Resentment kills a fool. Job. 5:2 (NIV)
Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. Heb. 12:15 (NLT)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Eph. 4:31-32 (NIV)
Heavenly Father, we begin today resting in the finished work of Jesus. But like any day, this Friday will likely provide ample opportunities for rest to become restlessness. And it doesn’t take a lot for restlessness to morph into resentment.
Resentment can well up in our hearts as soon as we get overlooked or feel underappreciated. Or when we’re left off a guest list or are included in a conversation behind closed doors. Or when early plane boarders take the storage space above our seat, and a teething toddler sits right behind us. Have mercy on us, Lord, and grant us fresh grace, thicker skin, and bigger hearts.
But some events in life carry more pain and require more grace. Betrayals, rejections, and insults—these aren’t things just to “shake off.” They are wounds and pain to bring to your throne of grace. Indeed, Father, you’re not calling us to denial but to yourself. Grant us wisdom, strength, and grace.
Through the power of your Spirit and the truth of the gospel, we don’t want our appropriate pain to lead to destructive revenge. We don’t want our hurts (old ones and new ones) to become a band of vengeful marauders, getting back and getting even.
We don’t want our vulnerable hearts to become gardens for the planting of roots of resentment and bushes of bitterness. Keep us from medicating our pain foolishly. Father, as you have forgiven us in Jesus, help us forgive others.
Make the gospel more defining than our pain and sweeter than revenge. Write stories of redemption and restoration, with the pen of our hurt and the ink of your grace. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.