A Devotion May Be Someone's Only Bible

View Blog Entry

Who's in Control

Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled ?  Hebrews 12:15 NKJV

(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)“I will never forgive him,” she said through gritted teeth. “God doesn’t expect me to and you can’t make me!” 

My heart broke at the pain in my friend’s eyes. There were no tears—they had all been shed—only the droop of her shoulders and the invisible shackles she carries each and every day. 

Betrayal, especially by a loved one, causes unbelievable pain, which can lead to anger, bitterness, and even thoughts of malicious revenge. When my friend, as a young girl, refused to deal with her “demons,” they created a lifelong grudge that became a millstone around her neck—a heaviness that holds her back from a life of freedom, joy, and the fulfillment God has planned for her. 

A grudge is something that can begin as a tiny niggling in the back of your mind. Then, every time you see the offending person, hear their name, or even have a passing thought about them, the resentment grows and spreads until it suffocates the spiritual life out of you. Deep-seated resentment is toxic. The writer of Hebrews calls it a root of bitterness and tells us that it causes much trouble and defiles others. 

The Bible gives us many ways to deal with this: Forgive and be forgiven. Don’t let anything offend you. Cast all your care on Him. Forget what is behind and press on. First comes forgiveness, then comes healing. 

My friend has been carrying this grudge so long it has become her identity, and she’s afraid to let it go. She’s become oddly comfortable in her self-imposed misery. She thinks that to forgive means letting the offender off the hook, making what they did okay. Holding on to this bitterness gives her a bogus sense of control over the offender when, in reality, she is the one being controlled. I have explained to her that forgiving someone and letting go of a grudge does not let the other person off the hook—it lets her off the hook. I pray that one day she will trust God and allow Him to restore her. 

The unmistakable truth is this: You can’t move forward while staring into the rearview mirror. Put the past behind. Let it go. Take God’s hand and let Him lead you to freedom. 

(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com.)

(For more devotions, visit us at www.christiandevotions.us.)

Share This Blog:

Andrea Merrell

Andrea Merrell is an award-winning author and professional freelance editor. She is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC and the 2018 Excellence in Editing award by the Christian Editors Network. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and the 2018 Selah Awards, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis contest. She has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues, teaches workshops on writing and editing, and is the co-founder and regular contributor to www.TheWriteEditing.com, a blog designed specifically for writers. Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. Contact her at www.AndreaMerrell.com.



  1. 1

  2. Well said! God understands what most psychiatrists today don't: that giving forgiveness, even if the offending person never asks for it, is the key to your own health and happiness.