There was a documentary on the other night that showed an octopus stalking a crab. It would stealthily slither close to the crab and reach out one tentacle in an effort to grab the unsuspecting crustacean. After a few attempts, the creature finally managed to get a crab with one tentacle. In seconds the crab was caught by all eight tentacles and drawn towards the powerful jaws of the hunter.
Being unforgiving is like the one tentacle used by the octopus. Once grabbed, many other tentacles follow. Each has its own name; bitterness, wrath, anger, gossip, hatred, strife, and envy. Each one bears down and draws the victim ever closer to the hunter of men's souls. Many believers have been captured by that one tentacle only to be overwhelmed by them all. Once caught, escape by normal means is impossible. The prey is left with a life full of heartache, loneliness, and sorrow without deliverance.
Bitterness and an unforgiving spirit are like the roots of a sassafras tree. One lateral root can grow many smaller trees. A root of bitterness towards one person usually buds into bitterness towards many others. Soon, the offended individual is mad at the church, the pastor, the family, and maybe even God. What a terrible situation.
There is hope. Take the matter to the foot of the cross and leave it there. If not, it will strangle your effectiveness for Christ. Don't let that root produce anything else. Run from that one tentacle before they all grab you.