Faith, Grace, Growth

Bitter Roots

Bitter Roots

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

It’s underneath, this tangled mess of brown , growing constant as I allow it. Watering it from time to time, while I pretend not to know better. These roots, that twist and choke, fighting each other in a web of knots, pulling further and further underneath. The surface reveals little of this chaos that snarls under the cover of sod. This bitter root, grows. Eventually, the surface breaks, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

This very tongue that whispers love, and kisses wounds, this Judas mouth,  sometimes spits fires and lashes out toxic, as roots begin to break the surface.

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:6

I stumble and fall. I trip over this bitter root and in this dirt,  this filth, I recognize, I haven’t fully beaten it. I need forgiveness. Palms open, face down I confess it. Lord let my throat not be an open grave! Cut out this vipers tongue and shut up this mouth that curses and vomits venomous words.

I have had a weakness for venting frustration, for giving harsh whippings with my forked tongue. It is a blight on me which I work constantly to treat. I have scraped at it and covered it and prayed against it for years and still, sometimes, it spills out. I hate this piece of me and work unending at digging it up and uprooting it once and for all. I am getting better at holding it, this wild tongue that threatens to undo, to beat down with language. With words.  The more I put on Christ, the easier it is to be still. To be silent. To not let it loose. This is dark spot in me, this is the shadow that haunts and lingers most unwelcome.  When it sparks, when the fire smokes and the heat rises in my throat, I run faster to be where He is. For where he is, there is no darkness.

I know in him I have both the forgiveness the strength I need to resist.  I absorb him like plants and rainwater. Sucking more and more of him down to my roots tapped deep, and HE is the solution that will wilt permanently, the bitter root.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 5-10

Learning the practice of humility is confessing sins again and again, accepting the forgiveness given and knowing that apart from him I can do no good thing. Practicing true confession is an act of humility that I must repeat daily, hourly even- recognizing that before the throne, I am just a beggar, everything I have, comes straight from His hand, I must ask, and am deeply humbled when I receive.

Because our spiritual life and health depends on receiving from Christ, we exercise our faith by becoming beggars before God. And that’s not easy for us who fancy that we are producers of spiritual goods and owners of spiritual gifts. Dr. John Kleinig ~ Grace upon Grace

Wir sind Bettler, Hoc est verum.

(” We are beggars” (German) “This is true” (Latin)) Martin Luther


  1. It’s the “again and again” part that sometimes gets us. But yes, we need to repent often and confess often and try afresh, through the grace of God, to reflect the image of Christ. The tongue gets in my way too, via the heart. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Anonymous

      Yes, Lisa, yes indeed. I am always disturbed when I slip and realize that the harshness that manages to escape my mouth comes from the dark corners of my heart. Really that thought makes me sick to my stomach. I am definitely my own worst enemy. Thank God for his mercy and forgiveness. Oh that I would humble myself constantly to confess, repent and receive. I am humbled by your words and the fact that you took the time to read here today, bless you, friend.

  2. ‘The bitter root grows’.u00a0 This was so powerful and true.u00a0 It is what is under the surface, what noone sees, that grows and festers until it overflows.u00a0 Thank you for this reminder.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *