Have you ever been in a situation where your anger got the best of you? Someone said something to you or did something to you and you went off on them? Have you been driving and someone cuts you off? You take their driving personally and want to get back at them? Or someone is behind you and demonstrates impatience at how fast you are driving? Do you intentionally slow up to push their impatience to a more intense level? I think that most of us have something in our lives that is so personal to us that when someone pushes that something, it pushes our anger to a point where we potentially lose it. We may react to them by cutting them down. We may react by an action to get back at them. We may do nothing at the time, but stuff it and cause it to fester inside and react later.
In the case of our two sisters we have looked at, Rachel and Leah, Rachel was resentful to her sister for taking her to-be-husband and being the first to have relations with him. The resentment was further cemented in Rachel’s mind when Leah over a period of 5-6 years had four sons with Jacob and she was unable to get pregnant. She gets angry at her husband for not giving her any children and Jacob is befuddled by her accusation because he knew that only God could give children.
The irrational choice she made came when she decided to give her servant Bilhah to Jacob so that she could have children through her. “Here is Bilhah, my servant. Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and I too can build a family through her.” (Genesis 30:3) Over the course of time, Bilhah brought forth two sons, Dan and Naphtali that were supposedly Rachel’s sons, but they weren’t really. Throughout the next several chapters, Dan and Naphtali were never mentioned as having been Rachels’ sons, but were always under Bilhah, Rachel’s servant.
When we experience resentment, we often find ourselves making irrational choices that never pan out the way we intended. Rachel was so desperate to have children that she was willing to give her servant to her husband and allow her servant to sleep with him so that she could have children. But they were never called her children.
When resentment isn’t dealt with, it creates complex choices that oftentimes are built on irrational thought. The journey that God calls us to is one where resentment needs to be cut away from our minds and hearts.