I write this from my own personal experience with a 32-year resentment that kept me away from, friends, family, church, God, and society. Hugs, Guy
Resentment is the number one offender that destroys more good works than anything else does. From it stems all sorts of spiritual destructions. The plan fact for us is that any life, which includes deep resentments, leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we allow resentments to rule our lives, we squander the beautiful hours that might have been worthwhile to others and us. We fail to reach others with true help and burn the bridges that would have lead to success in our efforts. Even though we do not like the way others disturb us, like them we also helped to bring on the event that caused us the resentment.
1. Resentment is defined this way:
Re-feeling indignation or ill will felt because of a real or imagined grievance.
Extreme displeasure continually experienced caused by an insult or slight: A quality or state of feeling bitter.
2. The Purpose of Resentment
Evidently, there is a purpose for us “re-feeling” something. The purpose of resentment might be so we can:
– Keep feeling something until we take responsibility for something to which we contributed to and thereby learn, grow and become a more valuable member of the society.
– Keep feeling something until we take some action to help remedy a socially unhealthy situation.
3. A Few Causes of Resentment
It seems there is only one fairly universal cause of resentments: Feelings. Most of us are likely to feel resentful when:
– We feel situations are not going the way we want them to
– We feel others are telling us what to do
– We feel others are telling us how to run our lives
– We feel others are telling us what we need
– We feel others are telling us what they think is best for us
– We feel others are telling us what they think we should do
– We feel others are telling us how they think we should feel
– We feel others are telling us how they think we should act
– We feel others are acting superior to us.
– We feel others are acting in hypocritical ways.
– We feel others deprive us of our needs
– We feel others deprive us of our wants
– We view those in power abusing their power
– We view those in power as hurting others who are less powerful
– We feel accused
– We feel judged
– We feel like we have been prejudged
– We feel discriminated against
– We feel labeled
– We feel ignored
– We feel attacked
– We feel persecuted
– We feel underestimated
– We feel invalidated
– We feel lied to
– We feel lied about
4. Ways People Express Resentment
a. Physical Expressions
Seek sides to justify
b. Angry or Abusive Commands
Get a life.
Go ____ yourself.
Go jump in the lake.
Go to hell.
____ off .
Kiss my ____.
Leave me alone.
Leave me the ____ alone.
Leave me the hell alone.
Mind your own business.
Mind your own ____ business.
Mind your own God _____ business.
Mind your own _______ business.
Stick it up your ____.
Stick it where the sun does not shine.
Take a hike.
c. Labeling with “You” statements
You stupid mother ______.
d. Use of Sarcasm
Oh isn’t that just peachy?
Thanks a lot!
Thanks a whole of a lot!
How considerate of you!
How kind of you!
How thoughtful of you!
5. The Cause of Resentment
A fact that most people seem to misunderstand about feelings is that they are neither right nor wrong. Feelings are just a secondary emotion and are seldom if ever real and yet we base our decisions, opinions, lives, and judgments on them as if they were 100% factual. Feelings develop from perception and intolerance of others not facts.
6. Some of What the Bible Says Concerning Resentment
Job 5:2 “For wrath kills a foolish man, And envy slays a simple one.”
Job 18: “You who tear yourself in anger, Shall the earth be forsaken for you? Or shall the rock be removed from its place?”
Job 21:23-25 “One dies in his full strength, Being wholly at ease and secure; His pails are full of milk, And the marrow of his bones is moist. Another man dies in the bitterness of his soul, Never having eaten with pleasure.”
Proverbs 12:16 “A fool’s wrath is known at once, But a prudent man covers shame.”
Proverbs 14:29 “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.”
Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:18 “A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays contention”
Proverbs 16:32 “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
Proverbs 19:11 “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.”
Proverbs 20:2 “The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.”
Proverbs 21:14 “A gift in secret pacifies anger, And a bribe behind the back, strong wrath.”
Proverbs 22:8 “He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, And the rod of his anger will fail.”
Proverbs 27:4 “Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy?”
Proverbs 29:8 “Scoffers set a city aflame, But wise men turn away wrath.”
Ecclesiastes 7:9 “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.”
Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
Ephesians 6:4 “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”
Colossians 3:8 “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”
1Timothy 2:8 “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;”
James 1:19 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;”
James 1:20 “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
7. Managing Resentment
During my years of traffic investigating, I learned that there is never ever one side that was 100% at fault and one side that was 100% innocent in any two or more vehicle involved traffic accidents. Both sides always contributed something to the caused result of the accident to some lesser or greater degree.
When I find myself feeling resentful, or bitter, or angry which is often a more intense indication of resentment, I try to remember this lesson from my years in Law Enforcement. I begin to search for the ways in which I was responsible for contributing to the development of the situation. This has been extraordinarily helpful in avoiding placing “blame” on other people and on focusing my attention on my own areas for improvement, growth and learning.
Seeking to see and accept my part in all situations is being honest and responsible. When I accept the responsibility for my part in every situation, I can then release my resentments to live as God desires I live.
God wants all of us to live honest lives. This means that God wants us to take a real look at our part in every situation resulting in resentment and be responsible for our part.
So be honest with yourself and God by asking yourself these questions the next time you feel resentful:
- By being resentful or angry, am I being the person God wants me to be?
- How can I be helpful in this situation?
- Am I avoiding retaliation by my words, actions, and attitudes?
- Am I arguing to get my own way?
- Am I really trying to avoid resentment?
The one major fact about resentments is this; if we become resentful or remain resentful, we cannot be helpful to anyone and we destroy all chance of being helpful to others.
Search out the flaws in your personality, which cause resentments in you and failure to be the person God wants you to be. Be honest with yourself, God and others in this self-evaluation about your part: Fears, self-esteem, finances, ambitions, relationships, where you became resentful from perceived hurts, wrongs, threats, put-downs, rejections, etc…
In real life, there is no such thing as a true justified resentment.
Then ask God to show you how to take a kinder and more tolerant view of each and everyone.