June 4, 2018
A Bitter Cup
Lisa Morrone, PT
“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.” (Hebrews 12:15, NIV)
Friend to Friend
I grew up drinking from a bitter cup.
Brewing daily in my childhood home was a large vat of bitterness. The longer it was left to ferment, the stronger the brew became. Because my mother drank from it on a daily basis, her bitterness began to grow roots—bitter roots. Pouring me a cup from her portion of bitter poison, she would share her deepest pain with me, how victimized she felt, and how crippled her emotions had become.
Granted, my mother’s life had been troubled. Her father was physically abusive to the members of her family—herself included. As a result, her self-esteem was very poor and she suffered with fear, anxiety, and depression…and anger. Lots and lots of anger. My mother’s emotional pain sabotaged her marriage very early on and, although she attended church weekly and was involved in Bible study and Christian counseling at times, she never would allow the grace of the Lord to heal her from all the past events which had caused her great hurt.
And so my mother continued to share her bitter cup with me, year in and year out, causing me—as Today’s Truth warns—much trouble and defilement. Not surprisingly, as generational curses go, I began to develop my own vat of bitterness in my teen years which, looking back, truly stunted my growth as a young Christian. I would attend church and read my Bible, but still I struggled to make progress toward the goal of holiness to which I had been called. I was spiritually weak and easily toppled. Sin seemed to have its way with me.
In my late 20’s I was attending a women’s Bible study when today’s focus verse came up in our discussion. The teacher said something profound that day which changed the course of my life. She said, “If life has handed you a bitter cup, it’s your responsibility to drink it fully— not pass it to others.”
Wow. I had two young children at that time, and boy, I did not want to trouble or defile their lives as mine had been! That very day I resolved to not only drink down that cup, but to digest it in a godly way so that no bitter root would remain for my children to find and possibly brew their own batch of bitterness from.
Jesus had his own bitter cup to swallow—the cross. By far, it was not going to be an easy swallow, so he asked his Father to take it from him, if possible (Luke 22:42). But the Father had a redemptive work planned and it required Jesus to drink that cup. And praise be to Jesus, by his obedient action, we were set free from our sin trouble and its defilement of our souls!
The Lord has a redemptive plan in mind for you and me and it will require us to drink down our individual cups of bitter resentment. Maybe your life has been mostly sweet and your cup is thimble-sized or maybe it is closer in size to a large, German beer stein. Regardless of the quantity, its taste will be bitter. Pucker up if you need to, but swallow deeply so that your healing may begin and the next generation of your loved ones will not be harmed by what has harmed you.
Only you, Lord, know the depth of what I have endured. My pain is real and raw. I have been wronged, but I do not need to hold those persons accountable, because you will. Please release me from my unforgiveness and the bitterness it produces. Enable me to offer the same grace you showed me to those who have caused me pain, and in so doing, free me from sin’s grip.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It's Your Turn: Have you been sipping steadily on a cup of bitterness? Is it a cup that was passed down to you, or did you brew up your own batch? Name what you are bitter about (whatever/whoever you refuse to forgive). Take it to God and claim his promise over it “…It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord” (Romans 12:19b). And then—Let. It. Go. Release it to your Redeemer, pursue redemption, and live redeemed!
More from the Girlfriends
Overcoming Overeating: It’s Not What You Eat, It’s What Eats You (Harvest House Publishers) is one of Lisa’s six books in her Restoring Your Temple® health resource collection. Her books are available on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com,or wherever books are sold.
Lisa Morrone, PT is a physical therapist, professor, author of six books, radio guest and event speaker who encourages people to “Get Healthy for Heaven’s Sake.” Visit Lisa’s website for more information and to sign up to receive her informative and life-breeding “Monday Morning Health Tips”!
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Originally published Monday, 04 June 2018.