Do Not Harbor Resentment
IT MAY seem more challenging than ever to avoid becoming resentful when someone offends us. The Bible has practical counsel for such situations. “Be wrathful,” the apostle Paul wrote, “and yet do not sin; let the sun not set with you in a provoked state.”—Ephesians 4:26.
When someone wrongs us, it is only normal to feel a degree of wrath. That Paul says “be wrathful” implies that the anger may at times be proper—perhaps in response to unfair treatment or a miscarriage of justice. (Compare 2 Corinthians 11:29.) But when left unresolved, even justified anger can have disastrous consequences, leading to great sin. (Genesis 34:1-31; 49:5-7; Psalm 106:32, 33) So, what can you do when you feel provoked to wrath?
In most cases involving minor transgressions, you can either settle the situation in your heart “and keep silent” or approach the offender and discuss the issue. (Psalm 4:4; Matthew 5:23, 24) Either way, it is best to put the matter to rest quickly so that resentment does not fester and breed tragic results.—Ephesians 4:31.
Jehovah forgives our sins freely, even sins that we in our ignorance may not be aware of committing. Can we not likewise forgive the minor transgression of a fellow human?—Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 4:8.
Interestingly, the Greek word for “forgive” literally means to “let go off.” Forgiveness does not require that we minimize or condone the wrong. At times it may simply involve letting go of the situation, realizing that harboring resentment will only add to your burden and disrupt the unity of the Christian congregation. Further, it can be detrimental to your health to harbor resentment!—Psalm 103:9.