Root rot is a condition where the roots of a plant rot. Usually, this is a result of over-watering and it results in the death of the plant as there is no reliable treatment.

What causes us to experience spiritual root rot where we die inside? Those who have been abused, disillusioned, or burned out on church can easily experience this if they allow bitterness and anger to reside in our hearts. The pain, sorrow, and devastation we have experienced is very real, but if we remain victims and refuse to heal, forgive, and seek hope we will rot away inside and not live the abundant lives that God desires for us. Even if we are trying to seek and heal we need to be actively pursuing relationship and opportunities to serve, share, and minister to others or we will only soak in God’s goodness without pouring it out which can again result in rot deep inside in our lives.

Jeff Pate in “Branches of the Vine: Bearing Fruit in Your Walk in Christ.” Branches of the Vine Volume 1, Issue 7, 2004 lists ten signals of unforgiveness and bitterness. These can result in spiritual root rot in our lives if they are not resolved.

1. Barren – Lack of concern for others; consumed with self-pity; preoccupied with self.
2. Biased – Super-sensitive; touchy; paranoid and fearful.
3. Brief – Have few friends; too busy for close relationships.
4. Brittle – Afraid to meet new people; inflexible; fear rejection.
5. Blind – Show little or no gratitude; negative; no joy.
6. Bigoted – Harshly critical; dogmatic and extreme.
7. Brutal – Holds grudges for long periods of time.
8. Base – Stubborn; sulky.
9. Bleak – Gloomy and cold; distant.
10. Bizarre – Severe mood swings; no sense of stability.

While root rot in plants may not be treatable, spiritual root rot is. We just need to humbly go before God and ask him to help us change. He cares about every intimate detail of our lives, and he will heal us and help us to change.