Jesus said, “If then you are making an offering at the altar and there it comes to your mind that your brother has something against you, while your offering is still before the altar, first go and make peace with your brother, then come and make your offering.” (Mat 5 :23,24) and when Peter asked,”How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?" Jesus answered, “Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!”(Matt 18: 21,22).
Arguments over differences in doctrine and differences in understanding of scripture that end in sore feelings, backbiting and worse, condemning each other in public is not just a sin against God but is harmful and hateful towards Jesus himself. Jesus took Saul's attack against other Jews who where following the New Way personally (Acts 9:5 and 26:14).
The character defect that I am talking about is resentment.
I have heard resentment defined as “ re-feeling-anger” and while this is a good definition it is not completely accurate because it is quite possible to have resentment without any feelings of anger.
I have over the years discovered that Gods Laws are really not laws but rather guides for getting along with others and experiencing the blessings of living in this world. Holding resentment in my heart prevents me from seeing the good in others and makes me very skeptical and cynical of all people. That same resentment stands between Jesus and I like a wall and prevents me from experiencing His blessings as much as a lack of faith.
Come to think about it, resentment is a lack of faith, it is the belief that your perceived hurt gives you the right to hate your neighbor and that God does not see your hurt and can not or will not deal with the one who hurt you.
In my own life resentment has made my life very miserable. It wasn't until I made a concentrated effort to seek it out and confess it to my God for forgiveness that I began to experience the Joy of the Lord and see miracles in mine and others lives
In recent times I had the unique experience of seeing the destructiveness of this defect of character in a young person. This young person was a very good person but lived under a great amount of fear. It turned out that this fear was rooted in something that happened when this person was very young and the memory of it had become suppressed. When that memory had been brought to light a resentment quickly formed and blame for all that was wrong with this young life became an others fault and while there is some truth to the fact that the oppressors actions had done damage to the young persons life and much was the oppressors fault, the resentment did far more harm.
Resentment is not an others fault. Resentment is un-forgiveness and un-forgivness is entirely the resenters fault
I does not matter what was done, who had done it, or weather or not the other has repented, un-forgivness hurts you not the other person.
UN-forgiveness – resentment – continues to cause hurt but not against the other person. I have heard it said resentment is much like drinking poison and expecting your oppressor to die from the poison you drank.
Perhaps this is why, when Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He expounded further on only one point of this prayer;
Mat 6:14 If you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you.
Mat 6:15 But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.