After There’s Nothing Left: Resentment and UnForgiveness… on my part


  Throughout the course of my days I have come across individuals whose lives are filled with anger, resentment, and revenge. Over time, I watch as it eats away at them, devouring their energies and their spirit. To my amazement and sorrow these people hang onto their anger and rage like a dog with an old bone; and they keep gnawing at it. I try to tell them it will eventually destroy their spirit…, but they do not want to hear it. They would rather chew on the rot and feed their infection.

      Then there are also those who never, ever forgive. They hold a grudge, remembering “what you did to me” so long ago; and they want pay-back. Someday, somehow, “I will get you back for that!” I have had people write me asking my forgiveness for the anger they felt toward me 10-20 years ago. I cannot even remember who some of these people were. But I am glad they got it off their chest.

      But what a way to live!

      Far too many people let this life-sucking resentment-of-another consume their lives. When people live for revenge there is little energy remaining to live for anything else. The sad reality is that many of these people do not want to give up their vengeful spirit. So they remain angry, seeking to undo another person’s happiness or livelihood!

      What a way to die.

      One form of resentment should be more aptly branded as embittered jealously. You not only want what someone else possesses, you are incensed that they have it and you do not. Whether it’s their house, their car, their wife, their job, or their happiness, I deserve it more than they do. Allow me to pose a question— Then why do they have it? Maybe what they have was never meant for you for any number of reasons. The truth might actually be that you DO NOT deserve it more than the other person. Could it be that you have not worked as hard for it? The problem we are missing is that we have grown so accustomed to the infection of comparison-itis that we have lost our own way along the path hewn out for us. Most of us have our own idea of success. What we do not seem to grasp is that another’s success does not necessarily reflect on ours. In fact, we may already be successful but don’t want to accept God’s definition of success for us. Ask the unemployed Ph.D. raising four kids, or the under-employed executive working in a Third World country restructuring their government in the midst of a military upheaval.

Success is not always ours to define. Resentment will leave you with nothing but emptiness and unfulfilled longing. But in periods where soul reflection becomes necessary to your very being you must fight yourself to attend to these deepest of soul-sucking demons. To NOT address them is to pass over a festering wound and pretend it will go away if you pay it no heed.

During his college days John Steinbach (The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men) was told by a professor that the day he became an author pigs would fly. In each subsequent book Steinbach wrote he penned this Latin insignia in the front—

Ad astra per alas porci

-to the stars on the wings of a pig

      For those who need to let go of some resentment— Fly Free. And when you feel the urge to dump a little pig-poo on those who poo-pooed you in the past…, DON’T. Hold onto the grace you have within.

Honor God, honor people, make a difference,
Dr. Gary Davis, President

NEXT— After There’s Nothing Left— Flat Faith, pt.10.


Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, triggers, behavior, revenge, What sets you off? You know…, those little experiences or events that make something inside you go POP! Psychologically, these are called triggers— a stimulus that evokes a response pattern. Triggers have been used intentionally to activate sleeper spies, to provoke an argument as a deflection from the main point, or to tantalize a young lady through a simple touch. Unintentionally, we respond to buzz words (Jesus, @#$%, whatever, thank-you, nigger, jerk, etc), déjà vu situations, anger, aromas, and sounds that draw up recollections pleasant, or not so pleasant, from our past. Triggers set us off. They ignite something within us that changes our behavior for good or ill.

Some personalities explode upon the stimulus of a trigger. Other personality types (most notably, Brits) respond with a greater degree of civility, at least externally. Neither is more/less mature that the other: they are merely factors of personality and cultural propriety. The more “restrained” person merely has learned to put a lid on it, though seething animosity continues to ferment within.

Beliefs are quite another matter. They are the guiding principles by which we manage our lives and perceive the world around us. They tend to be systematic morés, firmly ensconced at the foundation or our being: they are, for the most part, consistent, cohesive, and compelling of the way we live. Here, too, triggers can have an effect. Some external experiences can rekindle our beliefs to become more fervent and play a more dominant role in our lives, like a blatant injustice, or a natural catastrophe, or genuine remorse for real guilt. Other triggers, like an insatiable lust, or desire for revenge, can demolish the connection we have with our beliefs in an instant. Though the beliefs may still be intact, they now offer little comfort or compass to regain our bearings. Triggers, clearly, can have a positive or negative effect on any of us.

But the questions I want you to grapple with through this emPulse are these—

  • What are your triggers? What sets you off? Positively? or Negatively?
  • What does it take for you to get so mad that you will finally DO something and make a difference?
  • If Jesus railed at the market-vendors He found in the Temple and drove them out with a whip, but sat still as a prostitute cleaned His feet with costly perfume, why do you believe you must always respond with the same demeanor to all situations?

Now, if you are content to live a simple, unruffled, composed, calculated, cautious, and calm life, just ignore all of the above. You have other issues to deal with.

Have a nice week.