Words of Hope: Navigating Resentment

I have been pondering a message Brene Brown gave on resentment. She explains that resentment stems from envy rather than anger.  

This would have been an incredible conversation with Dad. I imagine our dialogue. He would talk about resentment connected to hurt and unforgiveness. Resentment is defined as a bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly. It’s a feeling that someone or something has been unjust and unfair to us. It means to re-feel the bitterness again and again.  

I wonder if the Super Bowl will cause resentment for Eagles fans because of a possible unfair call late in the game. Sometimes in life there are poor calls made that cause inequity. We can lose so much based on the mistake of another, many times someone who is only doing what they know to be best. Resentment is tough when the inequity feels created out of someone’s own biases, trouble, or prejudice.  

As I talk with Bella’s friend who is seeking faith, one thing we discuss is God walking through the experience of humanity. Jesus, the son of God, who being in the very nature God humbled himself even to the point of death on the cross.

I have a resentment that I can keep alive with indignation and pain. I agree with Brene, it gets triggered by envy, usually a Facebook photo or a reminder of my time at this place. I can logically walk through it in my mind but the feelings of hurt still throb in my heart.  

Dad had to work through his resentments.  

He did this by coming to absolute surrender and full obedience that God can redeem and restore all things. Anything that was due Dad he believed he would have by faith. Anything that had been robbed would be restored.  

What also helps me is watching Jesus pray on the cross. He says, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” When the playbook of heaven reveals all the inequity, the mistakes, the injustices unconsciously or consciously perpetrated, we all will be humbled.  

When I consider what my dad would advise about resentment he would ask, “Do you choose resentment, or do you choose forgiveness? Do you want to be envious, or do you have faith that God can redeem, restore, and provide all your needs? Do you want the prison of resentment, or do you want a heart of freedom and inner joy?”  

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! – Philippians 2:5-8