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Dave Balch: The Stress of Resentment

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It is so easy to feel resentment. Here are a few scenarios… raise your hand when I get close to your situation.

1. Gladys came to work with a cold and you caught it: resentment toward Gladys.

2. You have cancer, and there is no explanation as to why: resentment toward fate or God or whatever higher power you recognize.

3. You have cancer from a work-related condition, such as close quarters with smokers and poor ventilation: resentment toward your employer and the smokers you worked with.

4. Your spouse was a smoker and now has cancer, putting you in a caregiving situation requiring a lot of your time and putting indescribable pressure on you: resentment toward your spouse for causing his own cancer and changing your life.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I have personally seen all of these situations and even been in a few of them myself. It is very easy to get into that rut, gnashing your teeth and feeling the rage, which just fuels the fire and causes more gnashing and rage. It’s a never-ending cycle, and it causes you tremendous stress.

Here’s the thing: all of this energy spent on resentment is 100% wasted. It is valuable hours of your life that you’ll never get back, and it doesn’t change a thing.

Your situation is what it is, and all the resentment and anger in the world isn’t going to make it any better. In fact, the opposite is true: It will make your life worse.

Look at it this way: resentment is a choice, just like what you have for breakfast. And the only way out is forgiveness.

“FORGIVENESS?? Dave, you’ve lost your mind! This isn’t my fault and someone is going to pay!”

Consider this: in 2006 a man broke into a one-room Amish schoolhouse and killed 5 children before killing himself. Now if that isn’t a scenario for resentment, I don’t know what is. The parents of those children, in fact the entire community, could have chosen hate and resentment toward the man and his family and whatever or whoever caused him to snap.

But that’s not what happened. The parents and Amish community chose to forgive him. They attended his funeral. They visited his wife and family to extend their condolences.

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