<<bitterness, ill-will>>

This is an inner turmoil and anger, resulting from an unfair action or wrong done to you, leading to an unwillingness to forgive. As with any negative emotion self is the focus because it is not being ministered to – we may consider an injustice has been done to us, we have been disappointed or that others seem to have it easy and you have it hard. Wallowing in self-pity is replaying past events in the mind, and always coming up with the same unfair answer. Resentment affects a person’s whole life and attitudes causes more harm to the one holding it, than the person who the grudge is against, it is like taking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. It contributes to physical illness, contaminates the emotions, destroys social friendships and destroys relationship with God. By forgiving instead of holding on to the offence we can set ourselves free. It is a gift we give ourselves, so do it (Eph 4:3; Heb 12:15).

The prodigal son’s brother had a lot of resentment in his heart as shown by his sullen attitude (Lk 15:25-32). Our speech reveals what is in our hearts and this, like any negative emotion of the carnal nature, will hold us in bondage and Satan will attempt to use it to destroy us from within if it is not

Deal with resentment before it poisons your attitudes and relationships

dealt with (Job 5:2; Lk 6:45; Jn 10:10). Many times this is just a matter for personal repentance before God of our part in the situation and wrong attitudes. However, if we have involved others through sharing our feelings, after we have sorted the matter with God we should initiate open and responsible discussion, where we take full responsibility for our mindset without blaming others will often bring relief.

The aim of true correction and discipline is not to punish or destroy a person but an incentive for improvement, to restore fellowship by bringing a wayward person back into a place of connection in the body of Christ and usefulness.  The Bible says do not grow weary or resent God’s dealings with us for He deals with us as true sons in whom He delights (Prov 3:11,12; Heb 12:5-11). Cain was given the opportunity to master his resentment when his offering was not accepted but Abel’s was but he didn’t respond correctly and murdered his brother (Gen 4:1-8). How many people have I murdered in my thoughts because I have refused to act in the right way?

We choose whether life’s problems become obstacles hindering our progress in right living or we can see them as challenges and use them as stepping stones that enable us to advance in outworking the grace of God.  Satan’s aim is to break us while God’s goal is to make us into useful citizens in His Kingdom. We should live by the example of Jesus who, when He was hated, responded in the opposite spirit (1 Cor 4:12; 1 Pet 2:23).

Don’t be bitter at God for the work He has given you, accept it from His loving hands. He knows what you are best suited to, so do it to the best of your ability (Col 3:17,23). The heartaches, the battles and trials you experience are opportunities for growth if you handle them correctly. Learn from these times and allow such situations to work for you

Don’t flounder in the destructive emotion of resentment

by bringing you closer to God – ‘making you into a vessel of honour’ – and not against you by alienating you from Him. At times we think others haven’t gone through what we are currently experiencing, or we envy their quality of life, yet everyone has their ‘Goliaths’ to conquer if they want to advance victoriously. Welcome the searching questions and input of others into your life rather than being offended by them, besides rejoicing with others when they are blessed

See also: attitude, bitterness, emotions, forgive/forgiveness, hate, injustice, jealous, not being ministered to, offence, opposite spirit, revenge, self, un-forgiveness.