“Resentment is drinking poison and waiting for the other person to get sick.”
I don’t know who said this originally. I just know it’s true. Resentment eats you up on the inside. It damages relationships. It puts a filter over everything that you see. It’s like the filters that you put on your pictures: mono, vivid, silver-tone, dramatic cool or noir.
A bad filter can make a picture worse.
A good filter can take a so-so picture and turn it into something far better than the original. Take the picture from yesterday’s post. Add a little “noir” filter with a little more brightness and voilà! a better picture!
My problem? I don’t always know how to change the filter. Sometimes it’s rather easy. Forgive and move on. Sometimes you can’t do it so fast. It eats at you and starts to wear you down. It can make us see every fault, every fallacy, and every action as a deliberate attempt to hurt us. Resentment can ruin us.
Henri Nouwen wrote in his book on spiritual formation: “When you cling to your complaints, your heart is full of resentment, and there is no room for God to enter and set you free. Resentment curtails the movements of the Spirit and diminishes the kingdom within. It replaces faith, hope and charity with fear, doubt, and rivalry.” *
Maybe we change our filter by seeing with the eyes of Jesus. Maybe it’s every time that I think of _____________ (fill in person, situation, action), I also see the face of Jesus. Maybe our filter needs to be Jesus beside, behind, in front of ________________.
Maybe everything we see needs to be in the filter of “grace and forgiveness of God”.
It might be hard to change the filter all at once – forever. Maybe it’s every day to change the filter just a little more in the light of the grace of God.
I may not be able to change _______________ (fill in the blank) but I can ask God to change me.
Change my filter, O God. Help me see with Your eyes of grace and forgiveness. Amen.
* Nouwen, Henri. Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit. Harper One, Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust with Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird, 2010, p. 59.