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
Underneath the ground of Belgium’s Flanders Field, one of the deadliest battlefields of World War I, a very dangerous and deadly secret lies. It’s so deadly, in fact, that it’s caused a very big problem for the Belgian government.
You see, all across this field, artillery shells are surfacing more than 90 years after they were fired. Still unexploded, many are still very capable of killing. Some are unearthed by farmers and construction workers, while others simply work their way up through the soil. Dozens of full-time workers cannot keep up with them. And even worse, thousands of these projectiles contain poisonous gas.
It’s one thing to recognize something that can cause immense damage when it’s obvious. I’m sure you didn’t have to tell the soldiers fighting in World War I to avoid those artillery shells at all costs! However, when things such as these lie dormant for so long, they become all the more precarious because they are an unseen danger.
In much the same way, many Christians today hold on to bitterness for years, even decades, before it finally comes up to the surface or is unearthed by a particular situation. And when that happens, it can often be damaging, and even deadly, for relationships between friends and family.
So if you have any “unearthed” bitterness in your heart, be sure you deal with it by forgiving the person it concerns and even talking with them about it. Don’t let buried feelings of contempt harm your relationships with friends and family because those relationships are some of God’s greatest gifts!
Pray and ask God to reveal to you any “unearthed” bitterness, no matter how old, you might have in your heart toward another person. If you find you do carry buried resentment, forgive that person and let them know you’ve let it go.
Questions for thought
How do you think it affects your attitude to carry bitterness around?
What are some conversation starters you can use to mend a relationship with someone you’ve held in contempt?