“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” Matthew 5:11
Well, you made it! You made it through the Christmas holiday and navigated the difficult waters of being with some people you don’t always care to be around. Maybe you don ‘t like to be with them because they have hurt you or been offended at the biblical stand you take on issues. Perhaps you are a target of mockery and scorn by your unsaved family members.
When you emerge from family events like Christmas celebrations feeling emotionally bruised, it is difficult not to be upset, hurt, and resentful. The more you dwell on what has been done to you, and the injustice you have suffered, the more the resentment builds. Resentment and bitterness are serious issues of the heart. You cannot refuse to deal with your resentments and expect God to respond to your prayers.
Ignoring the spiritual aspect of resentment is actually pretty easy. Rationalizing and justifying resentment resulting from someone else’s wrong behavior seems alright. I mean; they hurt you, violated you, abused you! If you weren’t resentful you’d be a fool, right? If you responded any other way you would be just asking for more of the same kind of treatment, right?Jesus says,And when you stand praying, if you have something against anyone, forgive him so that your Father in the heavens also may forgive you your trespasses.
Mark 11:25The Lord Jesus expects you to lay down your resentments and deal with your sinful heart. Despite how righteous it seems or feels to hold resentment against those who have hurt you, the Lord has left the example of forgiveness and reconciliation for you to follow (1 Peter 2:21-23).
It must be be said that it is quite inappropriate to grant forgiveness to someone who has not confessed their sin and asked for your forgiveness. However, you cannot continue to hold their sin against them in your heart. Depending on the level of offense committed against you, you may have to spend some very intense time in prayer and discussion with the Lord about these matters before you can move forward. You may never be able to have a conversation about forgiveness with the person who hurt you but that does not eliminate your responsibility to forgive them before God.