposed makes me feel embarrassed, ashamed, and scared.

Scared that the ugliness will stay.

That it will continue to grow.

Life is going to hurt. There are going to be disappointments. And for many there will be life-crushing moments that only God's Grace will bring one through.

But we can fight resentment and bitterness.

We can fight them with gratitude.

God must have known that our hearts could become fertile ground for the roots of bitterness, so He commanded us to give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

He knew that we could not be grateful and bitter at the same time.

Gratitude changes our perception.

It gives us "eyes" to see.

Gratitude allows us to see God's hand, His working, and His goodness in everything.

It doesn't take away the pain. I wish it could.

But gratitude takes our focus off the hurt and turns it toward the Mercy and Grace of God.

Gratitude is a choice.

But when the ugly twisted roots growing inside of us are exposed, and we see the damage that they have done to the people that we love, the choice is not a difficult one.

The choice is between humbling ourselves and letting go of the hurt, or holding on to it and letting it become your whole life.

Yes. The Bible calls bitterness a root. But I'm thinking if we aren't careful, it can become the whole tree.

"I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
 and will call upon the name of the LORD!"
(Psalm 116:17)



  1. Sherri, I love your post because it is so true that bitterness can grow into an ugly knarly tree within us.. I still struggle with it myself but there is such peace for me when I let go of it and let God fill the space. I hope one day not to feel that it continues to run deep and entangle my heart. It seems you have been successful in not letting it block your wider view. I hope I grow in that way over time. You remind me that there is a way to see past it and stop planting more seeds. God Bless You.

  2. Amanda, I don't know while we are on this earth if we ever get to a place where we are not tempted to be bitter and resentful. We will remember to give thanks and to let go of the hurt but then there will be times when we realize we haven't and we find once again that the ugliness is growing inside of us. That's just when we cry out to God for mercy and accept His grace.

    When I write, I write first and foremost to myself. It's kind of
    like preaching to myself. And I need it more than anyone I know!

    I'm so proud of your faith. You amaze me.

  3. I love reading your blogs. I've read Baby Luke a few chapters of the beautiful Bible! I will read this post to my husband who needs to hear this desperately!