This root has the power to destroy
By Teresa LeNeave
Ever wonder why some people would not darken the door of a church, but they still believe in God? Could it be that bitterness has taken up residence in their heart and soul? The Bible says bitterness has the power to defile (corrupt) a person.
Life's just not fair. We all know that, but there are certainly some things that guarantee a better life and one of those things is forgiveness. Have you ever known anyone who brags that they hold grudges? It's almost like a "badge of honor" when they say it, but the trouble with holding a grudge is that it has roots and when it begins to spread, it grows into every area of the emotions and mind causing a lot of trouble in the future. Even affecting the health of a person.
Unforgiveness, which leads to bitterness, is an extremely destructive force. Bitterness has the power to seep into the soul where it sits and sits and sits. Eventually it begins to fester. A person who harbors bitterness will find their feelings are hurt more easily. You are constantly feeling like you're not treated fairly. Bitterness takes away freedom because it pulls you where it wants to take you, often against your will. You didn't mean to get angry. You didn't mean to say those hurtful things. You didn't intend to cause a fight ... but bitterness took you where you didn't want to go.
The most destructive force associated with bitterness is that it closes the door to God's power working in your life. The Bible says if we choose not to forgive others, God cannot forgive us.
It's not unusual to hear someone say, "I forgive them, but I won't forget it!" That's holding a grudge. We have to release bitterness. God has given us the power to forgive for a reason, and that reason is your own well-being.
You may have a legitimate reason to not forgive. Maybe you have been treated unfairly. Maybe someone has said or done terrible things to you. Even then, you must forgive if you want to move forward, unfettered, in your own life.
Just remember God has the final say and He's a God of justice. He knows what you've gone through. Though it may be terrible, harboring bitterness can be worse. It's just not worth what it's doing to you mentally, emotionally or physically. Learning to let things go will release a lot more joy into your life. Who of us couldn't use more joy? Holding grudges is not a badge of honor, but a noose around the neck.