"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many" (Hebrews 12:15).
Bill had a partner in business who took advantage of their relationship and embezzled money from his firm. He was caught and convicted. However, Bill decided to drop the charges if he agreed to repay the money. This allowed both men to gain freedom from a wrong committed.
In business and life the opportunity to harbor bitterness for a wrong suffered is great. We are given plenty of opportunities to grow bitter from relationships that bring hurt and pain. The writer of the Hebrews passage above admonishes us not to miss the grace of God so that we won't take up bitterness as a response to life's pain. He cautions us against this because he knows that a bitter root grows and grows until it eventually defiles many others through a wake of bitterness. If bitterness is allowed to take root, we become imprisoned to it. God's grace will no longer have as great an effect in our lives. We become ineffective, insensitive, and spiritually dead. We can even become physically ill from it. God does not live in bitterness. He lives in grace. He has provided grace for every person to walk in.
One day I was challenged to deal with an individual who hurt me terribly. I was faced with a decision. Would I choose bitterness or would I choose grace? Oh, how my natural tendency wanted to choose bitterness. But God provided the courage to choose grace. With that grace came freedom - a freedom to love and even accept the person who was the source of such pain.
This is the real place where Christ's power is most revealed. We cannot live without His supernatural grace. Are you in need of grace today? It is there for the receiving. It will take courage to accept it and walk in it. This will be your step to freedom.