“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
Over the past couple of blogs, we’ve been discussing the 7 Things to Remember When You Have a Pit Experience. We’ve already unpacked a few of them; 1. Are You Ready for Change Yet? 2. Attacks Will Come. 3. Losers Focus on What They’re Going Through. & 4. How do You Respond to People? I hope each of them have really left you challenged, provoked and inspired to become all God has called you to be. I take the time to share each of these thoughts with you because these have all been experiences that I have gone through in my own life. What I’m sharing with you are principles that I have learned in my walk with God, they’re not things that I have gotten from a book.
Today I want to focus on just one of the 7 Things to Remember When You Have a Pit Experience. This would be number five of the bunch. And I want to spend an entire blog dedicated to this particular subject because I feel this is something that will really hit home with everyone. So, let’s get to it: #5. Don’t Become Bitter.
We have to be careful not to get bitter when we’re in a pit experience. I’ve seen bitterness trip people up in their walk with God. And when I talk about bitterness, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you become angry or hateful. A lot of times bitterness has a way of not being an outward expression but an inward cancer. If left untended, it could lead to depression, withdrawal and even no longer using your gifts & talents to build up the Body of Christ. It might be caused by the feeling of being overlooked, feeling something wasn’t fair and a list of many other things. But you have to be careful with bitterness because it has many shades to it.
“Those who created the pain of your present do not control the pleasure or the blessings of your future unless you let them.”
Hebrews 12:15 reminds us not to allow any “seed” to sprout up in the soil of our souls. A seed starts out really small…almost unnoticeable. But the bad thing when it comes to bitterness…if you let it grow, it’ll keep growing. It’s like weeds in your front or back yard. Even when you don’t have grass…weeds will stay green and continue to flourish unless you deal with them. That’s why it’s so important to deal with bitterness at it’s root. A good way to identify bitterness is when people begin to complain. Bitterness usually starts with complaining…they’ll start to verbalize negativity.
The Bible gives a great illustration on this subject in the book of Matthew 20 when a landowner made a deal with a worker to do work in his vineyard for a set price. The landowner then hired other workers who worked only an hour. At the end of the day, he paid them both the same amount. The ones who were hired first “grumbled” or became bitter. The landowner even said, “Am I not being fair? Didn’t we agree on this price?” In other words, sometimes God is asking us, “why are you bitter because someone else was a recipient of my grace & mercy?”
Many people in the Bible got bitter. Here’s just a small list; 1. Job 10:1 (Job complained over a situation he had no control over), 2. Genesis 27:34 (Esau sought forgiveness with bitter tears for giving up his birthright), 3. Exodus 1:14 (God’s people went through bitterness of heart), 4. Ruth 1 (Naomi changed her name to ‘mara’ which meant bitter. She even blamed God.), 5. 1 Samuel 1 (Hannah was bitter because she couldn’t have a child), 6. Ester (Hamman was bitter towards Mordecai). 7. Jeremiah (He got bitter towards God’s people where he didn’t want to use his gift of prophecy. 8. Peter (He became bitter with his own failures).
We’ll continue with this thought tomorrow. Today I just wanted to paint a picture of bitterness and how many of us can so easily come to a place of bitterness in our own life. But we won’t stay here…it does get better for those who choose not to stay bitter. We’ll get rid of that bitter taste tomorrow.