Daily Reflections

A Bitter Root

July 6, 2022 Erin Davis

Make sure . . . no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and defiling many. —Hebrews 12:15

Every good gardener knows you’ve got to rip weeds up by the roots. Otherwise, they keep coming back, bringing more of their weedy friends.

It’s no accident God uses a weed to describe a sin that has a way of creeping into our hearts: bitterness. Bitterness isn’t one of those big, flashy sins you see growing above the surface of our hearts. It may not show off like anger or produce hunks of rotten fruit like disobedience. Bitterness is a sleeper sin. It grows beneath the surface, deep in the soil of our hearts.

But the author’s warning in Hebrews is clear— that bitter root will one day sprout; when it does, it will defile many. In other words, if it keeps growing, there will be a harvest of pain for you and the people in your world. And because bitterness is a weedy sin that burrows in our hearts first, we can’t just cut off the behaviors that bitterness causes. We need God’s help to yank it up by the root.

Make it Personal

Think of someone you know or have known who is bitter. How does their bitterness impact them and the people around them?