Friday, April 20, 2007

The Blinding Power of Bitterness

"See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled" (Hebrews 12:15, NASB).

Twelve years ago, Timothy McVeigh allowed his resentment to fuel the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, murdering at least 168 people. This week, Cho Seung-Hui's bitterness led him to murder 32 people at Virginia Tech before committing suicide. By surrendering to resentment, two men missed the grace of God. They were blinded by their rage.

Most of us will not allow our bitterness to drive us to murder, but none of us will go through life without scars. Each one of us will be hurt by someone, sometimes intentionally but often unintentionally. What will we do when we are hurt? Will we become weak and bitter? Or will we become strong and forgiving? How we answer those questions may determine whether we miss the grace of God. As Jesus Christ taught, "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors...For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions" (Matthew 6:12, 14-15, NASB).

No comments: