RESENTMENTS BLOCK THE FLOW
(Wednesday May 17)
“…Jesus said to her, ‘You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’” (Jn 4:17b-20)
Here is another thing about the Samaritan Woman: she does not react negatively, when the Lord “exposes” her whole story with men. We don’t know the details of that story, but it probably involved at least some pain or anguish for her. And yet, she expresses no complaints, self-justification, annoyance, or anything else that would suggest she harbored any resentments (against herself or others) on this subject, when Christ talks about it. Instead, she honors Him with this recognition, albeit not entirely an accurate one, that He is “a prophet.” And she immediately starts seeking answers to questions that *did* disturb her, questions not about her personal life, but about proper worship. What follows in Christ’s response is His “living water,” His revelations to her about true worship “in spirit and truth.” She is able to receive this “living water,” because its flow is not blocked from her heart by resentments against herself or others.
Resentments against ourselves and others block our communion with God and others. We cannot learn from Him or through others that which we might learn, were we to clear away our sometimes deep-seated resentments through forgiveness. Resentments lead us to self-isolation, making us either physically, emotionally, or spiritually “unavailable.” They can also block us intellectually, so we cannot see anybody else’s perspective on various issues, or honor anybody else’s wisdom on various issues. This Wednesday morning let me take a look at any resentments that may be hiding their ugly heads somewhere deep in my heart. How can I know they are there? One red flag is when I feel disturbed, annoyed, or even angered, by my or someone else’s behavior or words; when I feel personally degraded or threatened, by this behavior or words, and seek to retaliate or just self-isolate because of this. Let me embrace God’s forgiveness of me and others this morning, because I can, and because I don’t want to waste time. I want to participate in the flow of God’s creative energies today, in His grace, that I may be useful to God, to myself and others. “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” dear Lord, “and give me this water, that I may not thirst!”