In Part 1, I asked the question, Are you driven by resentment? When you look deep-down in yourself, do you see the fact that you resent people?
You hold on to a hurt, it becomes hate, it becomes resentment. And resentment is the great destroyer of relationships.
Proverbs 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up trouble; love overlooks the wrongs that others do”. The only way to let go of resentment is to replace it with love. And God can help you do that—not in your own strength, but in the divine grace he gives you if you ask.
In the Old Testament, Job 5:2 says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do”. Yes, the words of Scripture make sense. They get straight to the heart of the problem. Dr Rick Warren wrote A Purpose Driven Life, a New York Times best-seller. He says:
You may be driven by resentment. Resentment always hurts you more than the one resented. Those who hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you unless you hold onto the pain through resentment. You are only hurting yourself with your bitterness. Doctors say a lot of people could leave their hospital bed today if they knew how to get rid of resentment over things they have done to others, and things others have done to them.
Resentment Doesn’t Let You See Clearly
If we don’t forgive and forget, we will remember and resent.
When angry or resentful, you’re wrong even when you’re right. It is nearly impossible to understand other people’s perspectives when you’re angry or resentful. You never have a complete view of a negotiation, even when your part of it is factually right. Anger and resentment make you oversimplify and see only one negative aspect of something. Even if you are right in your appraisal of that negative aspect, you are oversimplifying when you’re resentful or angry.
Anger and resentment amplify and magnify only the negative aspect of something, which blows it out of proportion and takes it out of context. The person you’re angry at will not see that you are right as long as he or she feels devalued. It’s easier to see these effects of anger and resentment when someone is angry at you and that person is right, you made a mistake. Your reaction is:
- “There’s more to it, she’s oversimplifying.”
- “She’s making too much of it.”
- “She just can’t see my perspective.”
You feel reduced to that one mistake, as if all the good things you’ve ever done don’t count.
Don’t Be Driven by Resentments
I’m saying: Don’t be driven by resentments and anger. Resentment is a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will.
Usually people driven by resentments are evidenced in their withdrawal symptoms. They simply withdraw into their cocoons. They hibernate from all activities in order to show their resentments. They cut themselves off from all meaningful relationships, but what they don’t understand is that purpose cannot be fulfilled in isolation. Actually, the truth is that resentments hurt you more than the person you resent.
On the other hand, some people react to pain and hurts through outbursts and anger tantrums. Anger is a strong emotion; a feeling that is oriented toward some real or supposed grievance. Either way, you must let go of pain and hurts. Those who have hurt you in the past cannot hurt you any longer unless you hold on to the pain. Forgive, and let go of hurts. Stop allowing resentments and anger to drive you!
Be driven by a divine purpose. Allow God, through the person of his Son Jesus Christ, to give you a new way of looking at life. Psalm 37:8 says, “Don’t be angry or furious. Anger can lead to sin”.
I think we have to go to God sometimes in order to release resentment. I can try and understand that payback or vengeance is God’s business—not mine. And because I trust God, I know he’ll handle his business, and that forgiveness is what I have to get busy working on.
PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for being close enough to hear my prayers and really listen to my heart. In a world where everything seems ignored, we can always trust that you will hear us. Your words and love is the only thing we can know is true. I know that I need to let go of my anger and resentment, but I can’t do it alone. God please remove it from my life so I can start a new cycle of hope with those important relationships.
Give me the patience and kindness so I can truly reflect what it means to be a Christian. God, you are my source of inspiration and hope, and it is in your name I pray. Amen.