To Resent: feel bitterness or indignation at (a circumstance, action, or person)
Do you know resentment isn’t the bible? King James version or the ESV at least.
Bitterness is though! So is indignation…
While bitterness and indignation are nouns, bitterness is a very. In other words, at least with the above Bing definition, resentment is how we carry out bitterness and indignation. Our action, movement and often our sword.
Bitter in food can often be good. Tea, greens, olives, coffee of course are things we all see as bitter and for many is really an acquired taste. I like all of the above but I do add sugar to my tea and coffee and a lot of things to my greens. Olives are the only thing I can eat alone but they have salt with them that cuts the bitterness down.
I learned a while ago that I am quite bitter, what I didn’t know is how much resentment I carry till God showed me.
Not a little.
As I sift through my lift with new eyes looking for the resentment, I find this heavy fog surrounding every single aspect of my life. There is no part of my life that doesn’t seems to have this fog; the air I breathe.
In the summer a friend invited me to look at the unforgiveness in my heart and I knew exactly that it was towards God, but I wasn’t ready to deal with it. The person who keeps me breathing is not someone I need to be angry at. It took me awhile but a few Sundays back, I did. I said I was finally ready to forgive and we prayed together. A bit like Saul, the scales fell of my eyes and within days I began to see this haze over all of my life, mind and heart.
God, parents, family, friends, self, a future husband that ain’t even here…this haze had settled over my life like the fog that can billow from a graveyard. (It is the spookiest thing, btw.)
When I really began to see what had happened I looked at God shocked and told him truthfully that I simply didn’t know and tried to apologize in all the ways I knew how. I was beyond discouraged in that moment especially as I saw the full scope of how much I had let into my life. I wanted to punish myself somehow, give up a few things in repentance? Spend days on my knees? Maybe go full Old Testament and put ashes on my head and rip my clothes and sit so people could see that I had dishonored myself, God, my friends and family and the fuller family of humanity. Instead of walking in love I have been wielding the sword of resentment like forgiveness is not the first thing called for as a Christian. Sure I had forgiven…but I held the feelings of bitterness, shame, pride, embarrassment and betrayal and used them to cut myself away from all of my relationships.
“Amy, you’re not Catholic. You’re a Christian under grace. Hail Mary’s don’t fix this, ashes aren’t the way, and giving to others, to soothe your pain, will only Band-Aid this. Will you lean into my love, grace and forgiveness?”
This was my God’s response to all this.
When I wanted to punish myself and harm myself, his response is “Will you let me shine in this and burn away the fog?”
I call him ‘my God’ in this moment in the same way that John called himself ‘the one whom Jesus loved’. This precious love of mine, he doesn’t treat me like the rest nor like how he is talked about.
Tuesday, I spoke on having to lean in and give my bracing for the bad to him and replace it with listening for his heart and love, to speak life instead of death and to stand firm in his full armor. Here when I would self-harm instead I must receive love and grace, talking about these old hurts and allowing him heal them.
I once told Him that I was afraid that I would break into a million pieces if I allowed him to heal my insides.
“Then I will simply put you back together again.”
I know that I chose to follow him…but I really had no idea what kind of lottery I hit by doing so.