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 12:15
“What if you woke up tomorrow, and from the moment your feet hit the floor, you chose to release all anger and bitterness.”
I sunk down a bit in the pew as my pastor spoke these words. Was this even possible? From the moment the alarm goes off I am angry. Angry about having to go to work. Bitter towards my husband. Hating myself for everything I have done and will do wrong. Bitterness was my way of life. The root ran deep.
Hebrews 12:15 tells us that a bitter root grows up to cause trouble. It’s like the class bully. When we are bitter it affects everyone and everything around us. A prime example of this was my relationship with my husband. I was impossible to please. He would do the dishes and I would be angry that he did not spend more time with the children. He would leave me sweet notes on the bathroom mirror, and I would rip into him explaining that sweet notes couldn’t undo the hurt of the past. Bitter goggles colored everything and everyone in my world.
Not only did bitterness cause trouble in my relationships, it also defiled them. Defile is a word that means to make dirty or pollute. When we allow bitterness into our hearts and minds we are like hazardous materials. Rather than a display of His grace we become a display of hypocrisy and inappropriate, unfair judgment. Going back to the relationship with my husband, I bashed him for not being a better spiritual leader for our family. I actually felt hatred towards him. And the harder I pushed and the angrier I got, I watched my husband fall further and further away from the Lord. He did not have any desire to be part of spiritually leading me. In fact, if I was an example of a “good” Christian wife, I am sure he was terrified of what my version of a “good” Christian husband would actually look like.
It was not until my husband and I were facing divorce that I knew something needed to change. And that a huge part of that something was me. I began to wonder what it would actually look like if I did choose to let go of anger and bitterness. I thought about it for a while, and then I realized that thinking about it was not an option. This would have to be something that I just chose to do, an action completely dependent upon the grace and mercy of God.
That morning I woke up. Moment by moment, minute by minute, I intentionally released my negative emotions to the Lord. I was initially shocked at how much negativity had infiltrated my life. As my husband did things that irritated me throughout the day, I chose to hold my tongue and love him anyways. I was tempted to stew over what I saw as his incompetence, but rather I thanked the Lord for giving me the blessing of his quirks. And with time, the strangest thing happened. Grace appeared, and I fell in love with my husband all over again.
It wasn’t long after that a mentor came into his life, and God transformed him before my eyes into the spiritual leader I had always wanted and envisioned. I am more in love with my husband today than I ever thought possible. I owe it all to Jesus.
What if you decided to let go of your bitterness today? Would it transform your life and your relationships? I believe it can, because when we are obedient to the Lord, good things happen. Try it. Let it go…just for today…and then tomorrow…and let’s just see what the Lord can do…