If you have ever had a carload of people going to a location where the way to get there is a little fuzzy and everyone is relying on you to know the way, then this will make perfect sense to you. My wife and I and some of our friends were going to a concert in Birmingham, Alabama and getting to Birmingham was the easy part. Getting to the concert venue was a little different deal!! There are two exits to get off the interstate that lead you toward downtown and then you can take a left to get to the arena, or so I remembered. We were pressed for time, as usual, and didn’t have time to take a field trip around Birmingham, so I was really wanting to go the right way. I remember thinking, “Ok, we get off here and then go around and come to the next street and turn left to go under the interstate to the arena….WRONG! The street wouldn’t turn left and go back toward the arena. It would only go right and go to who knows where? I surely didn’t. So I turned right and thought I could work my way back across, but the addition of one way streets stopped that plan in it’s tracks and then I heard it. “Where are you going!! Exclamation mark, not question mark. The person who said it did not want to have an answer to the question, but wanted instead to make a point. That point was, “You are an idiot and don’t know what you are doing.” The rest of the people in the car suddenly became very concerned, and I assured them we would get there. I was hoping we would get there! Suddenly I got a break from the one way streets and hit a green light and was able to get back across the interstate to guess where? Right in front of the arena. To which I smiled and said, “See, front door service. I’ll go park the car.” That person looked rather disgusted that I had arrived at the arena as quickly as I did, and everyone exiting the car saying “great job” only compounded their disgust. All of them went and got in line and the doubter just mumbled something under their breath and shut the door. What caused that little swarray? Number one, the person asking the question was trying to drive home a point about me because they didn’t like me for some reason. I’m not paranoid, they didn ‘t like me and they were executing their judgment on me in what they thought was a time of weakness. I was just trying to get to the arena, but they had more in store than just that. They realized it was their chance to “make a point” and embarrass me in front of the others. Praise God that other road opened up and we “happened” to make it to the arena on time. No telling what other “points” would have been made should I fail the group. Where does something like that come from? A resentful heart!! You may ask, “How do you know that?”
I know because I too have done the same thing and it is not enjoyable, especially when your heart is revealed. Resentment is defined as bitter indination at having been treated unfairly. It is a cancer that compromises every friendship and undermines every relationship that gives it a home. It actually eats away at the person who feels it and hurts them more than the ones who are on the firing line of their resentment. It is something that holds on for years and years and never lets go and the end result is pain and suffering for all involved. There is a humorous cartoon of a wife to a marriage counselor, regarding her husband: “And then, do you know what he did on our honeymoon, just 21 years ago?” That is a funny, yet tragic illustration of resentment held onto for years. If you harbor resentment, it’s time to get it out and get rid of it once and for all. Because holding on to it is killing you and the relationship you have with another person. I resented things about what my dad did or didn’t do for years and in holding on to it saw it control my thinking in a very adverse way. In reality, I had blown it all way out of proportion by letting it fester in my heart and it was controlling who I was and how I perceived life itself. Boy, I was wrong and finally got it right in my own heart. I felt such a freedom when that happened and found my perspective on life itself change for the better. If you are harboring resentment, then pull up anchor and set your ship adrift on the sea of forgiveness and understanding, and quit letting it control your future direction. It seems appropriate at this time to ask you, “If you are traveling down a road of resentment, where are going?” I can tell you where you are going. Far from the destination God has for you. How do you get rid of it? For me I just admitted I had a resentful heart and asked God to forgive me and heal my heart and He did. How? Because I meant it from deep inside myself, my core. And I was free!! FREE!!
If you are harboring bitterness and resentment toward someone, it’s time to let go and get free of it and it will probably start with you admitting you are the one at fault. Job said in chapter 10 verse 1 “I can’t stand my life- I hate it! I’m putting it all out on the table, all the bitterness of my life- I’m holidng back nothing!” Maybe that’s where it starts for you. Hold nothing back. Put it all out on the table and be healed!! Many a life living for Christ has been compromised because of resentment and many other lives have been victimized because of a person holding that resentment toward them. I guess Jesus really does want us to love each other with an unconditional love, or he wouldn’t make love the theme of it all. Paul warned us to not take Communion if we have something against another person, so it might be more meaningful when we take it. The Bible is very clear about what needs to happen. You need to change!! So once again I have to ask,”Where are you going?” Are you moving toward Christ or drifting away because of unresolved resentment. God is offering a green light to get to where you need to be. So take it and don’t let any more time be wasted in the pit of resentment. Here is a story about Marghanita Laski, one of our best know secular humanists and novelists where she said, “What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have nobody to forgive me.”
Take heart. We do have someone who has already forgiven us and continues to do so. That’s how we can distance ourselves from a heart of unforgiveness and resentment. We have been forgiven. Now forgive!! Enough said!!
The Pilgrimage continues…..