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Letting Go of Your Resentments

Letting Go of Your Resentments

Most of us have had the experience of holding a grudge. Many are trapped and overwhelmed by the resulting resentment. If left unaddressed, resentment can consume us. Does this ring true to you?

For quite a while, I was overwhelmed by my wounds and resentments, almost in disbelief that these seeming “injustices” could have happened to me. I experienced a range of emotions and remember being angry and bitter almost on a constant basis. It was real. It was penetrating. And it hurt, sometimes almost physically. I felt very isolated, embarrassed to share the details with anyone.

Swallowing Poison and Waiting for the Other Person to Die

There’s a painfully true saying that “resenting someone else is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die”. In other words, when you harbor resentment, the only person it really hurts is you. Even if the other person knows of it and feels its repercussions, the impact on them pales in comparison to the impact on you.

There is no question that people wrong us, hurt us, sometimes very deeply, whether with malice or not. But when we let this fact get in the way of us living with peace and joy, we only hurt ourselves.

You Can Only Change Yourself

So how do we get out of habits of resentment and hurt? The fact is that the patterns of resentment that weigh us down are often rooted in the false belief that other people have to change in order for us to be happy. And this lie has roots in the lack of self-love suffered by most…if I believe that my whole worth is based on what other people think of me, then it stands to reason that I will resent people when they fail to love me.

Step #1

A first step in healing is moving past the idea that other people have to change. Remember, even when people treat you terribly and hurt you, that does not diminish your worth one bit. Because your worth is rooted in who you are (not in what you do or how you perform), you have the power to take responsibility for your own life, beginning with choosing to let go of resentment and hurt.

Step #2

An important second step has to do with our identity. Our tragedies, wounds, and set-backs are not to define us. When we allow our identity to get wrapped up in our hurts, it makes it difficult to surrender them, to experience healing, and to move on. As such, we need to understand our identity in Christ, each of us made by His Father, perfect in God’s image and likeness.

Step #3

Lastly, it was critical that I take ownership of my role in each of my painful circumstances, recognizing that I bore at least some responsibility for what had happened. It wasn’t until I started the challenging process of fixing myself, and yes forgiving myself, that I could humbly acknowledge my role, allowing me to also forgive others (which doesn’t mean condoning).

In doing all of the above, I let go of my resentments. How about you? What have you done or what are you prepared to do to have peace and joy in your life?

Please share your comments with me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph

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Weekly Blog

The Real Deal

During this series we’ve talked about the things that overwhelm us, and how many of those things are rooted in lies about who we are and where our true value lies. We’ve talked about our need to succeed and how it’s born out of our perception that we have to earn love. We’ve addressed lack of self-love and fear, tragedy and isolation, and the reality of our wounds and resentments. All of this helps us get a clearer picture of why our lives are the way they are, why peace, joy, and fulfillment evade us, and why we’re overwhelmed — but it still doesn’t provide the answer as to how we fix it.   

Most are seeking a better life, desiring to better understand their purpose, and just plain fed up with being fed up and overwhelmed. The world’s promises have all proved empty, but there’s another promise that never fails. It may sound simplistic, but it’s absolutely true: God is the only answer for our lives. God is the only thing that can fill up the hole in our hearts, the ultimate source of the unconditional love we desire. Most of us understand that love through conversion.  

My Conversion

My conversion was not something I anticipated. Nor did I volunteer for it. It was more like being hit across the back of the head with three 2x4s. I was at an all-time low. I had lost my marriage and my family as I knew it, something that I had not signed up for. My business, my pride and joy and my identity, was significantly down-sized. And I had lost a lot of money due to some very foolish decisions along the way. I was a control freak and had lost all control. I couldn’t hold it together anymore. My world was falling apart. The walls were caving in. 

I don’t know if you can relate to this, but the stress and the pressure literally forced me to my knees one night in March 2006. I couldn’t take it anymore, I broke. I fell to my knees at the side of my bed, sobbing. I couldn’t stop crying, I mean snot flying. I was a 43-year-old man and I was a mess. I remember saying over and over again, “I can’t do this alone anymore, I can’t do this alone anymore, I can’t do this alone anymore.” I only stopped due to pure exhaustion, still kneeling but now resting my head on the bed. 

I had never heard the audible voice of God, but I felt a real calm come over the room and a peace come over me. I felt Jesus Christ’s presence, a feeling unlike anything I had ever experienced before. And in my heart, I heard him say, “You’re not alone. I am here for you.” I heard it over and over again, like he was answering me in direct response. “You’re not alone. I am here for you . . . You’re not alone. I am here for you.” 

It’s difficult to truly express how I felt. That was the moment that I not only felt God’s real presence in my life for the first time, but I experienced his unconditional love. I realized I couldn’t do it alone, and I didn’t have to. He was and is there for me. A huge burden was lifted off me. I had encountered God, a God whom I could rely on, a God who loves me. I literally felt different. I was different, now knowing God’s love. 

My conversion rocked my world and changed my life forever. That’s my unique story. Yours’ will be just as impactful for you as mine has been for me. If you haven’t had this experience yet, do not give up. If I’ve learned nothing else, I know this for certain: God wants our conversion more than we do. 

The Invitation

God is constantly inviting us into a relationship with him. He uses everything that happens to us, the good and the bad. The trouble is, we’re so busy being overwhelmed that we often miss his invitation. God invites us to turn to him, to bring our hurts, fears, past experiences, our everything to him in truth. This is what we mean when we talk about “conversion.” It will change your life…it changed mine. 

If you’ve not experienced conversion yet and would like to, I point to ways to help the process in my book, as identified last week. Happy to shoot them to you’d if you like. 

As always, please email me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistires.com with questions, comments, concerns, or prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfilment!!!

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph

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Weekly Blog

Trapped by Our Wounds

Many of us are overwhelmed by the wounds that we have. Just like tragedy, which we discussed last week, wounds are inevitable. We’re going to have them…all of us. The question or issue is…how do we allow them to impact us? 

Sometimes the things that hurt us are obvious, i.e., tragedies, accidents, painful relationships, or confrontations with other people — these things are all external and it’s easy to recognize them as the source of our hurt. Other wounds are much less obvious. They are often the scars caused by our own emotions sustained over a period of time, i.e., anger, sadness, anxiety, doubt, or fear, perhaps related to the hurts we’ve experienced, perhaps not. Emotional health demands that we become aware of these wounds so we can start the process of healing and moving forward. 

Trapped by Resentment

Resentment toward those who have hurt us can deepen and exacerbate our wounds, with most of us having experienced holding a grudge. Many are trapped and overwhelmed by resentment, it often consuming us. As pointed out last week, there’s a painfully true saying that resenting someone else is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die. In reality, when you harbor resentment, the only person it really hurts is you. Even if the other person knows of it and feels its repercussions, the impact on them pales in comparison to the impact on you. Our resentment can negatively impact not only our view of the situation, but of the world we live in and the people around us.  

For quite a while, I was overwhelmed by my wounds and resentments, almost in disbelief that these seeming “injustices” could have happened to me. My first wife’s long struggle with alcoholism, the failure of our marriage, her death, the loss of my business … I experienced a range of emotions — sadness, despair, doubt, fear — and I remember being angry and bitter almost on a constant basis. It was real. It was penetrating. It hurt, sometimes almost physically. My resentments over these losses consumed me for a while. I felt very isolated, embarrassed to share the details with anyone. It was the most depressing time of my life. 

There is no question that people wrong us, hurt us, sometimes very deeply, whether with malice or not. But when we let this fact get in the way of us living with peace and joy, we only hurt ourselves. 

So how do we get out of habits of resentment and hurt? It is said that the first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. We need to recognize the issues that plague us, many of which are the types of wounds referenced above. Self-discovery is an important step in healing. So is research and study in helping to find solutions. Healing might also require reaching out to someone like a friend or mentor, even a therapist. Our fear in facing our wounds can be massively diminished if we don’t try to go through it all alone. 

Time Heals all Wounds 

There is at least partial truth to the saying that time heals all wounds. It was true for me. As time went on, the pain diminished and healing began to set it. That said, time alone would not have moved me past my many resentments. It was critical that I take ownership of my role in each of the painful circumstances, recognizing that I bore real responsibility for what had happened to me. And that difficult realization took time. My old wounds of low self-esteem and low self-worth, having been unresolved to that point, added to the pain of these new wounds and fostered a lot of resentment. It wasn’t until I started the challenging process of fixing myself that I could humbly acknowledge my role in my circumstances and start to heal. You can do it too!!!

I look forward to continuing to accompany you on this journey. As always, please forward any questions, comments, concerns, or prayer requests to me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph

Categories
Weekly Blog

Tragedy…What a Blessing

It’s said that we can all expect two things as part of life…death and taxes. I would adamantly argue that there’s a third…human tragedy, suffering. No one can escape it. Life is messy and it’s part of humanity, the human condition. 

It can strike as something global like war, terrorism, or a natural disaster. It can be something more personal like separation or divorce, death of a loved one, a major health issue, addiction, a rift in the family, a horrible personal failure, unresolved conflict with a friend, loss of property, or a financial crisis. 

If it sticks around long enough, it becomes personal. If it’s personal long enough, we often develop resentments. Not sure if you’ve heard the expression, “resenting someone else is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die”. I’ve tried it and believe me, it doesn’t work. 

Every single one of us can point to a tragedy, either personally or in the lives of those closest to us. Many ask the question, “how does an all-loving God allow pain and suffering in our lives?” Pointing to me as an example, in addition to most who I know on this journey…it’s to bring us closer to God, to create a greater good. A couple expressions come to mind: 

  • No pain, no gain
  • No Cross, no crown

I just recently heard that we have to be emptied out, i.e., tragedy and suffering, to be filled up. 

Think about it. When things are going tremendously well, you don’t have a need for anyone else, including God. But when things get tough, that’s when you can’t do it alone. If severe enough, it brings you to your knees, often leading to an encounter with Jesus Christ, internalizing His love, and experiencing conversion. That’s what happened to me and praise God. It rocked my world and changed my life forever. 

 

Don’t Miss the Opportunity to Grow

If we allow it, tragedy can be a wake-up call, an invitation to accept the reality of our limitations, to reject the things that leave us feeling overwhelmed and to start moving on the path to lasting fulfillment. The fact is that we can’t control the future or stop bad things from happening. What we can control is the way we live in the present, and the way we accept all the things that happen to us, good or bad. The healthy response is to live joyfully in the moment and to actively engage with others on the journey. 

Some sayings we hear are truer than we know. Examples are “What doesn’t destroy us makes us stronger” or “God only gives us what He knows we can handle.” It is in our tragedies, our defeats in life, that we learn our biggest lessons. My greatest tragedies have resulted in my greatest opportunities for growth.

This may come across as odd, but I’m thankful for the tragedies in my life. If you know my story, you know that they were dramatic. You see, I believe everything happens for a reason, according to God’s grand plan. We may not know why in the moment, but God helps us in making a ministry out of our meses. That’s true for me and true for most I know on this same faith journey. As such, I live in a place of gratitude, knowing I wouldn’t be who I am today without those experiences, albeit very difficult. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today, if not for my significant struggles.

Praise God…it’s never too late to be the person you want to be, the person God calls you to be. 

As always, please feel free to contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com, with questions, comments, concerns, or prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!

Remember….God made you for Greatness!

Mark Joseph