Root of Bitterness

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Heb 12:12-15
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
I'm writing this article in August of 2004 and have been studying the subject of strongholds and curses that are affecting the Body of Christ (Anointing-the Holy Spirit).  It seems that everywhere I look folks are sick, poverty stricken and messed up.  I began asking why several years ago and have been in school with the Holy Spirit teaching me one precept at a time.  This morning he shared with me the root of it all and I want to share it with you. 
We will begin with verse 15 (the consequence and work backwards).  We see that bitterness first causes us to fail of the grace (favor) of God and then causes us toa be troubled and finally defiled!  Bitterness is an insidious thing and very subtle.  We're told in Genesis that the serpent that deceived Eve (Ahava) was the most subtle of all creatures.  He hasn't changed in the 6,000 years he has plagued mankind. 
Yeshua/Jesus taught in Matthew 13:21 that offense can steal the word out of our heart.  He was basically telling us that if we hold onto offense He could be stolen from our hearts.  Forgiveness is vital to our survival. 
Prov 18:19
19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
As you can see offense is not a good thing. It's so important that we don't hold grudges, keep records of suffered wrongs, and hold unforgiveness in our hearts.  If we return to Hebrews 12:15 we see that the first thing is that we get out from under the grace of God.  That basically means the adversary has us by the throat and we'll become judgmental.  The next thing we will see is we will be troubled.  I don't know about you, but I don't like trouble.  I avoid it with all of my strength.  Imagine trying to avoid trouble only to be locked in it because of something like offense, a grudge or unforgiveness.  HELP, get me out of here.  Last but not least we see that we end up defiled. 
Here are a few scriptures that deal with the contamination that comes at the end of the root of bitterness. I've also included the biblical definition of defiled from the Greek.  You can see it's not something you want to have happen to you.
miaino (me-ah'-ee-no); perhaps a primary verb; to sully or taint, i.e. contaminate (cer. or morally):- defile
(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

John 18:28
28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover.

Titus 1:15
15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Hebrews 12:15
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Jude 8
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

We should always be aware of the root of bitterness.  The whole concept of a wicked root system establishing roots in our lives is scary.  We want to keep the commandment of love, even if it means the cross.  That was Yeshua's heart and it should be ours too. 
Here are some scripture references to love to help you overcome a root that you might have let in by a "little" unforgiveness. We need forgiven daily, so lets be willing to forgive!