4 Steps to Abandoning Resentment

by Mark T. Hancock · 2 comments

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that each of us has felt resentment. Perhaps it’s at work, in the church, or even in our own home.

We resent being over-used or under-utilized. We resent being unappreciated or misunderstood, talked about or not talked about, called and not called.

We start with a set of rules that we expect others to live by. Maybe it’s a manual, or a Bible, or vows. They may be agreed upon, but they are frequently subject to interpretation; most often by us in our favor.

So the enemy has a heyday with our thoughts. Resentment tarnishes the bond that started out so pure. We start keeping score in order to validate our resentment–to turn it into something more than an emotion–to turn it into a verifiable doctrine of how we’ve been mistreated and how others can’t be trusted.

Here’s what to do with that resentment:

1) Recognize where it comes from. Remember, the battleground is our thought life, and the enemy will gladly sow seeds in that fertile ground. Resentment comes from him.

2) Repent for your part. In order to be hurt, you bought into some story of your weakness and made yourself the victim. That, at least in light of the greatness that is in you, demands your repentence. Forgive and forget the other guy. You somehow gave someone besides God the authority to mess with your emotions.

3) Double-up on grace. Jesus told us to “go the extra mile“. The inference here has to do with the law that required civilians to carry the burden of a Roman soldier for one mile if asked. To carry it for the second mile was Jesus’ way of saying, “That first mile I walked as a slave out of obligation. This mile I walk as a free man out of love.” Take the offense as an obligation and call it the first mile. Start the second mile free of resentment and all for love.

4) Let it go. Go out of your way to understand the different perspective of the other person. Remember, there is another side to the same story that doesn’t have your emotions intertwined. Perhaps it makes sense somehow to someone. Believe that it does. Give the part that you don’t understand to God. The rehashing isn’t working for you.

In all this you can be freer, more loving, and better used for the purposes of the Kingdom.

And you will have passed a great test.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Christina Lusk November 10, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Thanks, Mark. I love that part about the extra mile. Everything else, I resent.

Michael Lusk November 10, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Dear Mark, Great tips to dealing with resentment. Keep up your good writing work. And, just think how many times I’ve given you a chance to put this teaching into practice. I somehow feel I contributed to this revelation.

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