And the odd thing, and what was quite alarming to be honest, is in the moment I felt justified.
So I shot out a petty email, said couple of things that I can’t get back. While possibly true, I was dragging up old issues – my old issues. And it’s entirely my fault that I have held on to this old difference of opinion. I don’t know what to do with Resentments. I vacillate when there is a potential for conflict and sometimes this turns into resentment.
I grew up in a house chock-o-block full of Resentments and Grudges. My parents were always feeling insulted or resenting or holding a grudge from something someone did or said. I suppose it sounds like I’m blaming them for today, but not really.
I just don’t have the tools to sort out what resentments are worth getting into and hashing out. And which ones you surrender and ask God to help you forget and of course eventually forgive.
I carried a resentment from Christmastime that reared its ugly head yesterday when asked a favor (and it was not a small favor mind you, but normally something that I would consider gladly). Whew! Rather than slowing down and asking myself what to do about that Ugly Old Thing, I kind of made the person asking for the favor pay for it now.
Blindsided by this old concern, this person justifiably lashed back.
And then it was an opportunity to get into it and really hurt each other. Or I could admit that I was wrong. And, after much discussion and processing with Tom (I am so grateful for him), feeling attacked, and justified, and unfairly accused, and self-righteous, I did finally manage to get around to being genuinely conciliatory.
Today I sit here, sorely disappointed with myself and trying not to think about whether the other person was also wrong….because ultimately I am not their conscience.
But I thought I was passed this sort of immature crap.
And gratefully, this morning I was led to scripture.
Alive in Christ is supposed to mean dead to your transgressions and sins, in order to do good works. (Ephesians 2:1-10). We are purified by him to slander no one, be peaceable and considerate, to show to humility to all. (Titus 2:14) At one time you lived in malice and envy, but when the kindness and love of God appeared … He saved us (not because of good things we have done) but because of his mercy. Through washing, rebirth, renewal by the Holy Spirit (Romans 2:2) put off your old self to be made new in the attitude of your minds, put on new self. (Ephesians 4:30-31) Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, malice, be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, be children of light whose fruit are goodness and truth and righteousness.
It’s hard to admit when I am wrong. Being rigid and inflexible is not what we are meant for nor are we ever justified to carry around resentments because they can, and likely will, rear up at the worst moment. As we rub against people in life, we’re going to make mistakes. For me, in those moments, it is sometimes most difficult to forgive myself.