Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Walk-on Wednesday - Removing the Bitter Roots - Martin Wiles

Welcome to Walk-on Wednesday. By Hump Day, we are struggling, but we believe a good devotion can strengthen us to finish the week strong. 

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you. Hebrews 12:15 NLT

I pegged her as a troublemaker from the moment I met her.

My pastor had identified her as the same long before I came to the church. Every Sunday, she sat on the back pew with folded arms and a sly smirk. No song or message seemed to penetrate her tough fa├žade. She was a long-time member that members had passively permitted to run the church. Previous pastors had allowed it, but her current pastor wasn’t granting her the same privileges. Though the new pastor had stripped her authority, she remained at the church until she died, spreading her root of bitterness to all who interacted with her.

The writer cautioned first-century churches against such roots of bitterness. They might show up in the form of legalists, false teachers, or persecutors. Some were enamored with “do and don’t” lists, while others didn’t believe in Jesus as the sole means of salvation. The church had the responsibility of rooting out these bitter roots.

I’ve been associated with many churches because of my upbringing and profession. I’ve never found a perfect one, nor do I expect to. Every church I’ve belonged to had a group or a person who thought it was their God-given right to run the church. None did with sincerity, and ulterior motives were always present.

While I shouldn’t expect perfect churches and can’t control the actions of others, it’s my responsibility to help lovingly root out anything that causes discord, disunity, and false teachings. How to do it productively and wisely hinges on God’s wisdom which he is anxious to give. Others may misunderstand us when we act, but God wants right and peace to prevail in his churches. As a member, it’s our task to see that they reign.

Are you a peacemaker or a peace taker in your church?

Prayer: Father, prompt us to work for peaceful relationships in our churches. 

Tweetable: Do you have bitter roots that need uprooting?

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