Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s grace. And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.  Hebrews 12:15 TPT

While reading Hebrews 12:15 above did you notice three descriptions – bitterness, trouble, poison?

Three good reasons to forgive.

It should be easy to avoid poisonous, bitter, and troubling behavior but it isn’t. Who starts their day with the thought, “I’m looking forward to a day of outbursts of anger, destroying my two remaining good relationships at work, or making sure that I’m so upset that I can’t sleep again tonight?”

That’s what we do, too easily!

The author of the book of Hebrews teaches us to not miss the “revelation of God’s grace!” Jesus defines missing His grace:

But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds forgiveness from you.  Matthew 6:15

Grace forgives; graces give us the power to forgive others, and grace considers kindness as our first response to insult. Grace comes into our lives when we forgive, and God withholds this grace when we decide to keep offense instead of forgiving.

Don’t forgive and you miss God’s grace and then experience bitterness, trouble, and poison.

The Greek word translated as “bitterness” means harsh, rotten fruit, and acid.

The Greek word translated as “trouble” means annoy, tumult, and disturb. This word comes from a word in Greek that means raging mob.

The Greek word translated as “poison” means defile, pollute, everything that comes into contact gets stained.

Lack of forgiveness begins with an offense, graduates within to anger, moves on to an attitude of smoldering resentment, begins to explode toward others at their slightest miscues, and then settles in as our personality.

Three reasons to forgive, continue to forgive, and ask for God’s grace to forgive – bitterness, trouble, and poison.

Hebrews 12:15 gives reasons to forgive, but in Hebrews 12:14 we find how to avoid the persona of unforgiveness.

Put your total focus on pursuing peace.  Hebrews 12:14

Take your attention off an offense, place it on Jesus who forgave you, then consider how to make and keep peace with those who offend you. Peace becomes addictive but the word “peace” in Greek means rest, unity, quiet of soul, wholeness, and joined as one.

Hmmmhhhh, are you a person of bitterness, trouble, and poison or someone who lives in grace pursuing peace?

I have to admit, one day I’m of peace and another I’m on a warpath. I pray daily for grace.