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Root Of Bitterness

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 (Heb. 12:15 ESV).

root of bitterness

The root that causes bitterness can easily be understood if you imagine a root supporting a tree that produces a bitter or poisonous fruit. The root of bitterness is any source of sorrow, pain, or resentment in your heart.

The Apostle Paul was directly quoting Moses: “Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the LORD our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit” (Deut. 29:18 ESV). Moses originally used the phrase “root of bitterness” to refer to any individual who turned from God to worship idols, causing the entire nation of Israel to suffer the consequences.

How does this apply to you? Are there any roots producing bitterness in your life? Yes, it could be an individual. It may be also be a habit, a relationship, or a past experience. You will recognize it as a source of perpetual sorrow and resentment in your heart. Allow God’s ax to cut off that root from your heart today, before its bitter fruit poisons your entire life!


Think for a moment on the implication of the fact that the root of a plant is typically hidden underground, invisible to the outside world!


If there is a bitter root in your life, honor God’s Word by refusing to allow that root to stay another day. Allow God to remove the root right now, whether by acceptance, forgiveness, letting go, or doing what you know must be done.


Ask the Spirit for the strength to remove every bitter root from your heart today.

Recommended Read: Bitterness is a spiritual disaster

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