Have you ever been in a relationship where it seems that resentment between you and another person seems to build over time. It is always someone you have connection with. It may be a spouse, or a sibling, or a parent. It could be a neighbor or a long- time-friend. The relationship didn’t start out with resentment between the two of you or you would have never connected with them.
Resentment starts out like a little splinter in your finger. If you’re like me, it is too painful to dig it out with a knife so you just let it stay there. It isn’t that big and it’s not that painful so it just stays there. Over the next couple of days it turns red, but it’s no big deal. It begins to throb and you can count your heart rate by the throbbing. Puss sets in and you begin to focus all of your attention on the splinter in your finger. Resentment is similar in relationships. It often begins with an unresolved issue between two people, but the issue is never resolved. It seems that you can let the issue go, but over time the issue begins to build in your mind.
Take for example the relationship Rachel had with her older sister in Genesis 29 and following. It’s a story of Jacob who is running away from his brother Esau who wants to kill him for stealing his birthright and the blessing from Isaac, the father. Jacob meets Rachel and falls in love with her immediately and wants to marry her. Unfortunately Rachel’s father says no unless Jacob works for him for 7 years. Jacob does that because he loves Rachel so much, but the father tricks Jacob on his wedding day with Rachel by putting Leah, Rachel’s older sister, in bed with Jacob and not Rachel. He wakes up in the morning and is furious. Think how you would feel if you were going to marry someone and the night of your wedding your father gave your sister to your lover. I would be furious with my father, but would have some resentment to my sister for sleeping with my fiance. It is a complex story, but you can see how resentment becomes the seed between Rachel and Leah, as well as between Rachel and Laban, her father.
On this journey in order to deal with and resolve resentment, you first have to identify the source of the resentment to stop the resentment from building. Left alone as we will see, resentment can become ugly.