Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis. His many other Freudian theories have garnished much attention and spurred on much debate. His insights have been scrutinized, analyzed and often times rejected. What about the man? Freud died at the age of eighty-three a lonely, bitter, disillusioned soul. He wrote in 1918, “I have found little that is good about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash…” The thoughts that Freud put to pen have been unfortunately tucked away and harboured by many.
Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
Bitterness is like the weed that, when tending the garden, won’t be uprooted without a fight. Often offenders have no idea the deep hurt they have caused and so wounded believers suffer the pain of the hurt alone. Over time, they rehearse the trauma like a movie playing again and again in their minds and soon the bitter spirit that has been building is becoming much easier to justify. We become comfortable with our hurt and numb to its devastating affects.
If we allow “bitterness” to spring up in our lives then we are looking for “trouble”. It will spell trouble for us and trouble for others; it will trouble our families, it will trouble our marriages, it will trouble our churches, it will trouble our health, it will trouble our joy, it will trouble our friendships, it will trouble our ministries, and it will trouble our relationships with Jesus Christ. The devastating reaches of a bitter heart are often grossly underestimated. One angry saint that is harbouring the pain and anger of unresolved problems can do more damage to himself and others then he will ever really know. What did the apostle Paul do when the opportunity to harbour bitterness presented itself? He said, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works… At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge”, II Timothy 4:14,16. There is no hurt so deep in your life right now nor pain that you feel that is so great that God’s grace cannot reach down and bring healing and cause you to reach out and extend forgiveness.
Post by: Matthew Little
This post appears in the April 2012 Open Bible Bulletin.