S94P5 – Dark seasons of the soul: resentment

Gen. 37:17b-20

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him.  “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

The two sisters were thick as thieves growing up, but that all changed once they reached adulthood.  The older sister led a much more charmed life after their childhood ended.  She excelled in her education and landed her dream job.  She married the man everyone thought was perfect for her, and they had a beautiful family.  The younger sister could never quite make things work.  She went from one dead end job to another and from one bad relationship to the next.  When the younger sister declined the older sister’s invitation to church, she thought that her sister simply did not care for her anymore.  Although it was true that she was angry, she was really angry at God for not blessing her in the same way.

Seeing God’s favor manifest in the lives of others should make us happy for them.  It should give us joy to see his favor manifest in anyone in this world.  The problem is that we will be tempted to compare that person’s experience to our own.  Some people will find it incredibly difficult to be happy for the blessings of others when they do not see God moving the same way in their own lives.  That can cause them to resent the other people and resent God.  Before we know it, we are demanding favor and blessings in the same measure as if God has anything to prove to us.  This kind of resentment really is rooted in jealousy, covetousness and a lack of appreciation for all He has given us.

When we allow resentment to build in us, what we are telling God is that we do not value what He has done for us because what He has done for others seems so much better.  It is the classic “why not me” mentality that focuses on self above all else.  That resentment can make us stubborn and lead us to simply ignore God because we are bitter and feel undervalued.  What we need to do in those instances is refocus our attention on everything God has done for us, which is always well beyond what we deserve.  It started with salvation and has continued in surplus, and that cannot be denied.  Father, remove from us the roots of resentment that we would be joyful at seeing your favor manifest in the lives of others.