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Oilfield Workers Sharing Christ Around the World


Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash

By Mike Chaffin

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15

          Bitterness is so defiling that the writer of Hebrews told us it needs to be pulled up by the roots, and not just cut down, as it will start growing again. This root can be disillusionment, a hurt, sore spot, or an anger trigger that turns our spirit sour and creates bitterness in us. The cure for bitterness is forgiveness.

          Jesus forgives our sins when we ask Him. However, He also commands we forgive those who sin against us. When we don’t, Jesus won’t.

                For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

          This lack of forgiveness allows the root of bitterness to spring back to life in us again, instead of the Holy Spirit. Peter taught us that only when we receive forgiveness from God are we truly saved, and only those who forgive others can be truly saved. Without salvation we don’t receive the Holy Spirit.

                Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

          Forgiveness of others gives us so much peace. But it goes further. We must forgive ourselves as well. Many times, bitterness springs into our life because we fail to accept the forgiveness Jesus gives us because we won’t forgive ourselves. If we ask Jesus to forgive our sins, they are forgiven. We need to do the same.

          Jeremiah in his lament accused God of making him bitter. He blamed God for his misfortune. However, in his lament Jeremiah vented out this bitterness, turned to God, and praised Him. Praise is a balm which helps us forgive to see the bigger picture. It gives us hope.

                I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. 22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:21-25

          If you harbor bitterness vent it to the Lord. Give it to Him and then praise Him for His forgiveness and goodness. Praise will help you to forgive and heal.

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me of my sins. I forgive those who have hurt me and those who still have a hold on me through my unforgiveness. Help me to heal and like you, put the things that cause bitterness in my life away, never to come up again. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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