A common problem many of us have is resentment in some area of our life especially as it relates to relationships. Hurtful things happen. That is a normal part of relationships. Webster dictionary defines resentment as “a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury.”
Our hurt, anger and resentment is probably justified. However, sometimes we cling too offenses. The question is, does resentment benefit us or help us? Or does it trap and hinder us?
There are emotions we choose that are beneficial for us and then there are emotions that are against us. Resentment is an emotion that sabotages us and throws us into an emotional pit. It ensnares us and we become victims rather than victors.
So how do you get out of this place of victimization? How do you find our way out of the pit? How do you break free of this trap?
Forgiveness is a way out and it is essential. There is alot I could say about forgiveness and how to do it which I will talk about later. For now I’ll simply say a willingness to forgive is a first step to dealing with an offense. Forgiveness is a choice you make whether you feel like it or not. Sometimes you may need to go to the person who offended you and share your thoughts and feelings. This can help you forgive and let go of the offense.
Second, instead of asking the why questions, “Why me, why did this have to happen, etc ask “What for?” Ask yourself and God, “What can I learn from this situation? How can I grow from this?”
In this way, you can partner with God to turn a negative situation into a positive situation. Instead of stunting your growth, you can foster your growth.
Don’t bury your offenses, bring them to the surface, into the light. Then you can work through them until you can let go of them. Then those hurts and offenses no longer have the power to keep you stuck emotionally. You can turn what was meant for harm against you into good. In this way, you can move from being a victim to a victor.
There is a quote from Joseph in the Bible who was seriously betrayed by his brothers. Consider the profound insight in it.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
You might want to read or re-read his inspiring story from Genesis 30-50. Joseph is a good example of someone who turned the offenses of others against him into good not only for himself but the ones who offended him. Because he found victory over his offenses, he saved a nation and a people.
How about you, what helps get rid of resentment? Share with us in the comments below.