Many people in the body of Christ are sick and diseased. I believe, for many, the reason for their condition(s) is a root of bitterness. Hebrews 12:14-15 says: “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. Make sure that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.”
It is so easy to get hurt and offended by what others say or do to us. When we do, often times we hang on to that hurt or offense until it grows, takes root in our heart and works its way into our very cells. This root can eventually cause physical sickness and disease which can lead to an early death!
As human beings, our physical bodies were created from the dust of the earth. Mark 4 speaks of the good and bad soil of our heart. Thus, like any soil, it is capable of growing things—things good or bad. What is planted in our heart can take root and spring up to grow a positive or negative root which continues to grow until it effects our soul and body.
One of the worst “crops” we can allow to grow up in our lives is unforgiveness.
Once offended, whether intentional or unintentional, many people hang on to an offense and very quickly and unconsciously let it take over their lives. It becomes a deep root of bitterness and once it reaches that stage, it can manifest itself as sickness and disease within the body. Something seemingly intangible can become a tangible disease that leads to a variety of ailments.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that unless we forgive others of their trespasses against us, God will not forgive us of our trespasses against Him (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:15; Mark 11:25; Luke 6:37). Forgiveness will stop the root of bitterness from even forming or kill it if it is already present, saving us from its devastating effects. Bitterly held on to, offenses not only effect our physical body in destructive ways, but they also bring upheaval into our families, friendships, and even entire churches. I have seen churches split because of offenses that were not dealt with.
An offense can progress to lies and deceit. The offended person retaliates by making up a story about the offender that justifies themselves and covers up their part in the wrong. Because of this root of bitterness, rumors spread from one person to another until reputations are damaged, sometimes beyond repair.
In conclusion, we can see how an unforgiven offense can lead to a root of bitterness and cause sickness and disease in the offended person as well as spread damaging rumors into others, hurting relationships, families, and beyond.
I urge you, if you have unforgiveness in your heart, please repent and DECIDE to forgive, from your heart, the person who offended you, not matter what they have done. You may be justified by being angry at what someone did or said to you, but you are never justified by being unforgiving. God forgave you of your sin and therefore He demands that we forgive others of their sins against us. The consequences of unforgiveness are never worth the price.