What is Growing in Your Garden?
When someone does or says something to hurt you, slight you or disrespect you, that is the seed someone else may plant in your garden. When you or I don’t deal with hurt immediately the seed is planted in our garden that grows many other negative emotional and spiritual plants. The quickest to take root is anger. When anger is not dealt with before the sun goes down” it grows into, resentments. Resentments are deeper and stronger than mere anger. When resentments are watered, fertilized and nurtured they become, bitterness. Bitterness is a deeply rooted issue that is purely mine to deal with. It is caused by my own unChristlike way of dealing with hurt.
As hurt turns to anger and anger to resentment and resentment to bitterness each successively grows deeper into our spirit. Each one has a root system that spreads out further and touches more and more areas of our lives. When bitterness takes root, the root system “runs.” It spreads out all through us and pops up everywhere; irritation with a spouse or work mate. A short fuse with virtually everyone who crosses us in any way.
The remedy is actually to work in reverse. Bitterness is my problem. It wouldn’t be there if I had handled a hurt in a healthy biblical way. The remedy for bitterness is to confess it to God as sin. You don’t have to analyze where it came from or who did what to you to cause it because the truth is you and I caused bitterness. We watered and nurtured and fertilized some wrong, some slight and we caused bitterness to grow. The remedy is, “Oh Lord, my eyes are open. I am a bitter person. Bitterness is sin and I allowed it to take root in my life. Please forgive me for my sin. Give me wisdom to not allow it to grow back.”
When the bitterness is confessed and forgiven you may feel some weight lifted off your shoulders. But the cause of bitterness is resentment that is nurtured. As the bitterness leaves some of the old resentments may surface. The remedy to remove resentment and to keep it from growing back into bitterness is to forgive the offenders. There is a fork in the road of resentment. When resentment comes your way you nurture it or forgive the source.
Forgiveness will remove the seed that was planted with the original hurt. Forgiveness may be a process. Meaning there is also a fork in this road. When you recall the hurt you can forgive the offender or nurture and grow the hurt.
Confessing your bitterness as sin and forgiving those who have hurt you as a regular practice will free your life to experience the fruit of the Spirit
Maintenance will be required! Once you’ve rid your garden of weeds and roots Responding to future situations will require vigilance so good fruit can grow and the bad seeds and roots never get a chance to spoil your garden.