Does anyone else struggle with RESENTMENT? I can honestly say it's the single most pervasive negative emotion that camps out in my head! Or maybe its just the loudest one. At any rate, it's been my companion for a long time and the Lord has called me on it several times.
Mostly it has to do with housework and is directed at my family with my husband bearing the brunt of it. I honestly don't know if I would have signed up had I known that being a wife and mother meant that my purpose in life was to be picking up after other people who recklessly take advantage of me, turning me into a ranting, nagging lunatic. I'm being dramatic here and I wouldn't give up my family for the world but this is how I feel at times.
Resentment creeps into other relationships as well. It takes the form of withholding, waiting for others to give me what I think I deserve before I give back.
I have owned it - confessed it - repented of it ......several times. When I harbour resentment, I feel guilty and then I resent myself. It's a vicious cycle!
This summer, I had enough. Why Oh Lord do I struggle with this so much??!!!! I realized that I needed to get to the root of my resentment. It wasn't enough to identify it as sin and be grieved about it, and I have to admit that when it came down to it, I wasn't really willing to give it up. In fact, I felt entitled to this reaction to perceived wrongs against me. Entitled to entertain this insidious relative of unforgiveness. Entitled to withhold until the other party gives something too.
So I sat down with pen and paper, and had a little conversation with God. I find that the answers take form more easily when I write down what I feel God is saying to me.
Why am I resentful? Expectations of others.
What are my expectations of others? Validation
Why do I need to be validated? Loneliness and Isolation (with a picture of me in a deep well by myself)
Why do I feel lonely and isolated?You don't trust people until they prove themselves to you. You don't believe you are valid until someone proves it to you. It prevents you from having a servant's heart.
How do I get a servant's heart? I have chosen you!!! Your name is in the book of life. You have been validated by me!!! For this reason you can die to your expectations of others and have a servants heart towards them.
Yes!! Breakthrough!!!! As these words penetrated my heart - I understood how my resentment is attached to my own need for validation. I keep people on the hook if I don't feel appreciated. I keep them at arms length if I feel rejected. The parable of the unforgiving debtor came to my mind and I saw myself there.
Lord, help me to have a restful spirit that finds its validity in you. Help me to love others lavishly from the abundance of my heart.
Although, the grip of resentment has weakened, I still struggle with it almost daily. I wonder if I will ever be able to die to myself. I long to have the heart of the unprofitable servant, the one who does his daily tasks cheerfully without expecting anything back.
As we sang this song today in church, the words gripped me. With tears streaming down my checks, I knew that this was my answer.
Amazing love how can it be
that you my King should die for me
Amazing love I know it's true
It's my joy to honour you
in all I do.