“Be careful that no one fails to get God’s grace. Be careful that no one loses their faith and becomes like a bitter weed growing among you. Someone like that can ruin your whole group.” Hebrews 12:15 (ERV)
An old friend of mine would occasionally ask me;
Tom, are you bitter or better?
We are all confronted with hurt and pain from others and the choice to become bitter or better is available to all of us. So many times we unfortunately choose to be bitter. Bitterness is always a self-inflicted wound that left untreated will inflict others. Bitterness is always a choice.
Bitterness is a collection of wrongs done by others, causing emotional constipation, psychological disfigurement and spiritual disconnection from God and others.
The Holy Spirit always moves us away from bitterness and leads us towards betterment. That is what God’s grace means here, the empowerment to avoid bitterness.
Matter of fact, the verse from Hebrews warns us to be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace, and that no one loses their faith. In other words, we need to watch each others back, rather than plunging knives into them.
Bitterness is the absence of God’s grace. It is a refusal to forgive others and letting go of offenses.
Untreated bitterness can cause us to lose our faith.
One of the most damaging and bitter causing things people do is called gossip. Gossip is the Devil’s tool of personal destruction and the spreading of bitterness.
We become bitter only when we reject God’s grace whispered to us by the Holy Spirit, and when we follow and listen to bitter people. Bitterness is a contagion; it is contracted through casual gossip and always corrupts the mind before it rots the soul. Bitterness has destroyed marriages, families, businesses and especially churches.
Stay with God’s Word and his distinct and clear voice – obey the Holy Spirit and become better.
Even if you are bitter you can become better. According to Hebrews 12:15, the antidote against bitterness is ensuring that not one person is missing out from God’s grace. Doing that leaves little time and opportunity for bitterness to take root.
When you stab yourself and others with bitterness, you also forfeit the grace which could be yours.
People will love a better you, but bitterness will drive even your closest friends away.
Do you want to live a better life?
Then forgive the offense of others and you’ll live a bitter free life.
The following is a movie clip that helps visualize what gossip looks like: