The Inner Room

What is the "bitter root" of Hebrews 12?

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. Hebrews 12:15-16

Charismatic “inner healing” teaching majors on this “bitter root” doctrine. Typically, it’s said that the “seed of bitterness” is sown when some hurt happens to you, and instead of forgiving, you allow resentment to take hold in your heart.

Don't drift away

Recently I’ve been reading the book of Hebrews. It’s an immense and encouraging blessing.

Hebrews is written to people who are feeling discouraged in their newfound faith, and are tempted to leave Jesus and return to Judaism in order to avoid persecution. The writer of Hebrews encourages them to persevere, have faith, and not give up, because Jesus and this salvation they have received are so much better than the law and the old priestly system.

This isn’t the space for a detailed commentary on Hebrews. But one verse in particular really struck me: