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The Giant Called Resentment

Resentment describes a negative belief reaction to being mistreated. There is no one cause of resentment, but most cases involve an underlying sense of being mistreated or wronged by another person.

Stephen Phinney | IOM Contributing Author

 

The belief results in taking on the sin of another and using it as a weapon to punish the offender.


Experiencing frustration and disappointment is a normal part of life for the believer and the unsaved. When the belief becomes too overwhelming, it can contribute to resentment. When this happens, trust and love in relationships are broken and sometimes never repaired. Ultimately, it affects the believer's relationship with the indwelling Life of Jesus.


The Giant of Resentment causes God’s children to choose to slip into bitterness. Bitterness instigates revenge, and revenge is paying another back for their sins. Thus, causing the believer to take from God His role in judging others or taking action on revenge when He deems it necessary. Overall, it is a lack of forgiveness.


While we won’t find the word “resentment” in most translations, it is a modern term to describe bitterness. However, the word resentful is mentioned once in the new Testament. Paul's famous “love” chapter to the Corinthians communicates this nasty habit.


Being resentful is a depiction of hate. When hate is present, love is absent. Since love is patient, kind, not rude, nor rejoices in the wrongdoings of others – resentful people are impatient, mean, rude, and insist upon having their own way while taking pleasure in harming others with their disdained looks, attitude, or actions - minimally in their ability to hold a grudge for great lengths of time. You can read this passage in direct opposites to discover the description of bitter people.


People of love:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the Truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)


People of resentment:

Hate is impatient and unkind; hate is jealous and boastful; arrogant and rude. It insists on having its own way; it is easily irritable and resentful; it rejoices at wrongdoing while rejoicing with lies. Hate refuses to bear the burdens of others, believes lies, questions all motives, hopeless in all things, and refuses to endure all things.



The word “believes” in our passage is the Greek word logizomai. It is the Biblical word for accounting, bookkeeper, calculating, or reckon. When used in the description of love, it records the Truth about another or general happenings in life. When used in the description of hate, it is recording the lies or the offenses of others in their record book. In both cases, the recordings are entered with permanent ink. When viewed through love, this is a good thing. However, viewing through hate becomes next to impossible for the accountant to let the offense go. Payment is due, and they will be relentless in making others pay their debts to the accountant. Love erases sins, while hate makes others pay their debts in full.


Here are a few of the records noted by hate-filled people:

· They do not accept me the way I am.

· They took advantage of me.

· They put me down.

· They make me “feel” stupid.

· They don’t listen to me.


Resentment leads to the lie that they can’t let go or forgive another of an offense. Due to the level of a perceived offense, they view the wrong as unforgivable – minimally them. They dive deep into anger, frustration, hostility, bitterness, and the relentless ideation of discomfort in their presents. These beliefs morph into a constant state of unbearable self-life contracts that restrict them from forgiveness.


Resentful people are obsessive people. Most of the time, resentment leads to an inability to stop thinking about the event and offense that caused their perception of the offense. These recurring negative thoughts may take over and haunt them for long periods — sometimes unto death. The Giant of resentment soon converts them into their own worst enemy. When that happens, they find it difficult to live with themselves while projecting all their sorrows onto those who hurt them. Now the worse part of all this. When they encounter strangers or friends that remind them of the person in their record book, they treat innocent people harshly, and oddly enough, they punish bystanders for the sins another committed. In reality, it is an upside wrong way of protecting themselves.


Sad to say, resentful people, either keep their distance in relationships or end the existing relationships that match their recorded wounds. The results of this morbid habit are ultimately causing the Giant of Resentment to overwhelm them with beliefs that they are invisible or inadequate in most social gatherings. When this happens, old beliefs of anger and bitterness demand flare-ups when needing to push others away.


One of the most common manifestations of those trapped by this Giant is – they can’t let go of the compulsivity of anger outbursts. For some odd reason, they adopt the lie that expressing anger will somehow remove their bitterness. As you might guess, it doesn’t. In fact, it launches revenge, which soon becomes a habitual act of hate. After a while, holding on to such a high level of negativity takes a toll on their belief system in Christ. While young, they can carefully wrap their resentment into Christianized logic and reasons. However, as they grow older, their crafty methods of illogical lies convert them into “crappy old people.”


The expense of resentment is costly. It suffocates the future by obsessing over the past while haunting them in the present. Each trade the freshness of a new day with all the possibilities of the pain and suffering of the tomorrow. Frankly, it eats away the future promises of God in the day they are living. Gorging themselves on the promises OF God in a memorized rote method. Pumping themselves up on the promised bread of tomorrow. The irony is it never satisfies them.


THERE IS A BETTER WAY


The righteous solution for fighting the Giant of Resentment depends mainly on allowing Jesus to reveal the cause of harbored unforgiveness and identifying “who” these offenders are. The path to healing involves forgiveness in Christ alone and finding His way of releasing forgiveness, peace, and empathy for the offender. In doing this, you can move on with your Life in Christ.


Note. It is impossible to forgive without Jesus releasing His forgiveness through you. Remember that old beliefs will come up when you consider defeating this Giant and moving on from resentment. Count on it. When you first try to let go of resentment, it’s normal to encounter the devil’s lies to create resistance, fear, and anger, especially when resentment has bound you as a lifestyle. Some people use resentment as a self-life, flesh coping mechanism to help them deal with painful or difficult memories. While this may present itself as justifiable at first, it can prevent you from releasing Christ to extend forgiveness. Satan is counting on this.


Extending compassion does not start with yourself. That is a lie. Releasing the existing compassion of Jesus in you is the key to authentic freedom. Loving others first is the release to chasing hatred to its proper place – the pit of Hell. Loving yourself first binds you to yourself again and again.


The Basic Five Steps To Resisting This Giant:

  1. Think it through: Drop the superiority attitude. Confess this to Jesus. Superiority works to place the offender lower than oneself. Bitterness might act superior, but bitterness is a confession of overwhelming defeat in God's reality. If you refute being made humble before the Lord, you WILL lose the battle. Guaranteed.

  2. Journal the process: Write down who offended you, the offense, and what you did in return. Be honest. God has used pen and paper since the beginning of time. Ultimately, it gives you a reference point to review when that temptation arrives to hold the person/offender guilty again. Always remember, what is released on earth is released in Heaven. Don’t mock God.

  3. Reconcile it in Christ: First things first. Pray through the list of offenders and offenses by asking the Lord to release His forgiveness through you for them. Once you do this, place a checkmark by the noted item. The mark reminds you later that you have placed these items at the Lord’s feet. Leave them there. Secondly, confess your reactions to this person as sin before the Lord. Accept the existing forgiveness He gave you on the day of your salvation. Don’t beg; move on.

  4. Consider seeking forgiveness: Go to the person you have wounded by your bitterness and resentment. Never bring up their offense. Confess how you have been treating them as sin. While it is only Christ that can forgive the offenses of others, we encourage people to ask for their forgiveness. It humbles them. Never go to these people alone if it involves a sexual offense. Take a brother or sister in Christ with you under these conditions.

  5. Talk it over: Many times, not always, the confession instigates talking things over with the offender and you as the offender for your reaction. Again, please don’t bring up their sin(s). If they confess and ask for forgiveness, tell them in Christ you do forgive them. If they belabor their excuses for what they did, respond with I understand. I don’t need to know the details. For the most part, these meetings should be short and sweet. Get in and get out and save deeper discussions for rebuilding the relationship.


As a discipler, I have walked people through these five steps for over forty years. It works. If you are sincere in your confessions and extending forgiveness in Christ, you can give it up, get over it, and move on with your life.


We need to live the Christ Life this way. Daily. The next time, and there will be a next time, follow these steps on the day it happens. Never let the sun go down on your anger, or the night hours will call that Giant of Resentment back to rule your life.


The Giant of Resentment will suck the life out of any indwelt believer if unforgiveness overwhelms life. Since Satan can’t pluck you out of the Lord’s hands, he will deceive us into thinking indwelt Christians cannot live the victorious Life. Liar. We can live all the promises of the victorious Life in Christ – if we obey what Jesus says to cement our redemption. Until next time.


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