Recognizing resentment - 26 May 2020

By Xanthe Hancox

Sometimes life seems unfair. Sometimes you look around and wonder why some families experience one hardship after another while others prosper. Why is it that some people have everything we need while others have less than nothing?

Though I hate to admit it, resentfulness is a subtle but very real temptation in my heart. Over time, I’ve learned how important it is to recognize this temptation when it comes, so that when I start to go down that path, I can take steps to realign my heart with the truth.

Psalm 73 describes the lives of people it’s easy to resent: “This is what the wicked are like – always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.” (v. 12). Fortunately, the psalm doesn’t stop there, and God shows us how to turn from a resentful heart to a grateful one.

“When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (v. 16)

If we try to make sense of our circumstances, or compare our circumstances to others, we will inevitably feel like we drew the short straw. We will always find someone who seems to have an easier life, better job, healthier body, or what we long for and can’t have.

The key is to stop trying to understand beyond what God has revealed, and instead trust the loving purposes our Father has spoken by filling ourselves with the truth of his Word.

How foolish to resent those who are comfortable now, but will be eternally lost. And how foolish to resent other believers who have something that we wish we had when we serve a God who is purposefully working in each of our lives to give us what we most desperately need: more of himself.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, turn resentfulness into gratitude as we remember that no painful circumstances in this world can compare to a hopeless eternity apart from Jesus. Lord God, be close to all who struggle with hard questions today. Draw them into your presence. Amen