THERE IS NO TORMENT like the inner torment of an unforgiving spirit. Without question, it is one of the most miserable attitudes to experience in life.
In the New Testament, every mention of bitterness comes from the same Greek root—pik—which means "to cut, prick." Peter wept "bitterly" after denying Christ (Matthew 26:75), that is, he wept because he was pricked in his conscience. In Acts 8:23, another man was said to have been "in the gall of bitterness" (KJV) when he wanted to appear to be godly and spiritually powerful even though he was quite the opposite. He was a religious phony, bitter to the core.
Read carefully these words about this lethal attitude called bitterness.
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
You see, we cannot nurture the bitterness plant and at the same time keep it to ourselves. The bitter root bears bitter fruit. Maybe you think you can hide it . . . you can live with it . . . you can "grin and bear it," but you cannot. That sharp, cutting edge of unforgiveness will work its way to the surface, and in insidious ways it will corrupt others. Worst of all, you, the victim, will be the most miserable.
Whatever it is that has caused you pain, or whoever it is who has injured you with ugly words or with a judgmental spirit—however deep the wounds of abuse and rejection run in your soul, it's time to forgive. To let go of that poisonous root of bitterness and allow the Spirit of Christ to heal and to restore. The damage is done. The words have been uttered. The blows have been leveled. It's time to turn all of it over to Him—the only One able to understand—who can wipe away the tears and make all things new.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.