We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Matthew 6:14, 15, NIV
Don’t carry a grudge. While you’re carrying the grudge, the other guy’s out dancing.
- Buddy Hackett
The Poison of Resentment
It is very important that we keep our focus, remembering that we are working our own recovery program and not someone else’s. Our faults are our responsibility and the faults of others are not our concern. Our recovery necessitates that we recognize that while others have accidentally and even sometimes intentionally harmed us, any resentments that we entertain against them will handicap us spiritually and emotionally. Resentment poisons our hearts. Then it circulates into every part of our lives. It’s like taking poison and expecting someone else to get sick and die.
When we hold a grudge against someone else, we are actually bringing misery back onto ourselves. Resentment creates a kind of attitudinal foul odor that keeps others from getting close to us. Resentment can be intoxicating, and then we get hijacked by unhappiness which further alienates us from others. But, honestly recognizing the hurt others have done to us and giving those offenders our undeserved forgiveness will help to cleanse us from the stagnating resentment that will destroy us. Allowing others the freedom to be wrong helps us to see life, most notably our own life, more clearly. We will be better able to objectively acknowledge and embrace our shortcomings as well as our strengths. Thinking and living this way is a relational kind of humility that frees us to receive God’s strength coming to us through the holes that our weaknesses create, which then results in an increased freedom to love other people without barriers. As we learn to care for others, both the good and the bad, we learn to better care for ourselves with increasing aptitude and insight as a child of God. Forgiving others and being forgiven go hand in hand. We can’t have one without the other.
Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer and The Men and Women of Operation Integrity
Chapter Eight Segment Five
Copyright David Zailer, 2008
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