Monday, March 5, 2012

Lent and Resentment

Resentment is an attempt at comfort. It's a way of thinking and of feeling that obscures one's feelings of disappointment in oneself. It's an easy habit of thinking and feeling for one to fall into. The list of targets for resentment is inexhaustible. Everyone has been slighted or transgressed upon by others thousands of times. One can always point to a person or a group of people and construct a reason that one should be indignant toward that person or group of people. It's an easy habit.

It's a bad habit. It's most apparently a bad habit in how it makes a person static. The more one thinks and feels in a resentful way, the more such a person hides from and obscures his or her own personal failings and disappointments. Such a person can never grow and live as well as she/he could.

There's another perhaps less apparent but certainly more insidious reason it's a bad habit. It's horrible on a person's spirit. It makes a person a little ugly inside. When theologians talk about sin and its effects on the soul, I think that this is what they're getting at.

I have this bad habit in a big way. It's as tough to quit as smoking. It's a habit just as dangerous and unhealthy as smoking. If you believe in anything like a soul, then the habit of resentment is even more dangerous and unhealthy than smoking.

We're already a couple of weeks into Lent. I'm a little late to the game, but I think I've found what I'm going to try and give up for Lent, and what I'm going to try and give up after Lent too.

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