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Better without the bitter

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.   Hebrews 12:15

Things don’t always turn out the way we expect. Tonight as I write this devotional Bob Norsworthy and John Simpson are heading for Jakarta for two weeks. The plan was to continue consulting to a major corporation, and to recruit clients and encourage consultants for our first Indonesia Venture in December. The only snag is that the client has just been told that their assets are frozen, and they are therefore unable to hire us. After deliberation, Bob and John decided to press forward, take the twist in the road, and prepare for the rēp Venture. 

We have two choices: take the twists prayerfully, or get twisted. We have been given so much: a not guilty verdict, heaped blessing, life itself. Despite the fact that we should be grateful, seeds are dropped onto the sand of our lives each day, some healthy, some designed to permeate and destroy. Our job, before day ends, is to take a spiritual rake, run it through the soil of the day, and skim off and discard the seeds that, if left, will lead to a root of bitterness springing up. We are cautioned to “not let the sun go down on our wrath” and I rather fancy that anger or wrath—perhaps even niggling discontent—is the seed which, if left overnight, will be a root of bitterness by morning. 

Lord, please don’t let us allow ourselves the luxury of graceless seeds which could, when harbored overnight, be roots of bitterness by morning. Disinfect us of discontent, and cover us with a garment of praise, we pray. For your glory. Amen. 

Reflections

  • How often do you leave things unresolved?

  • Would it help if you moved things from your “emotional memory” to your “historical memory” so that they do not become seeds of bitterness?

  • What posture of the heart would coat seeds in a protective layer so that they do not germinate and become destructive?



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