As a person who has suffered from much resentment sense learning The Truth About the Truth (TTATT). I have needed to put tools into place in order to get over it. For me, it hasn’t been easy. I believed with all my heart that I would not grow old in this system and now that is where I find myself. Growing old and unprepared to support my wife and myself through old age. As much as I hate to admit it, I realize that ultimately the blame lies with me. I could have heeded the warnings about those who claim the end is close and warnings about false prophets from Christ but I didn’t. I also ignored the Watchtowers prophetic record especially when people at the door would mention it to me. (See previous article: “A Review of the Society’s Prophetic Record”
Nelson Mandela once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” I find that true in my case except I don’t literally want to kill my enemies. Resentment is actually a poison for me. No matter how much poison I take, it has no effect on my “enemies.” If anything, it only gives them more power over me. I find myself letting them rent space in my head for free. These people are my close family who still are Jehovah’s Witnesses. One family member especially can put me over the edge if I am not careful. My day can be going fine and then a short conversation with them over the phone could have a devastating effect. These resentments are deep and even though I try to suppress them, they can surface without warning and cripple me if I am not prepared. That is why I am trying to understand my resentments and remove them before they destroy me.
What are the effects of resentment? At answers.com I found this article helpful:
Resentment is most powerful when it is felt toward someone whom the individual is close to or intimate with. To have an injury resulting in resentful feelings inflicted by a friend or loved one leaves the individual feeling betrayed as well as resentful, and these feelings can have deep effects.
Resentment is an emotionally debilitating condition that, when unresolved, can have a variety of negative results on the person experiencing it, including touchiness or edginess when thinking of the person resented, denial of anger or hatred against this person, and provocation or anger arousal when this person is recognized positively. It can also have more long-term effects, such as the development of a hostile, cynical, sarcastic attitude that may become a barrier against other healthy relationships, lack of personal and emotional growth, difficulty in self-disclosure, trouble trusting others, loss of self-confidence, and overcompensation. By contrast, resentment does not have any direct negative effects on the person resented, save for the deterioration of the relationship involved.
To further compound these negative effects, resentment often functions in a downward spiral. Resentful feelings cut off communication between the resentful person and the person he or she feels wronged them, which can result in future miscommunications and the development of further resentful feelings. Because of the consequences they carry, resentful feelings are dangerous to live with and need to be dealt with. Resentment is an obstacle to the restoration of equal moral relations among persons, and must be handled and expunged via introspection and forgiveness.
Psychologist James J. Messina recommends five steps to facing and resolving resentful feelings. (1) Identify the source of the resentful feelings and what it is the person did to evoke these feelings, (2) develop a new way of looking at past, present and future life, including how resentment has affected life and how letting go of resentment can improve the future, (3) write a letter to the source of the resentment, listing offenses and explaining the circumstances, then forgive and let go of the offenses (but do not send the letter), (4) visualize a future without the negative impact of resentment, and (5) if resentful feelings still linger, return to Step 1 and begin again. Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/resentment
I believe this is very good advice from this Psychologist. Changing our view of the past, present, and future is not easy but necessary. It brings to mind these following scriptures:
Matthew 6:14-16 (NIV) For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Luke 6:37 (NIV) Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
For me it is not easy to get out of my head, leave past resentment behind and enjoy the moment. Lately I have been taking long walks, several miles a day. If you can walk at a park or other peaceful place like the beach, so much the better- it is so therapeutic. This gives me time to live in the moment and not worry about the past or future. Some say the moment is all we really have. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t here yet. I am not saying, “live for today for tomorrow we shall die.” I am saying I try to focus on enjoying today and not worrying about tomorrow. Isn’t this what Jesus meant when he said at Matthew 6: 34, “So, never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.” Right before that he said, “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things (our daily needs) will be added to YOU.” For me this is easier said than done. I need to work at it everyday. My prayers these days are much more simple than they were in the past. I always ask my heavenly father for HIS will to be done and not my own. Sad to say, I haven’t always been that way. It seems the older I get, the less I find that I know. I am at a point in my life where I don’t feel I really know all that much. It has been a very humbling experience. To lose your family, your religion, and much of your financial means of living is not easy, but it might be the place in my life where God can actually begin to mold me to do his will, not mine. I hope this is the case…
My faith is strong in our heavenly father because I know he has taken me to this place where I find myself today. When I focus on this it makes it easier for me to remove my resentments. Yes they do creep up from time to time but with Gods help I will remove them completely and display more fruits of the spirit. Galatians 5:22-24, “On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus impaled the flesh together with its passions and desires.” I have a long way to go in correcting my walk with Christ. I have not found this walk in any religion or church as of yet. Christ alone is my head and I look to him to guide me and remove the resentments that have poisoned my life for so long. May he bless all of us who have been mislead and help us all to move beyond any resentment we may have for Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Watchtower and all of our families who are still held Captive To a Concept.”
Your brother in Christ,