GIANTS Warm-Up • Anger Recap: – Express righteous anger. • Is it about you, or external to you? • Is your aim to improve others or glorify God? – Defuse unrighteous anger. • Wanting more at the cross? • The lightning strike and the termite. Series Outline • What is it? • What does it do to me? • How do I kill it? Secret Weapon Recap • Fear – Love • Discouragement – Humility • Loneliness – Introspection • Guilt – Acceptance • Worry – Shame • Temptation – Cowardice • Anger – Burning • Resentment – Mortality What is it? • Going postal. – How many neighbors report: “Yeah, saw that coming a mile away…” • In actuality, the signs are almost always there. – We overlook or ignore them out of fear of being the next target, or out of shame for our own indulgences in bitterness. • Yes, the emotional septic tank! What is it? • “Logizomai” – To calculate or to reckon. – God has the right to enter into a ledger our transgressions for those apart from Christ. – We do not get to claim love if we attempt to do the same. – Love “thinks no evil.” – Love “keeps no record of wrongs.” • I Corinthians 13:5(b) What is it? • You may think resentment is your own internal issue, but it communicates to God: – Go ahead and forgive him if you want to, but “the State of Mississippi ain’t so forgivin’…” – “Your blood wasn’t quite enough.” – “I hold some form of superiority over You.” What does it do to me? • Resentment destroys you spiritually from the inside out and invariably causes damage to those around you. – Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; Hebrews 12:14-15 – (Romans 12:18) What does it do to me? • Resentment is also, unfortunately, an heirloom disease. – Volunteer reading: 1 Kings 2:1-6 • According to Jesus’ standard, good King David committed murder twice in his life. What does it do to me? • Resentment exacts a terrible physical toll on its master. – Ironically, resentment is directed outward, but damages inward as its target operates freely from direct contact with your wrath. • Resentment has a tendency to rewire your very thinking, causing deep damage that is difficult to reverse. – Corrie Ten Boom and the Nazi Guard. What does it do to me? • Resentment feeds on the power of the false illusion that you are the one in control. • You like to somehow reckon that you have the upper hand…the triumphant silent sufferer…are somehow righteous in it. • Acid Test: – If confronted with a request to forgive, how would you respond? This tells you if you are truly “in control” of these feelings. How do I kill it? • You must understand the GRAVITY of resentment in God’s eyes. • Some of the most serious and severe warnings from Jesus have to do with an unforgiving heart. Why? • The Bible commends us to turn the cheek, walk an extra mile, heap kindness upon insult. • Scriptures scream with the warning to turn back from this giant! Why? How do I kill it? • Scattered throughout the first Book of “Good News” is some very bad news about an unforgiving heart. • The if-then relationships suggested by Jesus are hard to process. • Salvation is not through works, but Jesus is clearly showing a linkage between your willingness to forgive and your capacity to receive forgiveness from God. How do I kill it? • Worst-case scenario: – Failing to forgive others is a sign that you have not truly repented and are not living a life in Christ. – Unlike “typical” Christian sins (periodic or passionate failures), resentment is a chosen lifestyle of long-term disobedience. – When we turn to Christ, we repent of our sin and we ask Him to change our hearts and lives to live under His power. How do I kill it? • Best-case scenario: – As in the history of Israel in the Old Testament, God withholds His fellowship and blessing in a loving effort to correct His children and restore the broken relationship. • NEITHER alternative is particularly pleasant compared to the chore of surrendering resentment. How do I kill it? • STEP 1: Think it through. – Do you fantasize about catching your prey in the right circumstances so that you can enjoy the sweet taste of victory? – Do you desire pain and/or suffering equal or greater than your own? – Do you regard yourself with pride as being the superior party in an unresolved conflict? How do I kill it? • STEP 2: Write it down. – You might be surprised or disappointed about how your pent-up offense looks on paper. – Often, the scope and injustice stored in one’s mind does not conform with reality. – Imagine yourself before the cross of Christ, pleading your case as he bears your sins and those of whom you are accusing. How do I kill it? • STEP 3: Work it out. – Buy yourself a punching bag. – Start with little steps…set up code-words or practices with your spouse to defuse anger as it happens. – PRAY ABOUT IT! Ask God to take it from you. • Cross-reference the Giant of Temptation. God will answer your prayer! How do I kill it? • STEP 4: Talk it over. – Talk to God about it, in every glorious detail. – He already knows about it! – Seek God’s forgiveness for your own sins. • Bitterness and resentment are often signs of PERSONAL unforgiveness. • Do you have something you haven’t forgiven yourself for? How do I kill it? • STEP 5: Give it up. – Clara Barton: “I distinctly remember forgetting it.” – Ridding yourself of resentment is an active and deliberate step on your part. – It may or may not involve direct confrontation with its target. • Does a relationship need to be restored? • Would the person be shocked, embarrassed, or otherwise taken down by the revelation? • Easier: Do they know about it? Kill Shot • DO NOT FLIRT with what God means by withholding forgiveness as you withhold it. • DO NOT put yourself on a pedestal where you demand a higher standard for forgiveness than Jesus did. • DO actively seek to rid your heart of resentment through prayer, more prayer, reconciliation, and then some more prayer.