John Steward of Jesus
  The "Good News" (Gospel) > Archives > Postings at theekklesiachurch > Resentment


Everything in my guts cries out in support of the primary thrust of this message. The theme is the epitome of everything I have learned and experienced regarding the problem and solution of human thinking and acting.

"Do not judge; and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" Luke 6:37

The context, verses 27-38, helps us understand better: (excerpts)
Love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
Give to everyone who asks you,
and if someone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Give, and it will be given unto you.

Forgiveness is the only way to respond to the ever recurring threat of resentment, indignation, ill will, and grievance caused by the actions of others.

For me, this is not abstract psychology. It is very real. Many times I have felt deeply hurt because of what someone has done. I have felt wronged. Others have agreed that I was wronged. Circumstances implied that there would be no open repentance or reconciliation. I know how obvious it seems that forgiveness is not required. I know the feeling of waiting to see when God will intervene with his justice, and force someone to repentance. The Psalmist knew the feeling too. It is understandable. It seems so natural. But it is destructive. It eats away at us. It can consume us. If not abated, it takes us to the grave in bitterness. How sad.

I know someone who has been nursing a grudge for more than sixty years, against someone close to him whom he sees often. Hearing him refer to it gives me a feeling of a burden which is is heavy, almost unbearable. But he will not loosen the straps and let it fall off. Perhaps the need after release to explain why his walk has been so heavy for so many years seems more threatening to him than the prospect of carrying the burden to the grave. How proud we are.

The Frontline report on PBS this week documented the feelings of the various warring groups in Iraq. As the reporter commented, all of them have scores to settle. They all have reasons why they are owed. The accounting records go back over the centuries.

Probably what distinguishes the followers of Jesus as much as anything else is the way they feel about their enemies. Even among "Christian" American Patriots, one learns of many who are waiting to settle matters with the Publicans, Bankers, Trilateralists, Pharisees, Jesuits, or Yankees.

Only those who have found Jesus know how wonderful he is.

Only those who have loved know how fulfilling it is.

Only those who have forgiven know how relieving and releasing it is.

It might be an open question whether one of the results of resentment is homosexuality.  What is absolutely clear is that none of the results of resentment are good.