An Antidote to Resentment

Resentment is poison. It is slow acting but it is deadly. It cripples relationships. It clouds vision. It sucks the very life out of your soul.

For years, I’ve struggled with resentment towards a certain person. Recently, I shared this struggle with a friend of mine. He challenged me to pray for this person for two weeks in a specific way. Within ten days, this poisonous resentment began to leave me. More importantly, my relationship with this person began to improve. I’m so impressed with this method I want to share it with you.

Pray for that person as if that person is you. Think of everything that you care about, worry over, & get excited for. This includes health, finances, family, relationships, work, the past, the future, kids, grandkids, retirement, fears, forgiveness, and dreams. Imagine you are that person. Creatively put yourself in their place. Pray for the things that matter most to you on this person’s behalf (sounds a lot like, “Love your neighbor as yourself”). Pray for this person in this fashion throughout the day for two weeks.

I reluctantly accepted this challenge and began praying this way. Slowly I began to develop empathy and understanding. I began to feel less critical and condescending. I realized their situation, actions and attitudes are not much different than mine. Acceptance and forgiveness snuck in. Resentment began to melt away.

Ten days into this experience, I met with this person and something was different. I was much more relaxed. They were respectful and kind to me. I enjoyed being with them. What changed, or better yet, who changed?!? Could this person sense that my spirit had changed and this allowed them to respond differently to me? Had God answered my prayers and blessed this person. Had God changed their spirit?

My guess is that it is all of the above. I don’t know how prayer works but I know that it does. This experience has reminded me of God’s great love and power that changes lives and relationships. Perhaps this approach to prayer can provide an antidote against the poison of resentment in your life. I challenge you to give it try!