When we hold on to resentment it feels like there’s a war going on inside of us. We end up in a battle with ourselves, as well as others. Bitterness takes us over and we’re left hurt and angry. We’re constantly trying to figure out who’s right and who’s wrong. We can end up spending so much time trying to out-do, out-shout, and out-manoeuvre others that we lose our peace and joy. Sound familiar? Resentment can take root in us all. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can end our conflicts with others and let go of resentment. That seems easier said than done. When bitterness has taken hold of us, it can be very challenging to let things go. But we can’t allow someone else’s actions to determine our reactions. We can’t control what other people do, but we can control how we respond to it. When we hold on to bitterness and resentment, we not only keep conflicts going, but we also deny ourselves the opportunity to heal. We’re the ones who remain unhappy and hurt, when God has designed it that we should hand it all over to Him and exercise forgiveness instead. The Bible says that ‘hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.’ We need to let the love and peace of God fill our minds so much that it overflows to others – including those who have upset us. Do we really want to be like the person who hurt us? What would Jesus do? He’d turn the other cheek (see Matthew 5:39). We need to ask God to help us release our anger, turn the other cheek, and forgive the people who have hurt us.
If you’re holding on to resentment, pray this prayer: ‘Lord, I’m angry. Help me to let it go. Help me to forgive the person who hurt me and to follow You. Amen’