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Monday, February 27, 2017

Do you resent me?

A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but the resentment caused by a fool is even heavier. (Proverbs 27:3 NLT)

Carrie Fisher once said, "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." There are a whole lot of us drinking our own poison and then expecting the other person to be affected in some negative way by that poison which is in actuality consuming US and not them! Resentment is a terrible "eroding force" that eats away at the foundation of our spirit and emotions until one day there is this "landslide" that makes it almost impossible to actually dig out from under. 

While some of us may not think we are holding any grudge or harboring "ill-intent" toward another person or persons, there are some pretty easy ways to see if we are:

- Do we think frequently about the wrong they have done? This is probably the easiest way to know if we are holding onto stuff we need to let go of - because what occupies our minds most frequently is that which gets more of our attention than it might deserve.

- Do we always bring up that individual's name in conversation with just a little bit of negativity and unkind words? Or do we find ourselves always talking "about" that individual? When the center of our thoughts, words, and conversation is the one who has wronged us, we may just be paying a little bit too much attention to their response to the issue at hand, rehearsing the details of what they have done wrong, etc. This keeps the wounds open and raw. It is hard not to bring up the wrongs of another, especially to another individual not directly involved in the situation. We want some form of "sympathy" or "empathy" for the wrong we have been enduring - so we "share" the issue, but we don't always do so in a kind way. 

- Do we gloss over things and add a little humor to them, knowing full-well that they are eating away at the inside of us? We often use humor to mask true hurt feelings and raw emotions. This is not uncommon, because it is easier to mask our emotions than to risk the overwhelming anxiety and fears being "real" brings. You see, we think being real will show someone just how vulnerable we have been and still are - something that is riddled with all manner of anxiety. Than anxiety just fuels the resentment, because we want to be real, but we cannot break past our fears in order to do so.

- Do we say we have forgiven, but then remind the others involved that we are having a hard time forgetting the wrongs done? The hardest part of forgiving someone is letting their offense go - erasing the marks on the chalkboard, so to speak. Disappointment is real, acknowledge it. Hurt is real, don't bottle it up. Yes, we need to be aware of these very real feelings, but we don't need to let them become the focal point of our relationship. When we are willing to release, we bring those issues and individuals to God, asking him to take our hurt, but also to bring blessing into the other individual's life. Blessing? Really? Yes, because we are asking God to help us show grace - and that is a blessing totally undeserved, but so totally needed! Just sayin!