Most people in their right minds would never add a few drops of poison to their cup of tea. They’d say, ‘that’s just crazy!’ Yet many sip daily from a cup of bitterness. And if you asked them about it, they’d say, “Why shouldn’t I? Did you not see what my friend/boss/community/family did to me? I never deserved that. So of course I’m going to hold on to my grudges.”
Yes, we’ve all been there. Bitterness is the only poison one can drink with the mistaken assumption that the act of drinking it will harm someone else.
There’s a tiny flower called a saxifrage. Also known as the rock-breaker, it grows secretly in the crevices of strong rocks. It sends down a tiny root in the soil around the rock. Yet as these roots begins to grow, they become very strong and powerful enough to crack the rock open. Bitterness is a lot like this. Given enough time, the small roots of bitterness in our hearts can grow so strong that they can end up destroying our lives.
Maybe this is why the English philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon said, “This is certain, that a man who studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.” The Bible teaches us to purge all hints of bitterness in our hearts, right up to its roots. This may seem like an impossible task to most of us, which is why we are also assured that we don’t need to do this alone; God could help us with this healing process if we allow him to. If we actually followed this, we could potentially see a lot more physical and emotional well-being in our lives.