Sunday, July 03, 2022

Getting rid of resentment

I just ran across this again as I was looking through some things. It seems appropriate for the times. It's by E. Stanley Jones; I think it's from one of his devotionals. I forgot to write down the reference, though.


We now come to the steps we are to take to get rid of resentment. Breathe a prayer. You are not just reading a page; you are ridding yourself of a plague.

1. Remember that resentments have no part nor lot with a Christian. You cannot hold both Christ and resentments. One or the other must go. Do you want to go through life without Christ, chewing on resentments, a bitter, crabby, poisonous person? That’s what you are headed for if you allow resentments to fester within you.

It may be that your resentments are justified: someone has mistreated you; you have been disappointed in a life plan or ambition; you have met with a bitter calamity; there are those who rub you into soreness; you have to live in an uncongenial environment—al1 of these things may be very real and apparently justify your resentments. But whether justified or unjustified, resentments are disastrous to the inner life——they are poison. The probabilities are that the resentments are not justified, that they are rooted in a touchy self-centered self, a self that is full of self—pity. Those who harbor self-pity haven't the key, for life will back good will and only good will. Decide that resentments are going to have no part nor lot within you.

2. Remember that no one has ever treated you worse than you have treated God, and yet He forgives and forgets. God isn’t asking you to do something He himself is not doing. Here is one of the most wonderful passages in literature, “Treat one another with the same spirit as you experience in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 2:5, Moffatt). He forgives you, graciously and without reservation. You must do the same. If not? Then Jesus tells what happened to the man in the parable who was forgiven a debt of “three million pounds” and then went out and refused to forgive a fellow servant who owed him “twenty pounds”—he was handed “over to the torturers, till he should pay him all the debt. My heavenly Father will do the same to you, unless you each forgive your brother from the heart.” (Matt. 18:21–35, Moffatt). The “torturers”? They are within you—resentments mean inner conflict, division, unhappiness, torture.

O Christ, I know how Thou hast treated me: forgiveness, gracious and undeserved. Help me to treat others with the same spirit. Only as Thy spirit takes the place of my old spirit can I do it. Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: Today I shall treat everybody as Christ treats me.

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