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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Choosing Love Over Resentment

It is far easier to blame and resent than it is to love. At least it is for me. I am learning how to lay down my pride in order that I may choose love. Recently, my husband, a godly and wise man, and I had a huge disagreement. I wanted very badly to do something that would have cost a large amount of money, but that, in my mind, was completely worth it. He said it was not the best choice for our family, but if I really wanted to do it, than I would have to sacrifice something else I really wanted to do because we couldn’t do both. I wrestled, prayed, cried, fought, and finally, felt at peace about not doing the thing I so badly wanted to do. The issue was resolved, or so I thought. Then today, something sparked the pain I held inside for not doing the thing, and resentment flooded my heart. I blamed my husband, something I promised him I wouldn’t do. I acted horribly towards him, and in response, he showed great insensitivity towards my hurt feelings. We were both upset and stood still in unmoving resentment towards one another. Thankfully, I have been blessed with a wonderful and very wise mother-in-law, who helped me sort through my emotions and see the issue with more clarity. She prayed for me, and it was just what I needed.

No matter how hurt I am, or who is “right” or “wrong,” I know that I must choose to let go of my resentment and love the good man that God gave me. In humility, I will choose love, which requires laying down my life. How hard it can be, but the rewards of grace and forgiveness are certainly sweeter than the constant sting of bitterness.

If you are struggling with resentment or bitterness, here are some suggestions that have helped me:

  • Find someone who you trust and has wisdom to talk things through with.
    (I recommend an older, godly woman who has a track record for sage advice)

  • Have a willing spirit to submit in humility to God and the person you’re upset with.

  • Heed the wise, godly advice you receive.

  • Pray before you speak with the person whom has hurt you.

  • Choose an appropriate time to talk when emotions have cooled.

  • Be willing to see your own sin and confess it to the person.

  • Share how you feel and be willing to forgive and love no matter their response.
    (this is extremely hard, but if we pray and trust God, we can do it)

  • Don’t bring the issue up again.

  • When emotions arise that make you feel resentful, take them straight to the Lord, confess your continued resentment, and ask for the grace to forgive and let go.

Remember, God chose love with us.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

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