Fasting from Resentment (Day 3)
In her presentation at the Nantucket Project, September 2017, Pastor Nadia Boltz-Weber has the following to say about forgiveness.
I don’t have a naturally forgiving heart. It’s dark in here. I love a good resentment as much as the next gal. Holding on to a grudge or resentment feels like a big delicious feast I can return to again and again until I realize that I happen to be the main course. . . .
But holding on to anger about the harm done to me doesn’t actually combat it, I think it actually feeds it. Because it would seem that when we are sinned against, when someone else does us harm, that we’re in some way linked to that sin, like we’re connected to that mistreatment like a chain through which we keep absorbing it. And in the end, we can actually absorb the worst of our enemy and on some level be in danger of even becoming them. . .
What if forgiveness is actually a way of drawing on God’s source code of grace, drawing on it so deeply that it can wield bolt cutters and cut the chain that connects me to that. It’s saying “What you did was so not OK, I refuse to be connected to it anymore.”
If any of these thoughts ring a bell, could God meet those needs in healthier, life-giving ways? Could you open your heart to God’s restoring power, bringing forgiveness, contentment and hope to your life rather than floundering in feelings of superiority, power, and control?
Matthew 5:43 – 44a
You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Let us pray,
Lord God, sometimes you call us to things that feel impossible – like forgiving those who have harmed us so deeply. But when we hold on to a grudge, it eats us alive, repeating the assault to our core being again and again. In humility and brokenness, boldy pray, accomplish your forgiveness in my heart. In the name of Jesus, I let it go.
*This quote was chosen for its topical effectiveness and is not a blanket endorsement of everything Pastor Boltz-Weber says.
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Tags: devotions, fasting, Lent, resentment