Causes and effects of Resentment

I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:23).

The word for “gall” [5521] is under stood to mean bile, or by analogy, poison. A modern definition is “An open sore ... caused by chafing. A feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will” (Word Web). This well describes what a personal grievance, or grudge, and it's resentment is, a wound suffered by an injustice(s) that is kept festering by one going back to it, nursing it, with it's poison affecting the whole body. To the degree that one yields to it's desire – which is vengeance, and or recompense for wounds, getting what one feels is due him for his injustices – it robs one of joy and fulfillment, colors one's perception of others and of life, repels and hurts others, and grieves and limits the Holy Spirit. The Simon of Acts 8 (above verse) could not have the power of the Holy Spirit because his heart was not right with God.

The resentful person has bitterness over injustices suffered. He has an open “case” against others and the hurt they caused and over which he has “stewed” over. Such nursing of wounds may offer a limited amount of satisfaction to man but it produces poison to his soul. He becomes oversensitive to that which touches his open wounds, and easily finds things similar to that which originally offend them, and which reinforces the original complaint, while marginalizing and not being mindful of positive things. This condition can even lead to death, that of others or the person holding a grudge.

The reason we are so susceptible to this, and find it hard to let go of once we have chosen to internalize it and keep it, is because it finds it's power in our basic God-given sense of justice, as in fact at least the initial hurt was indeed wrong, and demands justice. But God is the One who made the laws which command love for God and each other, and He is the One who is ultimately sinned against, and is the ultimate judge. But as we have all sinned, we need forgiveness as well, and which God offers and gives through His Son, then to continue to press charges against others in our heart is to not only take the place of God, but is to fail to show the same grace God gives to us, and to cause God to execute justice since you seek that, rather than dropping the charges in your heart. (Mt. 6:15; 11:26) (Note that doing so does not mean sanction of the wrong that was done, nor does it necesarily mean one cannot address the issue in seeking reconciliation. We are not to harbor bitterness, and are to \ cultivate a forgiving spirit (1 Cor. 6:7) even when there is no repentance, such as those ignorant of what they really did. (Lk. 23:34; Acts 7:60) But there is a place for confronting someone over an issue and seeking reconciliation. (Mt. 18:15-17)

The below table offers common characteristics which are generally applicable to a soul harboring such a grudge, though in at least one aspect three forms of reaction to injustice may be seen. This does not mean that such things make up the total identity of a person, for the effects of the gall of bitterness are in degrees. Neither does the possession of such negative effects totally negate good qualities a soul has, yet neither do good qualities fully annul bad ones (though love covers a multitude if sins). The person holding resentment is often a paradox to himself and others: his conscience may be seen in acknowledging obvious guilt, and his sense of fairness in conscientious acts of mercy to others, yet his own sense of being wronged and his resentment to being so works (usually indirectly) to the hurt of others and himself, and above all to the dishonor of almighty God.

This being the case, this essay is written to help us identify and overcome such poison, by the mercy, grace and power of God and in accordance with His truth. The person with resentment who is carrying hurt often is ignorant of what causes the negative fruit of resentment, and often fails to see the hurt to others that he is doing, or he can easily justify such. The Bible manifests the nature of God, and of man and the devil, and we are both to seek the character of Christ as well as not be ignorant of the devil's devices and let him take advantage of us (2Cor.2:11), for he seeks an opening by which to bring us to yield unto temptation.

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me” (Jn. 14:30).

The Lord had no open doors, no “buttons” which the devil could push to provoke Him to speak/act of out personal hurt rather than out of holy love for His Father and His righteousness and for man. Resentment keeps a soul from being Christ-like, and if we hold a grudge(s) then we can be easily defeated by the devil (at least for a time or longer), as he is both the source of the original injustice, and the tempter behind resentment, and knows how to induce resentment in his victims after he has indirectly caused the hurt. Only by true repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus can one find and walk in victory. Then you can can rejoice in Christ that you are a new creation, for whom “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2Cor. 5:17).

This faith calls for surrender and consecration to the Lord Jesus who has put away your sins as far as the east is from the west, and who both enables and requires “dropping the charges” one has against others, as well as a true commitment to forsake going back to nursing wounds once and for all. Then we can and must “walk in newness of life” (Rm. 6:4). The truly saved man is forgiven a debt he could not pay, and given an acceptance with God in Christ and an eternal future he could never earn!!! Praise ye the Lord.

Shall we then bear grudges against earthlings? God forbid. Thus it is imperative that one be truly converted and surrendered and consecrated to Christ, and so rejoice in Him, otherwise we will easily find ourself giving into our old ways of thinking, and being mindful of hurts, and the negative outlook and or retaliatory means used to protest and seek retaliation. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Causes and effects of Resentment + Bitterness



Scriptural Examples and Human Comments


Person gets hurt in life, suffers injustice, is wronged, realizes real or perceived offenses. This can be physical abuse, or lack of acceptance and affirmation, or wrongs done to someone they love. It may involve ongoing unjustices.

Internalizes hurt deep inside, meditates on the injustice, gives into anger and builds deeper resentment.

Gen. 4:1-5: Cain supposed he was wronged by his sacrifice being rejected, while Abel's was accepted.

Gen. 27: Esau resented Jacob because he obtained his birth rite and stole his blessing.

Gen. 37: Joseph's brethren felt they were wronged by not being loved as Joseph was.

Ex. 5:21; 17:3; Num. 14; 16:13: The Israelites in and out of Egypt often felt wronged by Moses and by God.

Ruth 1, 2: Ruth was bitter and negative over a hard life.

Esther 3: Haman had a grudge against Mordecai due to lack of respect.

2 Sam. 17: Ahithophel was offended because his counsel was spurned in favor of another's.

Job 3 – 37: Job battled with feeling felt he was being treated unjustly by God.

Prv. 4:23:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.


Becomes overtly sensitive to personal injustices, such as instances of “unfairness” in the words and actions of other's – which may wrongly include God – toward them. May also perceive things as wrongs that are not, or exaggerate those that are, and will tend toward being “touchy;” and also are prone to jealously.

1 Sam. 18:8: And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? 9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.

Prv. 18:14: “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?”

1 Cor. 13:5: [Charity] “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;”

Est. 3: Wicked Haman held a grudge against Mordecai due to lack of respect.

Jealousy and resentment are inseparable. And those that harbor resentment due to hurts he feels he did not deserve are very prone to jealousy, that of not getting benefits he feels he deserves but which other's have.



Seeks satisfaction, “justice” for wounds received. Has created a “groove” or habit of going back to his hurts, and which they can easily go to whenever injustices occur. ”

Gen. 27:41: Esau sought to slay Jacob in an opportune time.

Gen. 37:18ff: Joseph's brethren (Reuben excepted) sought to slay him in their jealousy.

Esther 3:8ff: Wicked Haman plotted to kill Mordecai and all the Jews out of resentment for not getting the affirmation he saw himself worthy of.

1 Sam. 19; 24; 26: Saul perceived David as an enemy even though David sought to comfort him – not kill him – and showed himself to be a loyal subject.

1 Sam. 18:9ff: Saul sought to kill David out of jealousy.


Because of nursing wounds and reactions to offenses, such a soul has unnecesary difficulty in relations with others, hindering communion. They mull over being slighted, or corrected, unawares that they often makes it difficult for others to be social or open with them. They seek comfort for their wounds and usually resents correction for harboring such. All of which works to reinforce the offended person's resentment against others.

Esther 3: Haman was easily incensed because Mordecai failed to give him the respect he felt he was due, and it seems he had few friends.

Prv. 18:14: The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

Prv. 24:21b: meddle not with them that are given to change:

Human communication is usually in more than words, and a root of bitterness is conveyed even by micro expressions which makes most others wary of invading the wounded resentful person's space. If in previous encounters unpleasant unpredictable reactions have occurred then most souls will trend to give such a one space, which distances the wounded spirit is all the more sensitive to, and resentful of. Thus a cycle develops. I think this is more occasioned among western people for whom superficiality is more common.


His basic discontent brings him to grumble or whine about unfairness and sometimes persecute others when facing hardship. Also tends to be less appreciative (or dissatisfied) of blessings.

Prv 17:13: “Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.”

Num. 11: Again, the wilderness Israelites were negative malcontents, focused on unmet needs, and wants, given to faithless self – pity, and often saw Moses as their enemy. Society today would concur with the Israelites.

Ex. 14; Ps. 74: The “Egyptian” wilderness Israelites quickly and too often believed the lie of the devil, that God (or Moses) was seeking their destruction, rather than being mindful of His (extreme) mercy.


Lacks stability, emotional or otherwise, “Given to change;” easily provoked by real or perceived injustices, into behavior contrary to Godly character, which carnal behavior we may feel we have a right to.

Prov 24:21-22: "My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?"

Ps. 106:12: “Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. 13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: 14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.”

Ex. 15:1: The wilderness Israelites went from extremes depending on circumstance. The cried for deliverance, but quickly turned against their God - sent deliverer Moses. They rejoiced when they realized deliverance, but grumbled and murmured when tested by hunger or thirst.


Often such souls unwisely see others who claim to be hurt as victims like him, and whose personal retaliation is justified, and whose quest for rectitude or honor is motivated thereby.

Num. 16:3: “And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?”

This dynamic is timeless, and having begun with the devil (below), it will end in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20).


Many can easily become prey to the guile of resentful souls (or be one of them) who oppose authority outside their own and foster unholy rebellion. Such workers of inquity often see and promote themselves as victims of injustice in order to seduce wounded souls into retaliation against those who rejected them.

Gn. 3:1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

Heb. 12:15: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

The devil, whom God cast down due to his evil rebellion in his lust for worship and control (in contrast to God's sacrificial and benevolent nature), sees himself as a victim, and in retaliation insinuated that God (the moral authority) had a malevolent purpose in His solitary restriction given to Adam and Eve, and therefore promoted rebellion to God as better than submission. This in turn would bring Eve into submission to the serpent, who unceasingly wars to incite such rebellion against God and submission to him. Likewise many leaders of cults, who, being rejected by the established evangelical church primarily because of their heresies or unholy spirit, form a sect that militates against all other authority than their own unwarranted and ultimately selfish preeminence. Such souls tend toward requiring implicit (though unwarranted) loyalty to their particular, controlled group, stifle independent thinking, see sincere questioning that opposes them as disloyalty, and will inevitably attack or otherwise denigrate – by mixing truth with falsehood – those that may conscientiously oppose them.

In contrast, the Lord did things that consistently showed He alone was worthy of the implicit faith He called them to, and led them into. He called for searching the Scriptures and evidence that enabled faith, and allowed them to question among themselves, and taught them in such honesty and power that they would be persuaded by the truth of the truth, by the holy Spirit and without coercion, while rebuking inexcusable and destructive hard hearted unbelief and carnality, yet in a way that brought honest souls to follow the truth of their own accord.

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:2).


They may tend to have inordinate suspicion of others, and may suppose well meaning people are out to take advantage of them or hurt them.

Some may seek security or fulfillment in doctrinally unsound aberrant groups, or require unwarranted singular loyalty themselves, and may be more prone to give credence to unwarranted conspiracy theories and new “winds of doctrine” as they seek not simply to be holy but to establish themselves as superior to those that they resent.

1Sam. 18ff: Saul also manifested that he felt threatened by any show of loyalty to noble David rather than himself, as Saul was not seeking the Lord's glory and praise, but his own glory and the praise of men.

Eph. 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Ex. 16:3: “ have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” cf. Num. 14:3:

The wilderness Israelites saw themselves not as a delivered people, but as victims of Mosiac or cosmic conspiracy.


May be causative of problems with self control in other areas, such as with food or drugs (or exercising power), in which we may find solace for wounds.

Ps. 106:14: “But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. 15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. 16 They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD. 17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.”


Often such develop a victim mentality, which helps to justify outbursts and other manifestations of vengeance, as well as their desire for more exclusive attention and agreement.

1Sam. 18: Even though David played “spiritual songs” on the harp, Saul sought to pin David to the wall with a javelin.

9 And Saul eyed David from that day and forward. 10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul's hand. 11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. 12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.”

1 Sam. 20:31: “For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done? 33 And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.”


When related to the above, they tend to have a basic animus against authority (or those belonging to the class of persons that did him wrong) in general. However, some may seek to ingrate themselves with authority, as they seek control over others, as a form of retaliation.

Ex. 17:3; Num. 16: The Egyptian Israelites saw Moses as their enemy, and certain of them challenged his meek and manifestly God – ordained authority. And suffered for it.

2 Sam. 15:2: Offended Absalom conspired against his own father for the kingdom, which he likely felt he deserved and would be wrongly deprived of.


Some chose to protest real or perceived injustice by passive or active means, which is easily provoked. The former may consist of refusal to do things (i.e. cleaning, or certain other tasks) which are expected by those they resent (or who represent such), and the latter by demonstrative behavior, which they unconsciously justify.

We may also manifest a morose spirit, expressd in body and verbal language, or angry self – pity, both of which drives people away, and then be angry if avoided or not comforted.

Prov. 14:17: He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

Neh. 9:17: The resentful Israelites “refused to obey” commandments of God – the ultimate authority – in their rebellion.



Suffers too often from depression (which also may be a way of escape), the nursing of wounds, and a basic negative attitude, expecting the worst.

In such a state, one focuses on unmet wants, and is more mindful of disappointments and wrongs than of benefits and grace. Like Ruth in pagan Moab, we chose to live bitterly in a pagan land, rather than in the land of the living.

Job 3:10: Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. 11 Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?

Num. 14:2: “...would God we had died in this wilderness!”

Ruth 1:21: “I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?”

Jn. 5:6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

While depression may not have resentment as it's cause, the latter will breed the former. The poison of resentment lie Limburger cheese under the nose, tends to make color life unpleasant, or at least gray, further reinforcing the resentful souls contention that life has unfairly treated him. Genetic predisposition can also be a factor in depression, but it in and of itself it is not the ultimate cause of “depression,” which is ultimately unbelief and obedience in and to God's perfect word.

This kind of depression offers a time to nurse wounds, which in fact is how it is often brought on. Depression can also offer a way of escape from facing life (a comfortable “rut”) and the responsibility a well person has. This is why it is contrary to a life fully surrendered and consecrated to the Lord Jesus.


Or (in contrast to the previous), rather than depression, the person nursing a grudge may respond (retaliate) to injustices by seeking to outdo others, partly in spite, and use their superior efforts to demean and control others whom they have something against.

Num. 16:1: “Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 2 And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3 And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you,”

2 Sam. 13-18: “And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (15:6).

This may be the case with Absalom, who, being shut out of his father's full acceptance, and likely the kingship, ingratiated himself with the people with the intent of obtaining the kingdom by mutiny.



In a worse case, the resentful person may use real or false injustices to adopt and (often craftily) maintain a type of “victim mentality” that excuses him from many of the efforts life demands, and to require special treatment (only positive support and affirmation). This kind tends toward seeking escape from the “harsh” realities life requires through drugs and vain, self – serving philosophies, the latter of which he may stubbornly contend for as it serves him well.

Prov. 26:16: The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

Such a person's resentment allows him to escape into a fantasy of benefits with obedience, support or rewards without worthiness – without “striving lawfully” – and which “philosophy” he will insolently argue is right – and then to justify anger or self pity when support is not given as he wants, or when the consequences of his rebellion catches up with him. The “hippie” culture make this famous (authority did us wrong, so use that to justify drug induced escape from the realities of life, and basically protest all real authority). Meanwhile much of culture today is infected with a “entitlement mentality.” Though this type of resentful soul typically has largely made merchandise of some injustices in order to live a selfish life, his pretense of seeking justice allows him to justify his indolence, which justice – seeking a truly wounded soul does in mulling hurts or acting out (to his own hurt).


Has difficulty correcting others for legitimate wrongs with the right spirit, and often creates or finds unnecessary conflict.

Such correction is often driven by underlying resentment at being wronged rather than purely out of love for God and others, or even righteous principals. Takes lack of submission or lack of attention by others as a personal offense. If correction is given by a person he regards as representing the person or institution (i.e. authority) which the wounded souls has ought against, it is very likely to result in unnecessary conflict.


When faced with the reality of his resentment (and it's effects and consequences), we either chooses to let go of it all, and repent from ever going back to it, by God's grace, or reserves the right to hold on to the resentment and grievance we has against those that hurt us.

Prv. 18:19: “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”

Prov. 18:2 (AV): “A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.”

Prov. 1:23: “Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

Prov. 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

These symptoms all vary from person to person, and though secular techniques may have some degree of success insofar as they use Biblical principals, the only real victory can come if we admits our own sinfulness, and seek forgiveness and salvation from the One we have ultimately hurt, which is God Himself. This also entails going to the persons we have hurt by our reaction, if possible, and, depending on the type of grievance, seeking reconciliation with persons against whom we have grievances. If it is a case in which a brother in the Lord has willfully truly done us wrong, we may seek reconciliation according to the steps prescribed by the Lord in Mt. 18 15-18. But not in order to obtain vengeance, but for righteousness sake, for Biblical correction of sin and for obedience to the glory of God. The attitude in all this is a eagerness to forgive, to drop charges in our heart – immediately – of personal resentment, and not allow any to become instilled in us. Even when suffering wrongs by brethren Paul exhorts, “Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?” (1 Cor. 6:7), rather than seeking personal justice (especially by secular courts). The highest example of reactions to willful wrongs is that of the Lord, “Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34).

Most examples of holding grudges are not that of present ones, or of definite, willful wrong done by a brother, but that of holding onto injustices received long ago, and of more recent ones due to over sensitivity to being wronged, as well as presuming that they have been wronged. But in any and every case, there must be a complete “dropping of charges,” and the forsaking of going back to grievances and instead the cultivating of heavenly affections:

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col. 3:1- 4, 8 -10).

Some people who were alcoholics know they must never go back to a drink again; those who have been infected with the gall of bitterness must decide they will see themselves in Christ, and delight in Him, and refuse to go back to wrong thought patterns, of dwelling on hurts that produce resentment (i am not saying there is no a place to talk about past hurts in order to confess them so that there may be healing, but here i am speaking about nursing wounds, going back to them so that you feel self-pity or resentment). Notice that the above Biblical commands call us to recognize who you are in Christ, not someone who must walk in defeat due to his past and what man has done to them, but instead believe as those that is “risen with Christ.” The Holy Spirit goes on to command us, “ Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Col. 3:12-15).

By “putting off the old man, which includes the grievances he has, and putting on the new man, who is “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6), one loses any reason for keeping a grudge, and the more easily we can let go of such charges and continue walk above the carnal tendency to keep track of injustices. A man who has just inherited a million dollars should not be mindful or seek payment of meager debts. How much more should one who has received “abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ”(Rm. 5:17), and not be bound by bitterness, etc. And to refuse to forgive those who had done us wrong when we have been given a pardon for far more sins, and their eternal penalty, is a denial of the faith by which are forgiven. The Lord make this clear in his parable in Matthew 18:

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses..

I believe that the torment here represents not simply the lack of peace and the distress a soul harboring resentment experiences, but Hell. We must consider the dept of unmerited grace given us, that of being forgiven a depth we could never pay, and for which we must suffer an eternity in the lake of fire if we choose sin (and holding grudges is sin) over Christ (2 Thes. 1:8-10). And that if we are true believers then we are given eternal life with Christ, and even now are made to sit together with Him in the Heavenly in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:6). Having received “so great salvation” then above all people the Christan has no reason to hold grudges and every reason to forgive and go on with God! And to refuse to do so denies that we do truly believe. We see then that unbelief is behind holding resentment and that which flows from it.

Again, not only conversion but the continual seeing of ourselves in God's sight is critical to victory, but which it is completely contrary to the “carnal mind.” Our minds have an innate sense of justice, manifested early on by the children's cry of “it's not fair,” and the letting go of wrongs done against us and retaliation for wrongs we presently suffer seems to be contrary to justice, and to repent from all that means part of our life is dead – that of the carnal man who seeks satisfaction for wounds. And indeed it is contrary to justice, but if it is justice we want then justice we will get – for our own sins! Meanwhile, as described above, the resentful soul does not fully know the abundant life obtained by the Lord Jesus Christ, but he has no one to blame but himself, for his stubborn refusal to drop his grievances, put on the new man and walk daily therein and refuse to go back to to the old man and it's discontent, and it's tendency to be mindful of injustices, and unmet wants, etc.

Lastly, this subject is dealt with so that souls may go free, to God be the glory, but that presupposes that a soul truly wants to be free. For holding a grudge, though it ultimately means having unholy discontentment and hurting others and ourselves, also provides man a sense of obtaining satisfaction for wounds. Repentance and forgiveness – theirs and ours – means dropping those charges, and changing the default reaction one has when offended, and some people do not fully want that. Being set free also means not having an excuse to not do the things whole people are expected to do, some of which a person holding a grudge often refuses to do as part of his protest that he was dealt with unfairly. The Lord asked a man who was handicapped, “Wilt thou be made whole?” (Jn. 5:6). But how much better it is to walk in newness of life, and as new creature in Christ!

In summation, we must recognize unforgivingness as very serious sin, and having been forgiven by God, rejoice in Him as a new creation on Christ, and let go all resentment towards others – for whom we can feel pity if they are not obeying Christ – and so walk in newness of life. To walk in this victory our old man must be crucified with it's ways, and the way of the cross is the way of forgiveness. It is higher than justice, but it requires death. Not the death of those who have wronged us, but death to self and the forsaking of resentment, of holding a grudge against those who did us wrong. We must fully repent from ever going back to our hurts and nursing wounds, and absolutely refuse to hold grievances, or to allow ourselves to any more go into thought patterns that lead to that (and depression). Instead, putting of the “old man” and it's anger, wrath, malice, envy, etc, we are to “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col 3:10). And indeed we have already positionally if we have been born again, but we must choose to believe God's word and so live it out. If we will lay claim to the faith that follows Jesus, to whom He give eternal life, then we must live by that faith. And there is also supernatural healing that can be sought, as we obey the Lord in forgiving, from wounds that we truly and whole heartedly do not want to harbor, so that we can better walk in newness of life, in praise and service to our King!

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2Cor. 5:17).

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4:31, 32)..

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov 4:23).

And “with purpose of heart .... cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23).

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1).

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen” (Jude vs. 24, 25).