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« What to Do When God Lets You Down | Main | Tell-tale Signs that You Need to Grow Up »

What’s Wrong with You? 

“Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble.” Hebrews 12:15 

Have you ever witnessed a noticeable change in someone and wondered what was wrong?  It always turns out that the worst question you can ask is “What’s wrong with you?” But, without asking the question, we proceed to supply answers anyway…and…WOW…what answers we come up with! You are: Sick, disappointed, hurt, stressed out, fatigued, anemic, worried, confused, depressed, bi-polar, anorexic, or dyslexic.  You suffer from ADD, ADHD, anxiety, hypertension, diabetes, hypoglycemia, fibromyalgia, change of life, dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, neurosis, psychosis, etc. Sometimes, these problems are real and need to be treated. Many times, however, we self-diagnose and/or misdiagnose them. The church is not a clinic nor am I a physician or psychiatrist.  But the Bible does have answers for the soul, and our text may be the right place to start.  

Someone whom you trusted or had a close relationship; with, does something to hurt you. (Gossip, unfairness, etc.) Your initial reaction is shock. “How could you.” You find it awkward or demeaning to approach the person about it. You speculate about his or her reaction. Since you were the one wronged, the other person should initiate any attempt at reconciliation. The damage escalates into a major set-back in life. Your problem works its way into every conversation. The result is that your whole life becomes one big reaction to this problem. 

The Greek word for bitterness is “pikria,” pointed, or sharp. Its literal meaning is unpleasant taste. In Greek literature, “pikria” referred more often to matters of the soul, or spirit. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.” Colossians 3:19. Bitterness is intense animosity, cynicism, ill-will, similar to resentment. Bitterness is loss of confidence, extreme pessimism, withdrawn, caustic, sometimes accompanied by physical problems.  A bitter person is easily enraged or depressed—often over insignificant matters—vindictive, and often retaliates. 

The “root” of bitterness involves three things:  seed, soil and stem.  SEED:  Roots grow from seeds.  A seed of truth always goes before bitterness.  The seed is often used as justification for the bitterness. SOIL:  Roots draw strength from the soil.  The root of bitterness robs good roots from much needed nutrients. STEM:  Eventually, roots always spring up with a poisonous stem above the ground.  The unseen eventually becomes visible to all. The only difference between bitterness and murder is that one is hatred unfulfilled, while the other is hatred fulfilled. 

What can you do about bitterness in your spirit? Remember, you are responsible for your own spirit!  Do not blame others for your own spiritual condition. Bitterness is sin. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. “ I John. 4:18. Love and forgiveness is the essence of Christianity. Bitterness inevitably makes you smaller, meaner, more cynical, less Christ-like and will affect your entire life in many ways. 

Examine your own conscience.  What are your wishes for the other person?  Can you prayer for him or her?  Do you talk openly against this person? Confess your bitterness to God, and, if necessary, to a spiritual leader. (1 John 1:9.) Leave all judgment to God! “How much more shall the blood of Christ cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14. Don’t let bitterness crush your soul!

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