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Old 08-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default Resentments

Resentments Power Posts

The Latin root of the word "RESENT" connotes feeling something again ... as in hanging on, with our teeth and fingernails, and feeling it over ... and over ... and over ... and ...

In Matthew 18:35, Jesus tells us we must forgive our brother or sister from our heart. Earlier in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus speaks again about forgiveness. "Peter came and said to Jesus, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times? 'Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.'" ~Matthew 18:21-22 It's not easy to do, that's for sure. We can often find it in our hearts to forgive those we love, but it's harder to forgive those we don't particularly care for. Resentments don't go away all by themselves, and they have great power.

The Recovering Community shares this wisdom with us: "This business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die." ~Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66. According to one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, "Punishment never heals. Only love can heal." Bill W., Letter, 1966.

If you are angry, let it be without sin. The sun must not go down on your wrath;
do not give the devil a chance to work on you. ~Ephesians 4:26-27



The moment you start to resent a person you become their slave.
They control your dreams, absorb your digestion,
rob you of peace of mind and good will,
and take away the pleasure of your work.
They ruin your spirituality and nullify your prayers.

You cannot take a vacation without them going along!
They destroy your freedom of mind and hound you wherever you go.
There is no way to escape the person you resent.
They are with you when you are awake.
They invade your privacy when you sleep.
They are close beside you when you eat,
when you drive your car, and when you are on the job.

You can never have efficiency or happiness.
They influence even the tone of your voice.
They require you to take medicine for indigestion,
headaches and loss of energy.
They even steal your last moment of consciousness
before you go to sleep.

So if you want to be a slave, harbor your resentments.



It becomes apparent that our resentments harm us even more than those we resent. They're so powerful that they don't go away when we have no further contact with the one we resent. They can remain with us even though the person has died long ago. If we consider someone we resent even for a few seconds right now, we can upset our entire equilibrium. Our blood pressure will go up and we can get ourselves into such a state that it's hard for us to know what to do. So, how can we best handle those resentments?

There are many things it best not to do. It doesn't do us any good to rehearse the resentment. Going over it in our heads hundreds of times simply gives that person more power in our lives. Plotting revenge isn't particularly effective either. The more we think of the situation the worse we feel. If our thinking is not going to result in any action, then it's fruitless.


It can be very helpful for us to pray the Serenity Prayer. Here it is ...


God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.


A C C E P T , C H A N G E , K N O W

Now we can consider the things we need to accept. If the person doesn't like us and shows no willingness to look at us in any other way, then it's fruitless to try to make the person like us. Many people express anger not because of what we've done, but because they're angry people, with issues of their own. There are many things we cannot change. We certainly can't change that! We don't need to allow the issues of others to upset our equilibrium and become our issues. We have very little power over other people, places or things. We can give the situations we can do nothing about to God and allow God to take care of them.

Resentments are like stray cats. If you don't feed them, they'll go away!

There are some things we can change. We can certainly change ourselves and our own reactions to those who have harmed us. We can change the words we use to describe what happened from "terrible" or "horrible" to "unfortunate." We can't deal with things that are terrible or horrible. Those are out-of-control words. "Unfortunate" situations can be dealt with and then left behind. Many things are "unfortunate." Things become "terrible" or "horrible" only when we let them.

We need courage to change what we can. Perhaps that means making peace with the person involved. We clean up our side of the fence. Perhaps we'll go to the person we resent and apologize for our part in the difficulty. We must do that with absolutely no expectation that the person will return the favor and apologize to us as well. If we've done real harm, it's a good idea to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If we've added to the problem through judgment and gossip, we can express sorrow for that as well. What goes around comes around. Our unkind words will come back to us and bring unhappiness to our lives.



We can suspend judgment. A wise person once said, "To understand everything is to forgive everything." We can give the person who has harmed us the benefit of the doubt. We can pray for them. We can pray that they receive all the good things in lives we'd like to have ourselves. We can pray that they become so deliriously happy that they don't feel the need to hurt anyone else. We can pray this prayer without condition, and without asking anything for ourselves. When negative thoughts return we can pray the "Serenity Prayer," then a prayer for the person we resent.

We certainly need to have the wisdom to know what we can change and what we can't. It's not good for us to give up too soon. We can seek God's wisdom during our times of prayer as well. Then it's best to concentrate first on things that can be changed.

God can do for us what we could never do for ourselves. If we try all these things and still find we're resentful, then we've done all we can do by ourselves. It's time to turn our resentment over to God. How do we do that?

Pray for the willingness to let go of the resentment. It's not a good idea to set a time limit for when we'll let go. It's not good for us to decide what it will feel like after we've let go. It's not good for us to figure out when and how God should work. We simply pray for willingness. We can say, "God, help me become willing to let go of this resentment." It's a prayer that we might do this "some day." It might be a year or twenty years from now, or five minutes, five hours or five days. Time is not our concern. We just need to become willing to let go.



And our resentment will simply melt away. When it's happened it will have been effortless. We'll have trouble even giving God the credit, it will have been so natural and easy. God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. We just need to let God do that.

I hope this page has been helpful. Resentments are certainly troublesome. We're not off the hook until we let others off the hook. As we pray so often in the Lord's prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

Know that you're very much in my prayers as you strive to turn those resentments over to God. Keep me in your prayers as well!

This appears on the Web Site of Father Pat's Place,



I choose repeatedly to swell to anger and hurt,
I allow myself to mull it over,
And over
And over
Though the act of pain is done, I am not finished with it.
But it is unhealthy,
It keeps me sick
I push God away with it.
I must embrace Him,
I will choose to allow Him the hurt,
To give Him the pain,
I will allow the ultimate surgeon to open the wound,
For He will perform the healing.
He will always give me life anew.
As He cleansed the lepers He will cleanse me.
He will make me new again,
I will accept His gift of comfort,
His peace!
His Love,
His serenity.
For I will become willing to give it all to Him,
To lock it away for His safe keeping,
Not allowing IT to invade my very being,
For I am His,
And today He is mine
IT no longer belongs to me,
For I have let it go,
So I may make the choice to GROW!!!

written by ~ Patti Kelli



Resentments are some of the greatest killers of joy. They constrict our vision and turn us back on our own hurts. Ultimately, they rob us of the possibilities of growth and leave us with only a shell of what we could be.

Resentments come wrapped in different colors and varieties. Individuals who hurt us, institutions, even life itself -- all of these can provide the stuff for attitudes of well-nurtured hostility. In the end, the particular variety of the resentment may not matter that much. The spiritual and psychological results are deadly no matter what variety it takes.

The Christian message invites us to let go and experience a renewal of life. Letting go of our resentments may be a painful process, but it would be even more painful to hang on to them.

I know that my resentments cause a hemorrhaging of my vitality, and that they hurt only myself. And so I ask for the power to give them up, that I might become free and whole.

Focus Your Day
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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