A quick search on “forgiveness without resentment” yields myriad frameworks for solutions such as “10 steps to letting go of resentment”, “30 tips to let go of anger”, or “Stuck in resentment? Four ways to move forward.” Further options include learning the “6 myths about forgiveness” or you could try “7 Lessons on How to Finally Let Go and Forgive Someone” or for the strategically inclined overachiever there are “17 Benefits, Tips and Strategies” on how to forgive someone. Ironically, the straightforward Christian solution must not have anyone working good SEO (search engine optimization) strategies for us. Should not the first result be “If you forgive others their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Mt. 6:14-15). That headline should capture some clicks.
Sources of Resentment
Unfortunately, this is not the case today. Secular social media searches promote complex, faceless frameworks and psycho-social solutions that require one’s external engagement (your click), rather than internal reflection. It is difficult to dive deep into the sources of our resentment, and we cannot move forward until we do. My aging mom lives with me and it is a daily struggle, not necessarily to forgive, but to forgive without resentment. She loves to pick flowers. For her this includes plant leaves, new buds, silk flowers from arrangements, blooms from hanging baskets, anything she can reach. This makes growing houseplants and decorating the yard quite challenging. It does not help that I talk to each plant. I love each bloom as if it were a pet. I watch over them carefully like a good friend and nurturer.
5 Orchid Blooms
I stop to contemplate my next line and have to smile at the small bowl full of “5 Orchid Blooms to Remind me to Forgive without Resentment.” Great, I have my headline now! She will be gone one day, and I will have pressed these five orchid blooms into my Bible. And, she will still be gone. What is important is that she is still here today, annoyingly picking, but just loving and enjoying these treasures that she brings to the Blessed Mother (another admittedly good tactic to avoid my resentful wrath). She is not in assisted living, or a skilled nursing home, or the hospital, or Heaven. She is here, and I need to let go of resenting these less than minor annoyances. They are not even remotely transgressions. Am I willing to trade in my resentment for a fair shake from my Father in Heaven regarding my own, very real, oftentimes serious, transgressions? You bet!
Today, take the time to pray the Lord’s Prayer slowly and carefully, meditating on each phrase. In planning this reflection, I have been doing this during my daily swim. I think about all the inspirational things I would try to express regarding today’s readings. But, nothing felt quite settled. Before sitting down to write, I prayed as always for the Lord’s guidance. He led me to recognize and share my own perspective on a strategic recommendation for conquering resentment, 5 orchid blooms. See what He has in store for you when you pray His Prayer today.