We are bombarded by the news of pollution in our environment through the air, water, soil, etc. However, there is more insidious pollution that most people don’t think about, and that is spiritual pollution!
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 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
The above passage tells us one of the ways we can get polluted or defiled is through bitterness. Bitterness does not just affect the person, but it impacts the entire environment.
Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
Generally, those with bitterness in their hearts cannot contain the bitterness nor can they remain quiet about their issues. One way or another they are going to make it known what they are upset about. A lot of times, those with the root of bitterness do not want others to have a good view of those they are upset with. As a result, they will try various means to change the mind of others. However, in the process, they have defiled and polluted others.
How do we know there is a root of bitterness in our hearts!? Some of the ways we can evaluate ourselves are as follows:
- Do you continue to rehash various scenarios that occurred?
- Do you have conversations in your head about what you like to tell the person that you have not been able to?
- Do you have a hard time seeing others speak well of them?
- It is difficult to see anything positive about them?
- You try to influence others to think negatively of them.
The above passage gives us the solution to the root of bitterness. It tells us to do two things:
- Pursue peace with others. Pursuing peace with others is not easy. Sometimes our lack of desire makes it difficult to be in a relationship let alone to be at peace with them. At other times, the individuals are not interested in a relationship nor have peace in the relationship. Pursuing peace may have to be a daily decision if you have to interact with the person on daily basis.
- Pursue holiness. This has to do with our attitude and heart condition before God. Ultimately, we live our lives to honor the Lord and to please Him. It is not about us. This is something that should continue to bring us to the point of asking the Lord what He desires instead of how we feel about it.
The truth is that the root of bitterness does not produce any good fruit but only pollution. Have you found yourself bitter towards anyone? If so, has it produced any good fruit in your life? Have you polluted others with your bitterness? What are you willing to do differently in this situation?