Summary: Resentment is a real part of our lives that must be recognized and dealt with in God honoring ways.
Welcome everyone and thank guests for joining us. I want to warn all of you right up front that my message today is a little longer than usual so I pray you will settle in and let God speak to you.
Do you believe God is sovereign? That He knows all things? I believe He does...I believe He knew last week who would be here this week. I believe that not a single person in this room is here by accident. You're here, and God has a message He wants you to hear. But not only that...He has a work that He wants to accomplish in your life.
You know one of the complaints I hear in church and about churches is that we are too often just going through the motions...that we aren't real or genuine, maybe that we're not really honest. I don't know if you hear that or not, but I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we want to be all of those things. We want to be a church that is real. We want to be a church that is genuine and honest. I think we want to be a people who deal biblically with real life issues for the glory of God.
If we're going to be honest today, we have to admit that in some ways we are not a healthy church. I appreciate Sherry Hamby standing up and saying that a few Sundays ago. I love our church family and believe that God is doing something great among us. I love a lot of things about our church, so I don't want to give you the impression that I'm fault finding or nit picking, and I don't want to give any of you who are visiting with us the impression that we're so messed up and you ought to go find someplace else.
Not at all...do you know why churches can be unhealthy? Because they are made up of families that are unhealthy...and our families are made up of people who are unhealthy. If you ever find a perfect church don't join it because you'll mess it up -- there are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people. But we serve and worship a perfect Creator and Savior who calls us to surrender our lives to Him daily so that we might be conformed to His image. Do you want that? Is that your heart's desire? To be recreated in the image of God? To be cleansed and made whole? To deal honestly with the sin in your life and allow God by His grace and through the work of the Holy Spirit to change you?
I hope so...because today I want to deal with a subject that every one of us deals with...but that we don't really deal with or even think that much about, and that is the sin of our resentments. For some of you this might be a difficult message to hear...but stick it out and hear it anyway.
I suppose you could categorize your resentments into two types. One would be the petty resentments. I resent having to drive to Dallas for pants. I resent my dog for stealing the sheets last night, or whatever. The other type is more serious -- and that's the resentments that we harbor toward other people and even toward God. Both are dangerous -- because left unchecked they spread like a cancer through our lives and attitudes and spoil us.
I know about resentment.
* I have resented how people have sabotaged the good relationship I used to have with my oldest daughter
* I have resented the fact that my seminary degree is from an unaccredited seminary
* I have resented that I didn't get the opportunities others have had that put them in better positions in life
* I have resented the group of men who cut my ministry short in Denison
* I have resented friends who will only talk to me after I have something to offer them
* I have resented being 43 and having so little to my name after how long and hard I have worked
* I have resented God for having a ruptured disk in my back since I was 30
I can keep going...some of these are so petty, but they are real. I resented having big feet, not being able to buy normal clothes, not being raised a certain way, and so forth. But some are much more serious....I can resent my family, my wife and even God for a variety of things.
Now don't sit there and look at me like I'm on crack -- you do it too. The question is...what or who is it that you resent? Where is it in your life that you deal with resentment? Is it at home or work? Is it toward people you love or just life in general?