Has someone wronged you recently? There are several common wrongs: betrayal, broken promises, broken confidences, abuse, false accusations. These are just a few, but what about the power that a nurtured wrong can have over us?
Dr. Erwin Lutzer writes in his book, When You’ve Been Wronged:
“Talk to some offended people and they will spill out their resentment to anyone who is willing to listen. You’d think that the offense happened yesterday, last month, or last year. Turns out it happened twenty years ago, but the wound is constantly opened, constantly talked about, or constantly used as an excuse for one thing or another.” (Lutzer, p. 38)
When you keep holding onto a wrong done to you, keep thinking about it and re-living, then you may be allowing that wrong to gain such a foothold in your life that it simply continues to re-hurt you over and over again.
When we nurture a wrong done to us, it quickly turns into bitterness, and here’s what bitterness does:
Hebrews 12:15: “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
First, it grows. When you allow bitterness to take root in your heart, it will grow and grow fast. Before you know it, those roots will dig down into your heart and grow like a weed. You cannot harbor even a little bitterness in your heart. It won’t stay small. It always grows.
Second, it causes trouble. When you nurture a wrong done to you and feed it, count on it causing you a great deal of trouble. Physical trouble—it affects your health adversely—emotional and mental trouble.
Third, it defiles many. Funny thing is, when we keep nurturing the wrongs done to us, it affects all of our relationships—not just the one who has wronged us. As parents we can transfer that bitter spirit to our children; as managers and employees we can transfer it to our co-workers. It is a poison that affects everyone it touches.
While I certainly don’t want to trivialize the wrongs that have been done to you, I do want to help you start to find healing.