Friday, 21 May 2010

Resentment

It has been said that “Resentment is the poison you drink expecting the other person to die”. Resentment, anger, bitterness, acrimony and hatred are the emotions that most often accompany those who come to me for marriage counseling. Did I mention that these couples are Christian?


It is hard to believe how badly we can hurt someone that at some point in our lives we thought we couldn’t live without. How can we go from becoming one to living parallel lives, barely speaking to one another and devoid of intimacy? There are several reasons this happens but let me focus on just one for now.

The Book of Matthew, chapter 14 verses 29-30 tells the story of the Apostle Peter getting out of the boat he was in and actually walking on the water toward Jesus. “But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me Lord’, he shouted.”

One reason resentment builds up is that we take our eyes off of Jesus. We readily forget that we as sinners have been forgiven much. We are quick to forget that portion of the Lord’s Prayer that says; “forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us” (forgive me my debts as I forgive my debtors). Who among us if we actually paid attention to what we were saying would want the Lord to forgive us like we forgive others? Not me! So what does it mean to keep my eyes on Jesus and how would that help me to be more forgiving?


I remember when I was growing up (shortly after the crossing of the Red Sea) there was usually an older boy that I looked up to. I would try to hang around him whenever I could. Almost by osmosis I found that I would pick up his mannerisms, his way of talking, etc. A number of years later, I worked with a man who had a very bad stutter. I idolized him. I found that within a few weeks I was stuttering.

Keeping my eye on Jesus is for the purpose of becoming more like him. I do that by spending time with him, hanging out with him, learning everything about him that I can. It means talking to him regularly, thinking about him often and hanging around people who, like me want to live a life style that would please him. The closer you get to Him, the more you can grasp who he is and what he has done for you the more difficult it will be for you to hold a grudge, the more difficult it will be for you to be unforgiving and resentful. I suspect that like me you will start to imitate the one you have been hanging around.

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