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The Gospel for Resentment, part 2

The Gospel for Resentment, part 2
by Pastor David

This is part 2 of last week’s pastoral word on resentment. Dane Ortland turns us from understanding how resentment works to how we defeat it. This same Gospel approach can be applied to all of our sinful temptations, so let’s revel and grow in our ability to live in the good of the Gospel.

“How then do we conquer bitterness? By soaking in two realities.

One, God is the judge. He has a law court. A real law-court. And one day every person on the face of the earth who is not in Christ will be the defendant. The Bible even says that Christians one day will themselves assist God in judging the world, even judging the angels (1 Cor 6:2–3). Eventual fairness, justice, righting of wrongs, is gloriously inevitable. Your day of judging your offender is coming. But it is not today. You will take up the gavel. Just not today. If you seek to exact premature judgment, you destroy yourself.

Two, and most crucially, you yourself have offended God. And continue to offend him, in a hundred ways you are conscious of and a thousand you are not, every day. But he didn’t harbor bitterness against you. He didn’t resent you. He sent his Son for you. God decided to lay down every reason to resent you. Having been forgiven this, how in the world could we resent another?

Here's C. S. Lewis, 'On Forgiveness'--

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single person great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life--to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son--how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say our prayers each night 'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.' We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse is to refuse God's mercy for ourselves.

 

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