Choose Grace, Not Bitterness
By Rick Warren
“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 (NIV)
If you’re still holding on to resentment, then someone is controlling you.
Have you ever said, “You make me so mad”? That’s an admission that the other person is controlling you. The only way to get this person out of your mind and heart is to heal the hurt with God’s grace.
Hebrews 12:15 says, “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” (NIV).
Have you ever known a family where a bitter parent poisoned the whole family? Bitterness is contagious, and it can actually become generational. Someone needs to break the chain—and if bitterness has taken root in your family, that someone can be you.
Are your parents bitter because their parents were bitter because their parents were bitter? It’s time to break the chain. And there’s only one way to break it: with grace.
Friends, if you don’t get God’s grace in your life, life will make you bitter. Why? Because there is sin in the world. We live on a broken planet. This is not heaven. Evil people get away with evil things all the time. Life is not fair.
Is forgiveness fair? Absolutely not.
But forgiveness is not about fairness. It’s not about getting even. It’s about grace.
You don’t forgive a person because it’s the fair thing to do. You forgive a person because it’s the right thing to do, and you don’t want your own heart full of poison. You don’t want to hold on to the hurt and the hate.
Forgiveness is free, but it is not cheap. It cost Jesus his life. It cost God his Son.
As Jesus was dying on the cross, with his arms outstretched, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NIV). It’s like he was saying, “I love you, I love you, I love you.” In effect, he said, “They don’t deserve it. They don’t even know what they’re doing. But, Father, forgive them anyway.”
Follow Jesus’ example and offer forgiveness today. Heal your bitterness with his grace.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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