“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have
against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Colossians 3:13, NIV

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root
grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Hebrews 12:15, NIV

The longer I live the more difficult it has become for me to practice this command of forgiveness. My grandmother showed me how to live this way. She married at a young age and after having two children her husband decided to run off with the “lady” next door. She proceeded to raise her children over the following years without any child support. The more I discovered about her life, the less I understood her. She had experienced many hurts and pains emotionally and physically and yet she was so positive. I rarely heard her speak in less than generous terms about anyone. I asked her, “Grandma, how can you be so pleasant with all the bad things that have happened to you”? She smiled and said she had learned to forgive. All her grandchildren loved to be around her because she was so kind.

The writer of Hebrews warns us to be careful that bitterness does not take root and grow in our lives. When I have been wounded it hurts and eventually that hurt turns to anger and bitterness. If I am not diligent to practice forgiveness, the root of bitterness will consume me. I have discovered the older I get the more hurts I have and the more necessary it becomes to forgive.

QUESTION: Has someone hurt you and the thoughts seem to consume you? Have you forgiven that person? Begin now by asking God to help you forgive them, reflect on how God has forgiven you and allow the root removal to begin.