As a counselor, I’ve noticed a common theme eating away at the core of relationships. Marriages, friendships, siblings, daughters, mothers, coworkers, employees…you get the point. Every relationship is subject to fall to this divisive strategy of the enemy.
That’s right. This one letter word packs a powerful punch that can bring any relationship crashing down. It doesn’t happen overnight. No. Resentment is a slow fade that makes you wake up one day and ask, “What happened?”
Resentment is defined as, “bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.”
Do you see what is at the root of resentment? Bitterness. Another pesky heart posture that slides under the radar far too long before we realize it’s a problem.
According to the Practical Encyclopedia of Christian Counseling, bitterness is anger and resentment that, because they have not been handled properly, harden.
I must confess it didn’t take me becoming a licensed counselor to witness the devastation of bitterness in the form of resentment. I’ve watched my own friendships and other relationships crumble all because I allowed silent resentment to go unnoticed in my heart.
Bitterness and its partner resentment love to rear their ugly head extra high during the holidays. Let’s chat about a few practical tips to safe guard your heart.
Hebrews 12:15 says, “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
The simple act of checking our heart routinely for bitterness and resentment goes a long way. Be brave and allow trusted family and friends to speak into your life. Ask them if they notice either of these traits in you. Listen with an open heart.
Work it Out
Did you notice how the definition of bitterness was anger and resentment not properly handled? It is crucial to deal with situations and words spoken that hurt your heart. Most people don’t want to bitter. It’s just an unhealthy way they have chosen to deal with pain.
Instead of giving space for that pain to harden in your heart, take it to God. Seek the help of a pastor or Christian counselor, especially if it feels to overwhelming to process alone.
I know this was a longer than usual note from my desk to yours, but I pray the Holy Spirit releases you from this snare so you can enjoy life, and the holidays, with your loved ones.