I am going to tell on myself – my mind is a mess recently. I have had thoughts so far from grace and truth that I could have easily lost myself in the mess. They always came at work – and feeling unappreciated. Watching other people get praised. Seeing other people get raises. Feeling overlooked and overwhelmed.
The thoughts would come, unexpected. They tried to take root, wanting to undo any goodness that actually existed. And as soon as I realized what was going on, I shook the thoughts out, laughed, and prayed for protection.
Because resentment wanted to become my master, the mistress of my heart. And she is a harsh mistress. She won’t go quietly away. Once she has a hold on you, it can become a death grip. She wants everything you have, and she will come for you until she has it.
She wants your relationships. She wants to separate you from people who can encourage you and help you grow. She wants to connect you with people who make you question God’s goodness and who steal God’s peace. She wants to isolate you from His light and integrate you into the darkness of the world.
She wants your mind. She wants to steer your thinking in a direction away from God’s truth and love. She wants to convince you that people think badly of you … and for good reasons. She wants you to think about everything you aren’t – and how God stays away from such things.
She wants your affection. She wants to take compassion and stomp it out with carelessness and caustic feelings. She wants to suffocate goodness out of the picture completely. She chooses anger, animosity, and anguish over acceptance, hospitality, and forgiveness.
She wants your words. She wants you to speak rashly and quickly, without pause or consideration. She wants knee-jerk reactions and thoughtless comebacks. She wants harsh retorts and hard remarks without care or grace.
She wants your focus. She wants to be the center of your attention. She wants to be the “comfort” you turn to when circumstances are rough and unfair. She wants you to turn to her first to revel in all the wrongs in your life.
Again, she wants all you are and all you have. And she will dig her fingernails in inch by painful inch into whatever area of flesh you give her.
So how do we combat her and her deadly influence? It starts by recognizing her when she creeps in. Hear her evil whisper. See her harsh influence. Realize she lurks to wage war against truth.
Then fight the good fight by being grateful. Look at your blessings and count them. Be thankful for how God has His hand on your life and is taking care of you. Be content with the life, the gifts, and the blessings you have.
There is plenty of direction to help us:
- Hebrews 13:5 – “Let yourconduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
- Luke 3:14 – “Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, ‘Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be contentwith your wages.’”
- Philippians 4:11 – “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be ”
- 1 Timothy 6:6-8 – “6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”
- Jeremiah 31:14 – “I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people shall be satisfiedwith My goodness, says the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 31:25 – “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.”
- Psalm 128:2 – “When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall bewell with you.”
- Proverbs 14:14 – “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfiedfrom above.”
So how did I handle it? As I sat at my desk and heard the words scroll through my brain, I began to recite the history of God’s goodness and the litany of God’s blessings in my life. How can I be resentful when I think about how blessed I am? I can’t.
So maybe today we can encourage each other to appreciate what we have and stop worrying about everything else.
Loving Father, thank You for everything You have given me. Thank You for every blessing – those I see and those I have yet to see. When I take my eyes off You and allow resentment to creep in, please help me to recognize it immediately and stop it! I want to be content at all times and in all circumstances. So help me to tune out every whisper that isn’t from You. Help me to not be influenced away from Your goodness, Your grace, and Your generosity. Help me to stand firm in my faith that what I have is more than enough. In Jesus’ all-mighty name. AMEN!
Marie Fremin. 5/1/18 and 5/4/18.