The word “resent” means to feel bitter or indignant at a person, circumstance, or something that has happened.
We all have things that we resent!
This article is a result of my resenting the divisiveness that fills America right now. Instead of loving each other in disagreement; or rather learning to disagree graciously, we hate and divide. I have experienced it in my family, community, and church.
I RESENT THAT!
I am going to list/ talk about a few of the things that I resent. Consider staying with me through to the ending. It might surprise you.
THE DISCUSSION about racism is full of hate, anger, and division. In my opinion (dangerous ground), the whole divisive discussion is based upon the very wrong premise that your skin color matters more than who you are in God’s eyes, or even your character. (your outrage is more important than your character, or your politics are more important than your character.)
Acts 17:26 tells those of us who trust in Jesus Christ that God has “made of one blood all nations of men.” Every race is my blood. ALL mankind is my blood brother and sister. That is a physical brotherhood. But beyond that, believers in Christ of all races are my brothers and sisters in Christ for eternity. We are one in Christ.
WHEN I HEAR THE PHRASE “white privilege” or “black lives matter”, it offends me that I am being PRESSURED to see people as black or white.
Putting the word “black” or “white” in a phrase or in a description of a person in and of itself borders on racism. It implies that “blacks” are different than “whites”.
I AM TEMPTED TO QUIT LOVING THOSE who put the color of skin before my eyes; with the intent of getting me to think more of the color of a person than I do of their character and humanity.
I RESENT THAT!
THE ISSUE OF GENDER. I try to not to identify people by gender. I try to remember that they are human, not an object identified by sexual orientation. This was way easier before “they” started forcing us to think of more than 2 genders. (as a side note here – I resent that I now have to figure out how to respond lovingly and Biblically to that confusion.)
But “way easier when it was only 2 genders” was still very hard. I like the difference between male and female. Long live the difference.
Galatians 3:28 tells me to remember that in Christ there is neither male nor female. At their worst, women are my equal and at their best they frighten me. You can laugh now.
I RESENT THAT I STRUGGLE WITH SEEING GENDER and sexual orientation rather than loving people for their character and humanity.
I RESENT THAT GENDER IDENTITY is always being thrown in my face, tempting me to be unloving.
THE ISSUE OF COMPARING PEOPLE. Our world is constantly comparing people and judging them as either “good” or “bad”. Obviously, the “bad”, should not be loved. (sarcasm)
God tells me in Romans 3:12-23 that there are none good, (including me) and that all are sinners. The chapter goes on to tell us that God loves the “bad”, the “sinner.” As I read the New Testament, I learn that I am to love my “enemies”; that I am to love “sinners”, the “bad”.
I RESENT THAT THE MEDIA, THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS are always trying to have me see some people as better than others or worse than others. Those kinds of comparisons hinder my ability to love. I RESENT THAT.
THE ISSUE OF POLITICS. We live in a political world that is always dividing people up as being on the left or on the right, or in the middle. Depending on where you are, one position is supposedly better than another.
There is pressure to reject people because they are Socialists, Capitalists, Republicans, Democrats, Progressives, or Libertarians (and who knows how many other labels).
This divisiveness hinders love for each other. This lack of love is not limited to any one position. Hatred knows no political boundary. It breaks my heart. It results in verbal bullying, a total disregard of the idea of respecting each other. It is often destructive of property and even results in physical violence.
I RESENT THAT I AM CONSTANTLY BEING PRESSURED TO JOIN THE FRAY: to be unloving.
THE ISSUE OF EACH OF US HAVING DIFFERING OPINIONS.
We live in a world where we all think differently; where we see things from a different perspective. This diversity IS a good thing. It is healthy.
Listening to each other and respecting each other is a sign of emotional, spiritual, and mental health and maturity. ESPECIALLY WHEN WE DISAGREE.
Yet in today’s world, I am constantly being pressured (and so are you) to conform to the prevailing wind of opinion. (which is usually hateful and divisive) This shows up in subtle and overt bullying. It tempts me to be angry and unloving.
I RESENT THAT I HAVE TO FIGHT THE INSIDE OF ME BATTLE OF BECOMING UNLOVING.
And that ULTIMATELY leads me to the conclusion of my resentment. I RESENT that I am so broken on the inside that I have to fight to be loving. I cannot blame anyone else for my lack of love. It is my sin, my fault. The problem is within me; not out there somewhere.
The Apostle Paul addresses this struggle in Romans 7:15-25. He says, (paraphrased) “I Don’t want to sin (be unloving), but I do sin. I want to do well (to be loving) but I don’t.”
If you struggle with my defining sin as being unloving, please remember that Jesus said that the entire law of do’s and don’ts is explained and understood by “love God” and “love your neighbor”.
Paul’s conclusion is my conclusion also. Romans 7:24, 25. “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I THANK GOD (no more resentment) THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”
The answer to all resentment and to all the temptation to not be loving is turning to and trusting Jesus Christ.