Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches

Bamboo, Roots and Resentment. 

 

I remember the day very well because there was a note of urgency in my wife's voice as she called me to come out into our backyard. When I found her, she pointed to a plant shoot that protruded right in the middle of the lawn. It seemed that the tall bamboo from the house next door had decided to relocate into our backyard!  

 

I thought the solution was simple. So I grabbed hold of this unwanted invader and pulled. Alternate plan B was immediately required! I soon discovered that the root system of bamboo is very extensive, complex and stubborn. Over the next few days more shoots appeared. No matter how quickly I removed them, others quickly took their place.   Breaking off the shoots was as about as effective as mowing a lawn full of weeds. I also realised that those roots had been solidly establishing themselves beneath the surface long before there was any external evidence of their presence.  

 

It dawned on me that here, in nature, was another one of life's living parables. The lesson came into sharper focus when I recalled a very practical statement from the Bible about relationships: "Do not let any root of bitterness grow up and cause trouble..."  

 

Over the years, like you, I have often encountered people whose lives are choked by a root system of bitterness and resentment. For some, the evidence of bitterness is out there in the open for all to see and hear. "I'll never forgive them!" For others, the outward evidence is kept to a minimum but the root system of resentment below their calm exterior is doing just fine!  

 

I'm still not sure how to deal with bamboo but I do know how to deal with bitterness and resentment. It is neutralised with large doses of forgiveness. But we cannot apply the remedy of forgiveness if we have none to give. The only place I know where we can get sufficient quantities of forgiveness is from God Himself. When we experience His forgiveness in our lives, then we are beautifully free to forgive others.  

 

The only alternative to forgiveness is for bitterness and resentment to wrap its roots around us and choke the life out of us.

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