Thursday, May 07, 2009

Resentment and Gratitude

This is the same post I posted for my permablogger post at Mormon Matters.



Resentment and gratitude both have a role in our faith in Christ. Together they teach us a great deal.

Not only is “resentment like taking poison and expecting the other person to die” Christ warned us that if we are wronged and hold on to our resentment instead of giving forgiveness, we would have the greater sin. Compared to anything that can be done to us, resentment is a greater sin.

Why?

Because by holding on to resentment we deny that Christ can heal us and we deny that God’s judgment of others will be sufficient. With that denial we repudiate Christ and we exercise a sort of anti-faith. Resentment, at its core, refuses redemption.

Now for a true story. There was a BYU married ward that had a tradition of telling funny stories in priesthood and relief society. That evolved into telling stories about the stupid things spouses did. Which morphed into people trying to top each other each week with stories of their spouse’s stupidity or failings. Which led to young couples spending each week looking for, framing, embellishing, and provoking bad behavior for the week’s stories.

Things got very bad and very intense. Everyone’s focus was on negatives and resentments until a member of the board of trustees intervened.

But imagine what would have happened if the people involved had spent the time being grateful and looking for positive things to say instead of nurturing resentments. What would have happened if they had met together once a month to share experience, hope, faith and gratitude?

In your own life, consider what you might do if beyond keeping the monthly fast and testimony meeting in mind you also prepared each day to have a conversation with God about what you were grateful for that day. If you turned from irritations to being mindful of Christ i nyour life.

If you always remembered him.

You would have his Spirit to be with you.

What do you think?

3 comments:

Ariel said...

This post made me smile, and brought the Spirit into my evening.

Also, I started reading "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" today, at your suggestion. It's excellent. :)

Papa D said...

Stephen, don't ever worry about posts like this generating lots of comments over on MM. It's not controversial enough for that; it's only exceptional.

Matthew said...

I didn't leave a comment the other day when I read your post, but it definitely struck a chord with me, particularly the bit about remembering our Saviour. The companionship of the Holy Ghost is something I really need, all the time, and I don't want minor irritations and resentments to take away from that companionship.

Thank you for your post. :)