“God offers so much grace and forgiveness… but we don’t take it. It’s like He’s holding His hand wide open, and we just close His hand. And we say ‘I don’t want your forgiveness.’”
Do you live with self-resentment? Elizabeth Oates says it’s one of the most damaging things we can practice. In her book If You Could See as Jesus Sees: Inspiration for a Life of Hope, Joy, and Purpose, she shares two things that can lead to self-resentment and contempt.
The sins we commit.
Comparison: saying we’re not as good, smart, or holy as someone else.
Discontentment: wishing for better circumstances rather than trusting God’s purpose.
Negative self-talk: filling our own ears with lies and negativity about our worth and purpose.
When we live with a sense of self-contempt, frustration, and depression, we’re allowing those things to drive our decisions instead of letting God’s perfect love give us peace.
The sins committed against us.
Elizabeth and her husband have an active ministry in Texas called Project Restoration. They work with couples of all ages to bring healing and a strong sense of identity in Christ. It breaks Elizabeth’s heart to see how past wounds can affect men and women years or even decades later. Many young women don’t deal with past abuse until they’re preparing to marry, and Elizabeth says the pressures and wounds are only increasing. From childhood sexual abuse to sexual abuse as teenagers and emotional abuse from parents – we have all been at the mercy of someone else’s sin.
When we let the sins committed against us tell us who we are, it creates a false narrative that paints our view of grace. The world tells us we’re condemned, worthless, unlovable… but Jesus tells us that we’re loved exactly as we are. His love doesn’t just save us, but it changes us. The process is challenging and messy, but healing comes when we let Jesus remind us who we are.
“It takes a lot of hard work to do that, if you’re willing to do the work and go to those deep places, He can absolutely do the restoring work. If you’re willing to do the hard work, after you suffered a little while, He will restore you. And He’ll make you stronger.”
Featured Songs: The Lion & The Lamb by Leeland with Bethel Music; Impossible by Meredith Andrews; Faithful to the End by Bethel Music