The true definition of resentment is "bitter indignation of having been treated unfairly."
We all suffer resentment from time to time. Some resentments take root deep into your heart. While others are just for a moment. If you are an only child you have not experienced a sibling resentment. Even if you, as parents, believe you treat each child the same, there will be some resentment present.
I have experienced resentment towards my brother. His personality made him a magnet. People just wanted to be around him. Women loved him, men loved him, shoot, even dogs loved him. He was the golden one, while I was not. The song "Wind Beneath My Wings" has a line in it that seems fitting: "must have been cold there in my shadow." It was. My brother did not "do" anything wrong, someone else created the situation. There were times growing up that I resented him so much it hurt. (Cain vs. Able kind of resentment without the murder involved.) Then I grew up and our relationship changed. While I was in the food industry, he became my advisor. We talked almost everyday the last two years of his life. He was my champion once when he defended my cooking/presentation abilities to someone. I came to accept that I could never measure up to him and I stopped trying to. Resentment left when I grew up and recognized why I felt it in the first place.
What about at work? Resentment here is easy and comes often. Comparison is problematic. Face it, we compare ourselves to others often. Siblings, co-workers, even friends, all are held up to comparison.
Psalm 139:14a "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." (ESV) Instead of focusing on ourselves and giving thanks for how we are made, we compare ourselves to others. How do we measure up to them? When we do, resentment happens. Proverbs 19:11 "Good sense makes one slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook an offense." Resentment leads to anger. When we react in anger, it leads to trouble. Angry reaction will get you fired or may make you quit your job. Either way, you will be jobless and without references for your next job. Psalm 4:4 "Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent." Giving into anger for any reason is a sin.
James 1:19-20 "Know this, my beloved brothers, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." And Ephesians 4:26-27 "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity for the devil." Allowing resentments to take root, give the devil delight. These verses do not say do not be angry, they say basically you will be angry, but do not act on that anger. Resentment affects our job performance, our views of the company we work for and our views of others around us.
I believe in the power of prayer. I recently was overcome with resentment and anger. I was not slow to anger (never have been). However, I was slow to speak. But my anger was present when I went to bed. I prayed about it but it was not the right prayer. It was full of judgment. The next morning, after a sleepless night, God showed me the right prayer. Before that prayer, I was all about spite. Romans 12:17-21 was the farthest thing from my mind. "Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord.' To the contrary. 'if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good."
Praying for resentment to not take root was key to removing my anger about what happened. The next step was forgiveness. I needed to forgive them the wrong I felt, but also seek my forgivness from God for my anger.
Resentment is an easy pill of poison to swallow. If allowed to take root, it will poison every relationshp you have. You language will be what the first part of Ephesians 4:31-32 talks about. "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted; forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
When resentment arrises in you, turn it over to God. Who knows, you might even get a Blog out of it.