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Releasing Resentment Through L.O.V.E….

May 24, 2012

The long-term effects of resentment are insidious and deadly.  One who is persistently resentful is displaying a pattern of sinful un-repentance and willful disregard for God’s grace.  Resentment rarely stays confined to one person.  You can walk into any office, or even any church and if there is great resentment in even one individual slowly the effects spread to others until the feeling is palpable.  The writer in Hebrews had this in view when he wrote that the church was to “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;” Hebrews 12:15 This “root of bitterness” maybe many things, but a definite fruit of bitterness is resentment, and if left uncheck it will defile many.

We are at all times as God’s children to display God’s love.  And Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 that “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”  A resentful heart, left in an unrepentant condition fails to reflect the love of God.

Ultimately, resentment can kill.  If left un-treated, and un-checked it will weaken us until we break.  And if we ontinue throughout our lives to harbor resentment then one could rightly question whether or not we have truly experienced the graceof God through salvation.  The Gospel has the power to overcome ALL that we deal with, and it has the power to break the bonds of hate and resentment that trap our minds in the past and steal our joy.  As Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2  The gospel not only rights our relationship with God, it radically transforms our very being so that our minds are free to discern rightly what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Releasing Resentment through LOVE…

Like depression and other emotional stress, bitterness and resentment can aggravate or cause physical problems such as arthritis. You can be affected mentally, spiritually and otherwise. Your relationships will always suffer.

God can free you from this sin. It is an oppressive and destructive emotion having its root in hate, which is likened to murder. You must repent. No one can have peace and happiness with such emotions tearing at him. If you have not done so, ask God to forgive you and to come into your life right now. He will deliver you from the power of the enemy (Psalm 91:3).

If you are already a Christian, you should still ask God to forgive you for being bitter and resentful. Then ask Him to forgive anyone who may have hurt you, and toward whom you are bitter or resentful, even as He forgives you.

Look for opportunities to demonstrate love to the person who offended you.

God forgives and forgets sin. However, you may have made your best effort to forgive and forget and find that you cannot. God can help you to cleanse your memory. Instead of remembering with malice and hurt, remember with forgiveness. Then go one step further and ask God to forgive your offender. By forgiving and then asking God to forgive your offender, you release God to bless you and the other person.[1]

It is important to display God’s L.O.V.E. to others, if we do this it is difficult to build up resentment and be paralyzed by anger.

First, Leave your comfort zone.  Jesus called the disciples away from what was familiar and towards a life of sacrifice and love.  “Take up your cross, and follow me.” We face the same call, to leave our comfort zones, what is familiar and embark on the mission God has for us.

Second, Orient yourself to serve.  Jesus called the disciples to act, but he also called them to serve, to serve one another, and the communities they lived in by proclaiming the gospel.  Jesus washed their feet, and afterwards told them in John 13 ‘“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16“Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17“If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”  It is not enough to just receive, we must also give, and we are “blessed” when we do so with delight.  We are never more like Christ than when we humble ourselves to serve those around us.

Third, we must Venture out.  The disciples and the early church did not just stay in the upper room.  They did not just hang out in Jerusalem.  Rather Jesus called them to go into the whole world preaching the gospel, making disciples and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  And they did this in a progression, look at Acts 1:8, first to Jerusalem (their hometown so to speak), then to Judea and Samaria (their states and regions) then to the uttermost parts of the earth.  Loving your neighbor, is implied in sharing the gospel, for what greater gift do you have than the testimony of one who gave so much that all might have eternal life.  Love should start in our homes, then our neighborhoods, then out cities, states, nation and the world.

Finally Encourage those around us.  This is not just a simple high-five, great game kind of encouragement.  This is an encouragement toward godliness and holiness.  When you think about when you first came to Christ, do you remember when you messed up, when you failed, when you fell short and became discouraged?  How great was it to have neighbors, and brothers and sisters in Christ there to encourage you.  God receives glory when we bear much fruit, and our fruit in the spirit is; “LOVE…joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, ” against these things there is no law.(Gal 5:22-24)  It is when we love one another and bear fruit that we prove that we are in Christ and are His disciples. (John15:8)   The greatest source of emotional security for the believer, is a fruitful life lived in the spirit, acting in love toward each other.  Leaving our comfort zone, Orienting ourselves for service, Venturing out, and Encouraging those around us in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Your neighbor is in need, will you go? Will you serve? Will you encourage? If you allow these things to reign in your heart, you surely will be like a tree amidst your neighborhood, bearing much fruit, fruit that lasts, prospering in what ever you do. (Ps.1:3)

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