When You Resent Having to Forgive
Forgiveness was not something I knew much about. Sure I heard the proverbial message in various churches to ‘forgive’ but so what? What did it even mean? And why? Oh the consequences and bla bla. The more pastors and preachers that spoke the simple word the more I resented the idea and the fact that it would do anything for more. When you resent having to forgive things happen; and not those that you want.
See; the idea of me having to forgive was such a joke. I was the victim! No seriously; I was. It wasn’t made up in my mind that I was a victim I truly was- and from before I was even born. But nevertheless I was left behind as my mother went for pizza; and then just never came back. I was taken from the foster home that I loved which definitely wasn’t fair. I even tried to run away from my adoptive parents to go back to the foster home because they actually loved me. And to grow up later in life hearing ‘forgive’ just made me want to vomit and kick someone in the shins.
I was angry because it wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair that so many people in my life made decisions for me that I didn’t have anything to do with but that I paid the consequences for. I resented them all for it because they were living the good life and here I was; suffering day in and day out. And as a child that is an injustice.
I carried all that with me and justified it so. And I even became a Christian, sat in church and thought nothing of it. I then became baptized in the Holy Spirit and still carried it with me. I was a victim and forgiveness was really not on my radar to the full. Sure I said the words years in the past but what would there be beyond that? A ton I later learned!
What I learned was that my resentment and anger was about me. My unforgiveness was about me too. And my harboring it was all my doing. I was satisfied in keeping all bottled up; even though I was nothing but! I didn’t even know how deep it was until after the fact. And it goes something like this:
I resented what happened to me. I resented that no one cared. I even resented God for not even being there because let’s face it- if God was so loving why would He even allow it in the first place? Oh yeah I was not a happy person by any means. And I resented that. I resented the holidays and seeing families together because I didn’t have that. And I resented happiness because it was something I could not have. I resented all the pretty people in school and those that bullied me. I resented the boys who used me and I certainly resented my adoptive father who was the biggest weenie that he never stood up for me. And to top it off the fact that I had to forgive just about sent me over the edge- the edge of Resentment Road! But then things changed. And in big ways. I learned something.
I learned that resentment, unforgiveness, and anger were not something I had to keep. I learned that while I was yes the victim of much; that I chose to stay that way. God revealed to me that He is loving and that He has a plan. He revealed that my unforgiveness and resentment was keeping me in the past and not flowering in the future. And well; I resented that too because I wish someone, anyone would have told me that although I’m not sure if it would have helped.
I also learned that unforgiveness is disobedience and rebellion. I learned that God was on my side as I chose the side of forgiveness; or that of life. I started feeling hope and peace in ways unexplainable. I was being healed and delivered through each act of forgiveness and repentance of unforgiveness. My resentment was disappearing like the snow after a Colorado blizzard. What I was shown was that all I had to do was keep my eyes focused on the Lord and that He would avenge all that occurred to me. He would redeem me. He would restore all that has been lost. He would and guess what? He is! And He will do the same for you.
The bottom line is that regardless of how you feel; your obedience is what must be the focus. It is not fair that things happen or that you are a victim; but what you do about it is what will move mountains. When you live life based upon how you feel you will never get where you want to go. If you allow resentment to reign; forgiveness will too. If you allow forgiveness to reign, resentment will too. And more importantly; that separation from Jesus will too. And when I got that I didn’t ever want to be resentful and miss out on the abundance of life that God ordained for me. My prayer today in the name of Jesus is that you see the treasure that you are; that you have all that you could ever dream of and that He created you to be more than a conqueror! I pray that you don’t allow resentment to rule but rather you trade it for freedom and forgiveness. Then you taste and see the goodness of the Living God. And resentment will be a thing of the past.