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« on: August 15, 2005, 01:01:06 PM »

Author: Woodrow Kroll
Source: Lessons on Living From Esther
Scripture: Hebrews 12:15 Ephesians 4:31 Isaiah 1:11-16 Esther 3:8-9

A Root of Bitterness

Esther 3:8-9

"Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, 'There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people's, and they do not keep the king's laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king's treasuries.'"

A Root of Bitterness

In his book Feelings: Our Vital Signs, Dr. William Gaylin points out that "resentment often arises when we believe we aren't getting what is due us from another person. We feel unfairly cheated or betrayed. And brooding leads to all kinds of trouble."

Gaylin's description fits Haman perfectly. Because Mordecai refused to bow to him, Haman's resentment grew into bitterness. He became embittered not only with Mordecai but toward all those of Jewish descent. His bitterness festered until he was willing to pay 10,000 talents (about $20 million) of silver to extract his revenge.

Bitterness, however, costs much more than money. It robs us of our health. Medical doctors link harboring resentments to such physical maladies as ulcers and high blood pressure.

But more than that, in the life of a Christian, bitterness destroys our intimacy with the Lord. The Bible teaches that bitterness is a sin (Eph. 4:31, Heb. 12:15). Unconfessed sin blocks our access to the Father and becomes a hindrance to our prayers (Isa. 1:11-16).

If you have allowed a spirit of bitterness to grow in your heart, confess it at once. Share your struggle with someone you trust. Do something kind for the one toward whom you've harbored bitter feelings. Whatever you do, don't allow a grudge to become a stumbling block in your walk with the Lord. Rip out every root of bitterness in your life and rediscover the joy of the Lord.

When the root is bitterness, imagine what the fruit might be.

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