Have you ever talked to someone that sounded so angry about a happenstance that occurred eons ago? Have you ever heard the hurt and anguish gushing out over the past deeds of someone who no longer even exists? Have YOU ever harbored hatred and resentment for someone who ‘did you wrong’?
We have all talked to these people. We know people who are hardened by circumstance, people and life in general. AND, more than likely, we are or have been these people.
Why? Does resentment hurt the offender? Hmm…no. Does resentment make us feel better? Uh…no.
Then why on earth would we harbor bitterness, anger or animosity?
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1John 3:15
That’s a pretty harsh statement, but one we really need to consider.
No worries, you are not alone. Actually, I am probably the world’s worst.
My husband says I have the memory of an elephant and I can recall every bad deed he has ever done or hateful word he has ever said. Yes, I’ve been that wife who gets angry and then regurgitates the list of grievances. YIKES!
In fact, this was a continual occurrence in the first several years of our marriage. I held tightly the inventory of all the times I was hurt, embarrassed or angered. (It made for some lovely knock-down drag-outs!!)
I honestly don’t know what changed, but I started to pray for God to take my resentment away. I can’t remember why I chose to pray this prayer, but I did pray it and I prayed it daily.
Four years later I was released from the bitterness that lay deep within my heart. Yep, FOUR LONG YEARS of constant praying!!!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Of course, I still have to be very conscious of holding onto anger or hurt, but I have learned that continuing to pray for protection from these poisons is the answer to many of my problems.
Clearly, we do not have the power to change someone else, but we do have the power to change ourselves, our attitudes and our hearts.
However, it’s interesting that many times we don’t want to give up our indignation and irritation because it becomes comfortable and makes us feel righteous. We take on the makings of a martyr and hold tightly to the title of a victim. Oh pity us, the wounded ones.
God wants so much more for us.
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. Psalm 37:8
With Easter around the corner we are reminded of what we did to Jesus. We should also remember how He reacted…
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Luke 23:34
We can all learn from Jesus.
Living in the grip of anger, bitterness, rage, resentment, annoyance, irritation, animosity and hostility GETS US NOWHERE. Truthfully, it only damages US from the inside out.
So, the next time you want to add the misdeeds of another to the reason why you hate them…think about what you are doing. You might find it’s just not worth it!!!
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven…. Luke 6:37
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.