During the process of making my list, I got in touch with resentment I felt for some people who hurt me deeply in childhood. I asked for God’s help to forgive them, but it was difficult. I also asked for help with this from my sponsor and my counselor. With their help, I was able to begin admitting my resentment, communicating honestly why I felt the way I did. This helped me be responsible — response-able once again — for my own feelings which in turn helped me be more forgiving to myself and others.
Today I recognize that, while others have accidentally and sometimes even intentionally harmed me, any resentment I hold against others becomes a root source of my own spiritual and emotional handicaps and pain.
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.
Variation of original quote from Malachy McCourt
As I learned to quit looking for opportunities to be resentful and blame others, I became more objective about myself and my life — better able to embrace my shortcomings and my strengths. I could sense God’s strength moving into me through my weaknesses, resulting in a more intuitive ability to care for others without fear. And, I learned to better care for myself as a child of God. Benefiting from the forgiveness others may give to us starts with us forgiving others.
Don’t speak evil against each other, my dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize each other and condemn each other, then you are criticizing and condemning God’s law. But you are not a judge who can decide whether the law is right or wrong. Your job is to obey. God alone, who made the law, can rightly judge among us. He alone has the power to save or destroy. So what right do you have to condemn your neighbor?
James 4:11-12 NLT
This work will help us sense the incredible work of God in our lives. We will see how He has made us for supernatural purposes — with His divine purposes in mind. As we list those we have hurt, and as we become willing to help them, we start to pass along some of the goodness God has given to us in recovery. Our personality, our talent and our charm will never be enough. People need a love that is not based on who we are. They need a love based on the One whom we all have been created for. Attempts to love made by our own power, no matter how dedicated, most often take on the ugly ways of codependency. Loving others effectively grows from an obedient connection with Real Love, and this comes only from — you guessed it — God.
This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only ~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011