Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Life is full of events that hurt us that can lead us to resentment. Resentment is synonymous with unforgiveness and bitterness, but it works in our mind and emotions. What is resentment? It comes from two words:
a. Re: again.
b. Sent: from Fr. “sentir” and Latin “sentire” – to feel, to sense.
It means to feel again the hurt, slight, wrong, insult, or offense. An offense is something that outrages the senses and emotions while resentment suggests a longer lasting indignation and smoldering ill will. Resentment appears to be a cluster of anger and thought. Resentment is the state of holding something in the mind as a subject of contemplation or reflection.
We need to let all bitterness and resentment go for it is only a poison that prolongs one’s hurt, clouds the mind, steals joy, wastes time and drains energy Ephesians 4:31, 32. Failing to let it go chains us to our past and keeps us from our future. Letting go is not giving up it is going on. This is, of course, always easier said than done. It is easy due to the nature of resentment to develop patterns that can become a habit of yielding to it rather than resisting it. I have found this checklist helpful to understand the nature of resentment so it can be released:
A. YOU RE-FEEL IT.
It is internal; it is emotional; you do it to yourself.
B. IT IS SECRETIVE.
No one knows but you because it is harbored or held within.
C. IT TURNS AN EXPERIENCE OR EVENT INTO SELF-PITY.
The event is stored in feeling sorry for yourself.
D. IT LODGES INSIDE YOU AS A GRUDGE.
“You owe me” creating a debt and a debtor.
E. IT SETS UP A BOND OR BINDING TO THE PERSON OR EVENT OF THE PAST.
1. We do not change the past by resenting it, we only ruin the future.
2. Resentment can never change what happened it can only change you.
F. IT BECOMES A ROOT OF BITTERNESS SHUTTING YOU UP IN A SPIRITUAL PRISON.
Torment is always its fruit Matthew 18:32-34.
G. ITS ROOTS CAUSE OTHER BEHAVIORS TO SPRING UP Hebrews 12:15.
Murmur/complain; pout/sulk; stubbornness; touchy; mood extremes; lack of concern for others; ingratitude; avoidance/withdrawal.
H. IT CAN LEAD TO ABANDONING WHAT ONE HAS BELIEVED Deuteronomy 29:18.
The Bible calls it apostasy which is an abandoning of what one has once believed as a faith,cause, or principle.