One of the biggest hindrances to showing God’s mercy to others is unforgiveness.
How many times have we allowed a bitter root of bitterness to grow, hidden resentment within and experienced seasons of prolonged anger? Do we reflect a forgiving spirit which delights in mercy or instead, or we caught up in getting even, holding grudges and widening divisions?
Micah 7:8 says, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy.” The Forerunner Commentary describes God’s kindness as: “kindness with intensity of will and readiness of mind.” He forgives with all His heart because He delights in mercy!
God’s nature gives mercy, not death; creates goodness, not evil; loves, not hate.
If we are not careful, we will begin to fertilize a root of bitterness. Beware! It is fast growing and spreads rapidly.
“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” Hebrews 12:15
As Paul warns, if we allow this root of bitterness in our life, we have failed granting the grace of God. Another word for this type of bitterness is hard feelings. We harbor bad feelings towards others when we fail to forgive. It sets a whole chain of events and emotions in orbit that will eventually lead to resentment and rob us of our peace. Negative thoughts and emotions will consume us if we let them. As we continue down the road of unforgiveness, anger and hatred can even set in. Hatred is a festering sore. The more you pick at it, the worse it becomes until it consumes your entire thought process. It eats away at you.
Have you allowed a root of bitterness to set in?
It is critical that we forgive. It must be automatic in a Christian’s life. This act must be continuously practiced in our lives. Scripture gives us many reasons why we must forgive.
A wise man once wrote: “Forgiveness is the key to the doorway of healing and freedom. Forgiveness builds a sturdy bridge over which repentance and reconciliation can pass. To forgive is to set a prisoner free–and you will discover the prisoner was you.” [Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict, by Ken Sande (Updated Edition, Baker Books, 2003).]