Your resentment, up in smoke

So, lately (as in, since Ash Wednesday) my wife Catherine and I have been attending church on Sunday mornings. Before that we hadn’t gone to church for five or six years. Then, rather suddenly, we felt like going again. I have no idea why. I didn’t question it.

I was happy not going to church; I’m happy to be going again.

Here’s the church we’re now attending:

Pretty ridiculously adorable, right? It’s an Episcopal church. We’re Episcopalians. So … that’s a nice fit.

Anyway, last Sunday we did this thing at the church, where everybody wrote down on a piece of paper a resentment they’d like to be rid of. We each dropped our piece of paper into a wooden box, which was then drilled shut.

On Easter morning we’re going to build a fire, and burn that box. The idea is that our resentments will thusly be removed from us in the crucible of the glorious return of Jesus Christ.

Pretty cool bit of 3-D symbolism, right?

So at some point this Easter morning I’ll be standing around a fire as it consumes a bunch of people’s resentments. If you would like to add to that fire a resentment of yours, either leave your resentment in the comments section below, or send it to me privately via my Contact John page. I’ll transfer whatever you write onto a piece of notebook paper, and this Easter morning see that your resentment, right along with the rest of ours, rises up in smoke toward heaven.

[UPDATE: The pastor of our church said that on Easter morning he would be pleased to drill a slot into our church's sealed wooden box containing all the resentments, and before burning it add to them the ones occasioned by this post. I'll be sure to take pictures of the ceremony and within a day or two share them here on my blog.]

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Christy

    I resent people using God as an excuse to avoid addressing their own pain and instead hurt others and treat them shitty.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Christy.

  • Becky

    I resent the ignorance of people and thus churches in using a misinterpreted passage or two from the Bible to give permission for discrimination, and treating people shitty. In particular, toward gay people and women as pastors.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Becky.

  • cassandra

    I resent my parents for making the decisions to have me (and my sisters) when they knew full well they couldn’t give us the love and attention we deserved.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Cassandra.

  • Lymis

    I resent the people who took away my memories of being embraced by a loving church.

    I resent people who changed a chrome fish from something that made me feel a part of something timeless into a signal the person in the car ahead of me is likely actively working against me without ever having even met me and would actively shun me if they did.

    I resent feeling it necessary to avoid religious language when speaking to the people who most need my love and compassion in order to avoid shutting down communication because they’ve been so badly hurt by people who use that language.

    I resent having to listen to the most childish, simplistic, and idiotic accusations against Christians and have to preface everything with “You have a point and there certainly are people like that but…”

    I resent that my marriage to the man I love isn’t recognized where I live, and that my country has long since ceased to lead the world in efforts for freedom and equality – mostly because of people who claim to speak for God.

    I resent that no matter how nuanced and complex and deeply thought through my religious and spiritual views are, I have to keep answering, “Why, yes, I have read Leviticus, thanks.”

    I resent that I cannot hug, chastely kiss, or hold hands with my husband in public without having to worry who is watching, how they will react, and whether it will put us in physical danger.

    I resent that this is the 21st century, and I’m supposed to have a flying car, and instead, one of the two major political parties in my country is seriously claiming that my existence is a threat to civilization – and being taken seriously. Although, seriously, I’ve seen the way people drive, and I don’t need them flying a car into my living room because they were answering a text message about a cute kitten.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this.

  • Pennie

    I resent my husband for allowing his family (not all members) to disrespect my children and I because they don’t think we’re good enough for him. I resent that he allows his anxiety and stress to destroy our marriage, and that I have to hide my pain and anger because he has allowed his anxiety to cripple him. And I resent the fact that I can’t properly give him the sympathy and support he deserves, because now I am so angry, resentful and bitter it consumes me, and I respond verbally.

    I’m sorry~ stress, haha!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      This one actually confuses me a bit. On the one hand you resent your husband, but on the other feel that he deserves sympathy and respect? So … ?

      • Pennie

        He is a good man. So I acknowledge that he deserves support for his anxiety, because for him it’s very debilitating, in all areas of life. I resent that I don’t get any real reaction for him except excuses and him emotionally hijacking every situation because his anxiety skyrockets. He deserves love and grace, and I resent that I’ve become this monster to him because I can’t see past my own anger and resentment. It’s a mess, and probably not for here, haha! I just saw the link on fb, and it felt like a sign. “You resent your husband. Release it.” So here I am. something more silly… I REALLY resent that my 6 year old daughter loses her shoes (like gone gone) AT LEAST 3 times every 3 months. Stop taking them off and forgetting!!! That’s my money!!! Haha! Thanks for letting me ramble here!

        • KellyK

          Pennie, that sucks, and I will pray for you–both that he gets good treatment and can get his anxiety better managed and figures out a way not to dump his issues on you and that God will help you with your resentment and anger. I think sometimes the resentments tangled with guilt are the hardest to let go of. Sometimes it’s easier for me to forgive someone for being an unmitigated and inexcusable jerk that it is to get past feelings of resentment that I feel guilty for even having.

    • Nicole

      Properly give him the sympathy and support he deserves??? What about what you deserve? Goodness. I don’t know if I’d call this resentment or an absolutely just desire for your husband’s eyes to be open to his own selfishness. Hm.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Right? So I won’t know quite how to pray on this while I’m doing it.

        • Diana A.

          I’ve experienced mixed emotions like that. Perhaps pray that she experience “the peace of God that passes all understanding.” Or pray “The Serenity Prayer” on her behalf.

      • Pennie

        Thanks Nicole. Because my husband is a good man, I have a really hard time getting angry at him without pointing out how good he is. Since I’ve met him, all I hear is how great he is and how much he does for me. Not from him, but from my family and friends who view him as a saint. After all, I was a single mother with two kids, and he loved me AND my kids!! And he works hard!! And he IS good. But I live with him and he’s not a saint. And I don’t know how many people deal with anxiety in a debilitating manner, but he has told me that he feels like he is going to die from the pain of his panic attacks.

        I am so sorry… I shouldn’t be filling up the comments section with all this, and obviously it’s way more complicated than what I’ve said…

        Everyone: PLEASE don’t live your life as a slave to your resentments. It destroys you.

        • Ian

          Pennie, you should be applauded that you have realized and confronted the way your husband treats you and also that you are able to be so merciful to him in it. I wouldnt give advice since I dont know you or your husband personally, but if at all possible, as hard as it may be, I would hope you could tell him how you feel. I have alot of baggage from my past and my wife, because I probably feel the most safe with her, sometimes gets to see the worst of me. As much as it hurts to hear it, she is vocal about how it affects her, and many times causes me to be present with those issues in myself. If he loves you, hes going to at least care and attempt to change his actions, for the health of your marriage. I hope the best for you Pennie.

          • Pennie

            I don’t show him much mercy when my anger and hurt takes over :-(… And I live in a state of constant anger towards him because of all of these past resentments and hurts, which is really debilitating all by itself, in a different way. I’m reading all of these comments and my heart hurts for all the pain bleeding out of people’s hearts tonight. Major, minor… Devastation has been wreaked in the lives of a lot of people. The idea of them being burne away is very freeing to me. I love this post!

          • Melody

            Pennie, I feel that way sometimes, too. Heck, I even felt that while posting my own list. True, some people’s pain and hardships we will never understand or experience. That said, pain is pain. We all have our struggles, and we need to be honest about them, no matter how comparatively miniscule we personally think they are. You are a courageous woman, and I too applaud you.

        • tempus_aeterna

          Pennie,

          I suffer from crippling anxiety and depression and my family hates my husband, so I think I might know a little about how your husband feels at times and I think I see a little of how you feel reflected in my husband when he deals with me. If you ever need someone who understands (at least a little) I’m around.

          • Pennie

            Thank you. I WISH I could show my husband some compassion, because he deserves it. But oh my wow is his anxiety turning our world upside down. What kind of support do you appreciate when you’re so worked up you can’t see the reality of the situation at all? I need to fix my attitude greatly.

          • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

            Pennie, my heart hurts so much for you. I was married to a man like that, eventually I reached a place where it no longer mattered what the reasons for his horrible behavior were – I couldn’t sacrifice myself and my children on the altar of his mental illness. He refused to get help. Everything was everyone else’s fault. Our house was full of his screaming and yelling day in and day out. All the door frames in my house are cracked from the slamming. I’ve repaired holes in my drywall. Never once did he hit me or the kids…but you can’t tell me that screaming at a five year old because she stepped in dog poop isn’t abuse. (He has OCD and poop of any kind just wound him up in a horrible way).

            There was a point where my presence in my life wasn’t healthy for me – or for him. I was so angry and bitter and resentful that I couldn’t find any kindness for his behavior. Now, he also had issues with porn and he had a couple of internet affairs – two that I know of, maybe more. Those were enormous violations of trust for me, and even though I know he was mostly acting out of his suffering and fear, those things still affected me and our relationship.

            You are gracious to realize your husband’s pain and anxiety don’t take away from the fact that he is a good man. I beg of you, though, please don’t sacrifice the lives of your children to his mental health issues. They deserve better. YOU deserve better.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            I don’t think my anxiety is the level that your husband’s is, but the main support that helps me is just being with me. Hugging me while I shake and hyperventilate, or holding my hand. Trying to talk me out of it doesn’t help, because if I were in a spot where I could listen to the rational part of my brain, then I wouldn’t *be* hyperventilating and feeling like my head was going to explode.

            Not getting mad at me for the parts that I can’t control is a big one. Like, I can be snippy and short-tempered and argumentative when I’m all spun up with anxiety. And if I say something nasty to my husband, the anxiety is not a valid excuse, and he has every right to be upset. But sighing at me and being frustrated with me when the only thought I can hold in my head is “I can breathe…really I can” is hard to take. The frustration is totally understandable–it frustrates me too–but I end up thinking, “Dude, I’m not having a panic attack just to ruin your day because I’m that much of a jerk.” And I feel guilty for ruining his day, and for not controlling the anxiety better, and it just feeds on itself and makes it worse.

            Being willing to take on things that are anxiety triggers for me is a big help too. Driving, for example, seems to push all my stress buttons, especially driving at night. So, my husband does most of the driving when we travel together. I’m not saying you should pick up the slack for your husband in ways that feel unfair to you, because that just adds to the resentment. But maybe there are things that are harder for him that you don’t mind doing, that could help.

        • Allie

          I think I understand, because this is similar to what I’m pretty sure my husband feels about my illness sometimes. He would never tell me he resents my illness, but it does have a profound impact on his life, and I know it’s obnoxious. It’s possible to love someone AND resent the hell out of them for being sick and inconvenient at the same time. Even more so when the illness is a mental one and it’s harder to separate what’s illness and what’s the person’s personality. And it’s not a feeling you can really share with others without looking selfish!

          Pennie, this seems to me+ like a Serenity Prayer issue. What you need is patience with your husband’s illness, courage to confront him when he needs to be confronted and is using his illness as an excuse not to do the things he needs to be doing, and wisdom to tell the difference.

          • Pennie

            Thank you, Allie. It’s not so much his illness, it’s the chaos it brings into our world and how sad it is to see him suffer in other areas of life, and yet he is comfortable with that pain and chaos. And it’s mostly resentment that my feelings don’t seem to matter because he will emotionally hijack each situation and become the victim. My resentments have eaten their way inside to a dark, dark place (and obviously there is a huge chunk missing to the story) and that is only damaging me. And I do love him enough to fight for this, or at least I view it that way. This has just been years of stuff building up, an the word resentments on my fb feed popped out at me… I have to release them. Even if they aren’t “burned,” I put them down somewhere else and these comments have made me feel a little heard tonight. Thank you for that prayer, I needed it.

          • Christy

            It does sound complicated, Pennie, and painful and difficult. He can be wonderful and frustrating at the same time. You can be grateful and resentful about the same person. Those angers, frustrations, hurts, and resentments do build and don’t usually go away on their own.

            You seem to be able to see and identify many of the challenges to communication that exist between you. That’s a hugely positive thing. In my own experience in situations like this and for many others it has been profoundly helpful to consult with an outside impartial person who has insight into these things, who won’t take sides, can look at the situation objectively and offer insights and useful tools to help foster better communication. One of our “family rules” is one I need reminding of often: Ask for help. Because sometimes and too often we try to carry too much by ourselves.

          • Diana A.

            This is true.

  • Jon

    I am struggling with resentment toward my wife for leaving after nearly 5 years of marriage.

    I resent her for tearing apart my childrens’ lives.

    I resent her for refusing to take any steps to work on our problems. I resent her for refusing to go to counseling for more than 3 years.

    I resent her for all of the lies and the betrayals.

    I resent her for sleeping with other men and carrying on emotional relationships while telling me she wanted things with us to work out.

    I am trying to forgive and give up resentment, but it is so very difficult. I pray every day for the ability to forgive and move on. I think I’m doing OK for the most part, but every now and again the pain comes out of nowhere and slams me against the wall.

    Thanks for offering to do this, John. It really means a lot.

    Cheers,

    Jon

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Thanks, Jon. I’ll burn this.

  • Christine McQueen

    I resent the fact that two people with whom I am a mutual friend have stuck me into the middle of their argument, with no way for me to resolve things between them because one refuses to communicate with the other.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Christine.

  • http://www.unchainedfaith.wordpress.com Amy

    I resent the institutional churches that treat faith and salvation like a business and act accordingly. I resent the use of the words “radically inclusive” when what is meant is closer to “inclusive unless there’s something we don’t like about you.” And I resent the attitudes that keep some people from being fully included in the life of the church.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Amy.

  • Mike

    I resent the church, in particular the Southern Baptist Church, for teaching and perpetuating a climate where I was unable to discover or discuss my sexuality.

    I resent the church for teaching that gay people are an abomination, responsible for the destruction of entire civilizations, and to be despised above all others.

    I resent the church for taking what was a very private situation among youth and forcing us to out ourselves to our parents, marking the day I built a wall around a huge part of my life and started living a lie that I actually told so well I believed.

    I resent the church for this environment that led me to think I had to earn God’s love by doing things for him and not being me.

    I resent the church for creating a culture that led to me as a young man getting married and having kids. I resent them for the depression that followed, the anxiety that crept in and for the shell of a man I became over the next 10 years.

    I RESENT above all else the fact that telling the truth me causes so much pain to those I love. I resent the fact that I have to process guilt for the trauma my wife has suffered because I had to develop ways to protect myself as a kid. I resent that I have to help three amazing kids understand why all this is happening.

    I RESENT the fact that even though I’m out, I live in a culture that expects me to be lonely and quiet. I resent the fact that I have to work so hard to push through this.

    In spite of all this, I am very thankful for where I am at this moment. That I can breathe, be me and try to figure out God for the next 50 years. Thanks John for all you do.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Mike.

  • mae

    hmmm…..maybe we should just put a match to a forest somewhere? You’re going to go through a lot of paper! ^_^

    I resent my parents. I resent my mom for raising me in an environment to accept abusive behavior as normal, to accept physical outbursts and verbal abuse as part of a normal life. I resent her controlling me with these behaviors and I resent my dad for being a doormat and never doing anything about it. I resent them for raising me in controlling and unhealthy church environments as well.

    I resent my parents because I then married an abusive man.

    Then, I resent my church. Because when I went to them for help after being beaten and strangled by my husband, they pressured and encouraged me to go back home with a man who had strangled me the night before and told me he was going to kill me. They didn’t pressure me to go to the police, or to go to counseling, they encouraged me to GO HOME with a toddler and a baby, to a man who had attempted to murder me in front of those two children the night before.

    I resent my husband. I resent the fact that he turned out to be a mental-nut-case who wouldn’t seek mental counseling or support while married to me and while HURTING me, who I had to finally and firmly separate from to protect my three small children.

    I resent the fact that I’m now a single mom with three toddlers, and no parents to help me, no church to help me, and no husband to help me. It makes me mad, it hurts, and I just want a break sometimes, but I can’t. I don’t even get every other weekend off like “normal” divorced couples with children.

    I resent the fact that I won’t be able to finish up my PhD because of this. I worked so hard, I passed all the qualifiers, but there’s no way I can finish up my research when I have to pick my kids up from daycare every evening at 5:30pm and I can’t get into the lab on the weekends. But I can still get my masters, but it hurts, because if I had “normal” parents like a lot of my classmates, “normal” parents like to babysit their grandkids on the weekends. Mine don’t. Mine are mentally and physically unhealthy and couldn’t and I wouldn’t trust them if they wanted to.

    I was just thinking about this the other week……that I’m full of resentment and anger at my parents and my church and my X. Sure, I’m justified in it….but is it mentally healthy for ME???? dunno.

    If you’d burn it up, I’d appreciate it.

    Thanks for all of your writing Mr. John Shore, I greatly appreciate it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I will burn this, Mae.

    • Cathy

      Mae, I wish I knew you, because I would pick up your kids and feed them dinner and straighten up. Also I would give you money, of which I have too much.

  • Lynn

    I resent being abused for years and my mom not acknowledging it or protecting me, even though she was a social worker at the time and did that and more for so many others.

    I resent that my first “sexual experience” was being raped in a church when I was still a child. I resent that that happened in the only place that, at the time, I could feel safe since home wasn’t a safe place for me. I resent that my mom wouldn’t speak of it, even though she counseled others since she became a pastor. I resent that I had no support whatsoever, since the first (and only) person I told from the church didn’t believe me, and told me I must be lying.

    I resent that I was date raped several times after that because no one taught me how to protect myself, or to care enough about myself to not be in abusive relationships.

    I resent that through all of those times, there was no one there to protect me.

    I resent that the church now begrudges me my freedom of actually starting to have a healthy sexuality; something that I still struggle with because of my PTSD and guilt from said events.

    I resent that my church abandoned me and treated me like an outcast when I grew so depressed from these events that I turned extremely depressed. I resent that they cared more about not wanting that mess on their hands than the pain that I had to endure while they shut their eyes to what was going on.

    I resent that the few people who knew what was going on didn’t reach out to me because those subjects were too uncomfortable for them. I resent that I’ve never been able to express these resentments because I can’t (and won’t) sully my mom’s name as a pastor.

    These events that happened years ago don’t still haunt my daily life, and they’ve made me a stronger person, but some of the bitterness still remains. Burning them won’t get rid of the resentment once and for all, but it’s a start. So truly, thank you John.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I will certainly burn this, Lynn.

    • Molly By Golly

      Wow, all that and you’re still here?! You are amazing!

  • Melody

    I’m so glad you guys are happy with your new church.  Now to my list…  

    I resent not being able to be open and honest about my beliefs (both political and religious) with most of my family and relatives (whether on Facebook or in person), because dealing with the passive-aggressive (and sometimes plain aggressive) responses I “I’ll pray for you’s” is too stressful.  Life is stressful enough as it is.  

    I resent the fact that artists and musicians like myself aren’t well-respected in this capitalist and consumerist society, and therefore have to be robots working dead-end jobs just to eat.  Meanwhile, people with no talent make it big using auto-tune and seductive outfits.  

    I resent conservatives of all stripes who say “liberal” like it’s an aberration, accusing us of “itching ears,” while they have itching ears towards Jesus’ actual commandments, such as refraining from judgment of others and putting the needs of the disadvantaged first.  

    I resent the aforementioned accusing us of wanting too much government, when they have no qualms about the government controlling what two people do in the privacy of their bedroom, or what a woman does with her body, or what religious sentiments are tolerated.

    I resent people who call themselves pro-life but support unjustifiable wars in which innocent people outside the womb, or the death penalty to innocent prisoners.   I resent selfish drivers, whether drunk, texting, or just plain inconsiderate like the one who nearly ran me over passing the bus I was dismounting.  You are not invincible, and neither is the rest of humanity that you so disrespect.   Finally, I resent not being able to express my feelings on the above resentments outside sites like this, and having to put on a mask in order for the world to accept me.  Why must one be extroverted to receive approval?

    • Melody

      This doesn’t count, but I also resent my phone not allowing me to edit all of this. Groan.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        You resent your phone. Got it, Melody.

        • Melody

          Just a light-hearted aside in the midst of seriousness. These things really get to me, probably more than they should, but I suppose if they didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to make something good from them. Thanks for this, John.

  • Allie

    I resent my project lead wasting five days on a two week project before giving me the specs and then expecting me to get it done in the same amount of time. And then repeatedly leaving me holding the bag when he talks to his boss when I’m doing both our jobs like a miracle worker.

    I resent not being able to afford health insurance while self-employed. And I really resent the lady at the Church Health Center who told me self-employed people are not eligible for their “free” health care and told me if I wanted care I should just have a baby because then I would qualify.

    I resent that so many people want to take away the rights of women and gay people and are voting for people who make crazy laws.

    Thanks for doing this, John. And anyone who is reading this, could y’all please pray for my sister? Her grown-up son just died of a heroin overdose. She knew he was on a bad path but recently he had gotten into treatment and we all hoped he had turned his life around, and now this. She seems real calm but I don’t think the reality has set in.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll add your resentments to the fire, Allie—and pray them away as they go. Hey, what’s your poor sister’s name? I’d like to put this prayer request out via my fan page thing, and let that many more people pray for her. (Of course you don’t have to say, but if I could share her first name, and as near to where she lives as you’re comfortable sharing–even the state will do–then that helps people focus and direct their prayers.)

      • Allie

        I don’t know how comfortable she would be, since she has a distinctive name. But you can say K from Pennsylvania. Thank you!

  • http://MaleSurvivor.org John

    Somehow or other I’d like to be able to leave behind my resentment of the fundys for the evil they perpetrate. Somehow I’ve got to be able to effectively love even them because the resentment eats me alive :(

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll add this to the fire, John.

  • John Carson via Facebook

    Thanks John, for this one…

  • http://NotThisGirl.com Sarah

    I resent the people who promised they would stay but left when they realized this isn’t soap-opera drama but real pain, the kind that makes death seem a reasonable choice. I resent the absence of what I thought love was. :(

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Very powerfully put, Sarah. Will burn.

  • Jill

    My resentments are towards fundies who run people away from Jesus with their religiousity and judgement. I also resent myself for stupid decisions I’ve made in the past which have made my life more difficult than need be. I let these go in the name of Jesus, send them up in smoke, my friend.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Done. Bless you, Jill.

  • http://parentingatrans.blogspot.com Gretchen

    I have enough resentments to build many boxes. I’m one of those people that doesn’t show it. I am going to give all the resentments that are in my head. God knows what they are.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Amen to that, Gretchen. I’ll say a prayer for you when I’m thinking of the others and burning their resentments.

  • Kristi

    I resent those who judge me negatively based on the way I look or what I (don’t) believe.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this upwards, Kristi.

  • Karen Miller

    I resent this damn fibromyalgia. One day I was in great shape, participating in triathlons. The next day I was disabled, depressed, overweight, and unable to care for myself.

    I resent me because I’m now weak, unable to do even the simple things in life.

    I resent me because my physical appearance is disgusting.

    I resent me because I’m depressed and have given up on myself.

    I resent Life for afflicting me with this disabling condition. A condition the average person does not understand.

    I resent my self-pity.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Karen. (And write to me sometime about your fibromyalgia. If you’re ever up for it, I think it would be a good idea to share your whole experience with that. We’d all learn a lot.)

      • Karen Miller

        Thanks John. I will write to you. Peace.

        • Amy Butler

          Thank you Karen, for voicing what I feel. I will add that I resent needing to homeschool a highly gifted child because the school district would rather drug her than educate her and trying to do it without losing my temper because of my health and lack of stamina.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            I’ll add this to the fire, Amy.

          • Amy Butler

            Thank you.

    • Lisa

      Dear Karen,

      I totally understand and could have personally wrote your resentment letter myself. My life changed in an instant when I slipped on an ice cube at work and disabled myself for life.

      I had a SI joint dislocation that also caused excessive nerve damage in my back and down both of my legs. This does not show up on x-ray so the doctors wouldn’t treat or believe it. Workman’s Comp. of course.

      My first yr I laid in bed hurting so bad and in so much pain I was waiting for my mind to just snap. Crying and begging God to make the pain stop literary over and over and over again to no avail. Then I would ask him to make half of it stop. Then I would beg my mother to talk to Jesus for me and any other person I knew was in heaven. Nothing.

      My partner at that time was a Dr. but was not practicing so she said she couldn’t give me any advise. It was illegal.

      At this point I was picturing myself hobbling to the back of the property and going behind the shed with my gun. I had such nice neighbors and a beautiful view from the back porch, I didn’t want to ruin it for them. isn’t that silly, but I know you know what I am talking about.

      I finally found a Dr. that diagnosed me in 5 minutes. Then did the surgery that disabled me for good. I am worst than I was before, but with pain management. Or as I call it, the legal drug dealer.

      So I guess I resent the fact that I lost my strong faith in God that year. I know he is there, but I don’t understand why I was put though that kind of torcherous suffering. And was told “no” again and again while going through the worst misery of my life. Where was my God and why would he let this happen to me. I am still asking that question.

      I have all the same feeling that you do. They creep up often.

      I am in 5 yrs now and still can’t get my arms around it that I will never even play golf again much less all the other activities I so much loved and enjoyed. Friends don’t come anymore, nor family unless you call them with a need. They can’t get their arms around it either.

      Please send my resentment up in flames so I can find my God again. I am so mad at him to test me with his existence. I miss him in my life. Although I try to find him, I can’t. Please help me forgive him.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        We are definitely feeling this, Lisa; we’re so sorry this terrible thing happened to you. I will certainly send this resentment to God.

  • Jenna

    I resent the people who stare, ask intrusive questions and judge when I’m out holding my partner’s hand.

    I resent the lack of laws protecting my job and my life if I were to be outed to the wrong people.

    I resent having to hide how much I love this person and my life, from the church of all places.

    I resent that I cannot marry my partner.

    I resent needing so much strength just to live my life.

    • Jenna

      I resent my mother saying, “I’m trying to figure out your orientation. Do you like men in dresses?” when my partner is a trans* woman. She is a woman, will always be a woman.

      I resent the people who have called my partner “it.”

      I resent my partner’s parents never saying her name, or calling her by female pronouns.

      I resent the people on my favorite Christian radio station, exhorting women to submit to their husbands because the bible, doncha know.

      I resent this same station for supporting Focus on the Family.

      I resent being told basically every day on multiple levels that I’m wrong, bad, unworthy, a threat, never good enough. When I know I am NONE OF THESE THINGS.

      Sorry, the anger just bubbles up occasionally.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        I’ll burn all this, Jenna.

  • Melody

    One more.

    I resent that I used to be a part of the conservative mentality that I now despise so, and that my opinionatedness was once directed towards these misguided agendas. I was very prideful (another resentment), and it’s a wonder any of my liberal friends remained loyal to me. Many of the posts here break my heart, and I hate to think that I was once part of that. I beg your forgiveness.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Just what you’ve written here on this blog has, I know, helped heal a good many people, Melody. It’s a constant balm to me, I can tell you that. I’m sure you’ve done more good in your life than you ever did bad.

    • http://brickandtimber.wordpress.com/ DR

      Me too, all of this.

  • Anna

    I resent how I’m trying to find my faith but keep backsliding into fear, doubt, and self pity. I resent how behind I am in school because I can’t completely focus on anything, not Jesus, not school, not others. I resent how high the number of tearful ‘salvation prayers’ I’ve said is, and how I don’t know how to ask Him to forgive me, or if I’m even safe. I resent how I can’t find the courage to tell anyone in my amazing, loving family how trapped I feel except for one person who has plenty of problems of her own. I resent how ignorant and selfish I’ve been. I resent the whole in my life I need God to fill.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      My goodness, Anna. I’ll burn this. We’re all with you.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    I resent that we cannot seem to catch up no matter how hard we try and how much we plan, and that every time I see a light at the end of the tunnel yet one more financial disaster strikes and we’re not just back at square one, we’re scrambling to reach square one. I resent that despite this my ex believes I have loads of money and that he should not have to be responsible for anything financially when it comes to his children.

    I resent (God please forgive me) the families who enjoy raising their normal children. I resent the parents who give me nasty and judgmental looks when my son’s brain tells him that his skin doesn’t feel right and he needs to flap his hands and scream at the top of his lungs right in the middle of a public place.

    I resent the people who mistreat and abuse their animals and leave me and others like me taking in those animals and cleaning up their messes.

    I resent myself for having such a poor attitude and such little gratitude.

    I resent it that people with little talent enjoy large success and people who are incredibly smart, engaging and capable are practically invisible.

    God bless you, John.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      God bless you, Barmaven, for your awesome heart and soul. I will certainly be thinking of this, and you, come Easter morning.

  • HJ

    I resent myself for my lackluster existence and how close I feel to giving up on God with greater frequency lately. And I resent whatever it is exactly that makes me feel this way, including again, myself. I resent my fear of being truly ‘authentic’.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Nicely said, HJ. I’ll burn this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kelly-Withee/100001922106189 Kelly Withee via Facebook

    What a wonderful idea!

  • Grant

    My eyes wept as I read through this post. Can my tears be added to signify my resentment of the pain and suffering caused by people to so many people? Maybe just add one or two of my tears or the fire will not burn. Thanks John.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I certainly will, Grant. Thanks for this.

  • Paula

    I resent that there are people in the church so resistant to doing things differently, no matter how many people they could embrace if they would just allow a little change. I resent the “social club” mentality of my church. I’ve tried to change it, so now I’ll just leave it and go on to help build a new church.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow! I’ll burn this, Paula.

  • Valerie

    I resent the fact that just because I have 4 children and my husband isn’t working and we are on public assistance that we are lazy and just trying to live off of “their” money. I resent that some Christians are more concerned about their own well being than the well being of the poor. I resent the fact that I cannot help others as much as I would like because I have to house and feed my family first. And last but not least I resent the fact that people think I am not a good Christian woman just because of my political views.

    Thank you John for letting me vent this and I will remember to pray for a release of these resentments Easter morning.

    God Bless you.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll be with you then, Valerie–and will burn this.

  • Diana A.

    Okay, I admit it:

    1) I resent my ex-boss–not for firing me, that was actually a kindness, but for creating such a miserable work environment and for being unwilling to take responsibility for his own bad attitude.

    2) I resent the kids who ridiculed and ostracized me from 5th to 12th grade. I resent that they grew up, got married, had kids of their own, and probably never think of me except to go “Gee, I wonder what ever happened to that weird chick?”

    3) I resent good old whatshisname, who showed blatant favoritism toward another student (not his wife or girlfriend) when he knew I had a crush on him. Then when I called him on it (admittedly, not in the most mature fashion), he refused to talk to me for two months, then when he did talk to me, it was to tell me that the only reason why he was taking me back as a student was because he needed the money and that if I ever did “that” again, he would dump me. And I resent my own traitorous heart for caring more about the prospect of losing him than I did about my own self-respect.

    Thanks John!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow! I’ll burn this up, Diana.

  • Scott

    I resent that I continually squander the talent and treasure with which God has blessed me. Often when I reflect upon the day’s activities, I realize that there is much more that I could have done – personally, professionally, in my family, in my community – to improve the little slice of the globe that I inhabit. Instead, I waste my time on petty pursuits and simple pleasures. I resent my weakness and my seeming inability to change.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this up, Scott.

  • Hazel

    I resent the way that the church I go to, which in so many ways is a perfect fit for my family and I, is unbudgingly homophobic. I resent that I fear I’ll be asked to leave one day and have my work I enjoy so much that I do for them voluntarily, taken from me. I resent that I’m not free to wholeheartedly and excitedly talk about my church to my gay friends.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow. Will burn, Hazel.

  • Heather

    I resent that I am sometimes jealous, sometimes emotional, sometimes very narrow in my inability to accept the things that I cannot control in life. I resent that I have repeatedly chosen to be in bad relationships rather than healthy, productive ones.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll put this in the box, Heather.

  • http://ingridspeak.com Ingrid Moore

    I resent that it has been 6+ years and I am still angry about the business of church. I resent that I still get that sick sinking feeling when I think about it. I resent that when I step into the building I feel so uncomfortable. I resent that the reason I feel this way is because I know too much and my city is too small for me to escape it.

    • http://ingridspeak.com Ingrid Moore

      Did mine miss the box @ John :-/

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        No, not at all. The box burns up on Easter morning. Yours will be in it, Ingrid!

  • Roger

    Aye John,

    As I have for some time, I resent the fact that the gospel of grace and love as shared by my Jesus has been perverted into a message of intolerance and judgementalism. I am often given reason to remember why I finally chose to answer the calling I long perceived: Not in the name of MY God!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I know God will hear you, Roger! I’ll send it floating upwards.

    • Anony-Mom

      Ditto to that one Roger!

  • cat rennolds

    I resent the CEOs who can just flee the ship they put the hole in the bottom of, WITH the cargo they stole, while the rest of us are trying not to drown. I resent every small percentage said CEOs have whittled off my pay rate, and every huge rise in the already unreachable cost of company benefits. I resent that my spouse and I, typing for doctors, make too much money for public assistance but not enough to get health care for ourselves. I resent being scared that we’ll make just enough money to pay a penalty for not having insurance we can’t afford, and then lose our mortgage too.

    I resent our political system being so broken that nobody is even laughing anymore. I resent not having a candidate I could vote for at all. I resent every single politician who thinks they have a right to legislate morality.

    I resent that power and money seem to be the reward of asshattery in general. I’d resent it less if they weren’t getting it by TAKING MINE.

    I resent anyone who has never been poor, who has never been outcast, who has never been helpless or disabled or unemployed or bullied. I resent that they have no concept of their luck, of their privilege…or, if they do, that they will go on condescending to the rest of us so they can maintain it.

    I resent a world in which the talented and intelligent and loving can so easily be sidelined and crushed.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Will add to the box, Cat. Thank you.

  • Josie

    I resent that my amazing, all-loving, all-forgiving God has been turned into one of the most insidious weapons in modern history–destroying lives, souls, families and entire groups of people.

    I resent that so many of the people who claim to speak for my God are causing untold devastation in God’s name.

    I resent that they can cause me to feel such hatred, when what I want to feel, what I want to believe in, is the love God has for each of us. (Even, and especially, the ones who are most harmed by such spiritual abuse.)

    I resent the damned clinical depression that has for so long prevented me from being who God would have me be.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this up, Josie.

  • DR

    I resent those who’ve not given me exactly what I want according to my own needs, attachments and expectations that have absolutely nothing to do with them and absolutely everything to do with unresolved pain from unacknowledged need. I resent myself for going for so long being blindly led by a christian church I made my parents who didn’t parent me. I resent myself for hurting so many with my voting record, with my thoughts and judgments. I resent myself for not having enough courage or motivation to really *think* – for my needs being met over actually loving others. I resent myself for really never bothering to love God – I just loved the version of God that gave me the security, family, direction and validation I never had. So many wasted years.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      How am I just now seeing this? So sorry! Yes, of COURSE I will add this to the box, DR.

  • R

    I resent that because of my sexuality some people claim that they love me and others only pick apart a tiny piece of who I am and focus on that.

    I resent that after 17 years, I am still terribly afraid of my rapist.

    I resent that because of having experienced rape, abuse, and the constant talk about GLBT sexuality as an “abomination”, I still sometimes wonder if God really hates me. Most of the time, I know that God doesn’t, but I resent the fact that I even have to struggle with it.

    I resent that people have stories just like mine and are telling them loudly, but some people still make such heinous choices that history repeats itself in painful ways, creating more heartache ever so needlessly.

    I resent that I feel alone in this…

    where is resurrection in that?

    • DR

      This broke my heart to read.

      • R

        I am so sorry to have caused you pain. I almost didn’t post because when people know how badly we humans have managed to hurt each other that alone can be heartbreaking. I am not sure why I posted anyway, but somehow it brought peace. Peace, R

        • DR

          Oh I’m so glad you did. It’s important that our hearts break for one another.

          • Sarita

            yes, it is. very important.

    • Becky

      R,

      I wish I could hug you and hold you and tell you how much God loves you. I wish you could feel it from me now. You are NOT an abomination, and you never have been! You are a beautiful child of God, exactly as you are! I am sorry for all you have had to experience, but it has made you who you are today and God can still redeem every bad situation and trauma, bringing new life out of it. Sometimes it starts with crucifying those resentments on the Cross and allowing God to have them. New Life will come! Be open to it, and let the Love flow like a mountain stream…..

      YOU ARE LOVED, R!!!!!!

      • R

        I have read and reread your post and truly felt the hug. Your healing words meant more than I could ever say. Thank you … seems too small in comparison to what I really want to say.

        • DR

          Me too. I’d do anything to go back and erase the abuse you’ve suffered in the name of the God who I know is so deeply Good. I’m so angry that you were told the lie by people who represent Him that you didn’t get access to Him. Know I’ll spend the rest of my life protecting people from that element in the church and investing substantial energy in educating and influencing so your suffering doesn’t go to waste.

          I pray that you’d experience the blessing of liberation from the people on this blog, that we could stand in for those who hurt you and replace the voices of abuse with voices of love, of total acceptance and complete access to the same Savior that we desperately need ourselves.

          Thank you for being here and giving me an opportunity of sharing my heart with you.

          • R

            Wow is all I know how to say. Even as my resentment will be burned a different kind of community has risen today, people I will never meet but always give thanks for. All I know to say is, there is resurrection in that… Thank you…

          • DR

            For me, resurrection is really resurrection when it takes me by surprise. I’m impacted by all of the stories here but yours really took hold. Thank you so much for being willing to share your story here. xoxoxo

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Did I miss this from a few day ago? I’m so sorry if I did. Of course I will burn this one upwards come Easter morning.

      • DR

        This thread is so beautiful. You’re doing such good things and I adore you. Thank you for all of the shit you put up with from the emails I know we never see. Thank you for your commitment to Jesus and your unfiltered, unwavering devotion to people who are suffering and don’t have a voice. And thank you for loving people who are wrong but who are trying to learn and have the courage of posting their counter views. You set a standard of how to love them well so they will learn instead of leave and I’m challenged by that.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          Wow. What an extremely lovely thing for you to say, DR. Thank you.

    • Lorelei

      R, sometimes I think people are so busy enjoying – yes, I said enjoying – Jesus’ suffering on the cross (because it is not them?) that they stay locked up in the upper room rehashing the blows and agony instead of heading out to the tomb to discover – IT’S EMPTY!! Don’t let their fascination with someone else’s suffering lock you up. I’ve not been raped. Nearly raped, but not raped. I can only imagine how difficult that would make it for anyone to have a free and easy relationship with God. You have a right to remember what happened to you, even as your focus on resurrection says to me that you are healing – at your own pace. I pray that someday you will find the God who loves you exactly for who you are, the whole of you with all of your gifts, uniqueness, pain, and struggle. Having to fight for that relationship is not fair, and I think resenting that is perfectly reasonable. I don’t know if a relatively anonymous comment on the internet can have any lasting effect, but I hope you will feel less alone after sharing…

  • Dylan

    I resent that I wasted so much time in my relationship with God by trying to seek out truth on my own, instead of with His assistance. I resent not sharing the miraculous and joyous good news that is God and Christ’s message with more people BY EXAMPLE instead of WORD OF MOUTH because, too often, my words don’t match the reality of what I have done/do. Most of all, I resent having resentments and simply want the chains that bind me to them to be broken, so that my soul is bound to God and God alone.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Whoa. Extremely well said, Dylan. Done.

    • http://www.team153.com BC

      they were broken 2,000 years ago Dylan! Thank you so much for sharing, you touched & inspired me. For that I say, you’re awesome!

  • Calvin

    I resent myself for still struggling to reconcile my relationship with Christ and my sexuality.

    I resent my mother for not being a mother.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      AWESOME, Calvin. Will burn, for sure. Thank you.

  • http://theaspirationalagnostic.wordpress.com Eva

    Question that has nothing to do with the resentment issue; John, did you feel self-conscious going back to church? I haven’t been for months and feel a bit embarrased to be going back. No idea why I feel this way mind you. Could be I’m just self absorbed and ego-driven…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Nah, it’s natural to feel that way, but … don’t. I’ve known a zillion different people who came back to church after being gone all kinds of time. Nobody ever tripped about it. Tons of people leave the church for long stretches of time before returning again. But everyone’s always so glad to see them come back. Wouldn’t you be?

  • Michael WBL

    I resent my resentment. I hope that isnt to meta to mean anything. I resent that my anger over people who wont compromise their beliefs. I resent those people. I resent that myself sometimes for not being perfect, and I resent myself for caring about that at all.

    • Sarita

      This reverberates with me,Michael. I think i worked through a lot of resentments and then.. I find them hiding out where I least expected them. I resent that as a Universalist Christian who wants to hear everyone’s story, somehow the way my fundamentalist family still sees me ranges from ‘misled’ to ‘backslidden’ to ‘going to hell’ . that i cannot fully share with any of them the depth and beauty of a Sufi prayer, a Buddhist teaching on peace, the healing touch of Reiki ( because its demonic, doncha know) . I love them so much and i enjoy their company, but we all have to talk about trivia because we cannot discuss the thing closest to our hearts without a trauma… our faith!

      • Sarita

        i resent that i cannot find a church to worship in that accepts all people’s faiths INCLUDING mainstream Christians!

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          Sarita: You KNOW I’ll put this one in the box!

        • Michael WBL

          try unitarian universalism sarita, it does accept basically all faiths including mainstream christianity.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Michael.

  • http://www.hurricanes-and-trainwrecks.blogspot.com Amy

    I resent the man I loved who abused me and manipulated me. I resent myself for allowing it to happen. And I resent myself for allowing those few months of torture to drive the last two years of my life. I resent myself for hurting my children when I decided to divorce their father – it was the best decision to make, but I hate the pain it caused. I am ready to let go of these resentments. Let them burn.

    • Amanda

      You are not alone, Amy. I am so sorry.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Burned, Amy.

  • Amanda Longmoore via Facebook

    I LOVE the idea. I need to think about this one for a bit!

  • Kim Janes via Facebook

    Breaks my heart to read these…may they burn.

  • Amanda

    I resent this anger that has built up inside me. I reset the pain of loving a man who only wanted what my body could give him, and could just as easily throw me away when I didn’t want to give it to him anymore. I resent the boy who took me to my room and did not listen when I said “no.” I resent the blame I place upon myself every time I think about these events. I resent the fact that it has been years and I can not let it go. I resent my inability to let people love me just for the sake of loving me, without suspecting that they have another agenda. I resent the unnecessary stress it has put on my marriage. I resent how I waste so much freaking time being bitter. It’s such a heavy burden to bear and I need help letting it go.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll certainly burn this, Amanda. This is so painful.

  • Becky

    I am a United Methodist pastor, and I have a gay daughter. I love God, and God has called me to love all of His people. After sitting here reading so many of the resentments, I have to admit that I resent all of the asses that have hurt each and every person who has posted here. It really pisses me off, especially as the mother of a gay daughter, that so many parents hurt their children so deeply. It is their loss!!! I love what Rosie O’Donnell said in her response to Kirk Cameron: if you take all the gay people out of society, our society would be seriously lacking!

    I just want to say here that I honor each and every one of you! I love you and I hurt with you! Know that because of the stories I have heard over the last few months, I have vowed that I would never do that to my child should one of them discover he or she is gay, or to anyone else. She is still discovering herself, but she knows she has my full acceptance, support and honor. When the doubts come into your mind, please know that a woman you don’t know with 4 kids, who lives in Alabama, and is a UMC pastor, cares about you, honors you and will stand in the gap with you, even if only in spirit. More importantly than that–GOD LOVES YOU TREMENDOUSLY!!!! I hope and pray that you all discover that for yourselves and are able to find healing and hope!

  • Anne

    I’m so glad you did an update to this post because I somehow missed the first one!

    I resent my body – specifically my weight. I barely remember a time when I did not use food to cope and stuff down my feelings. I resent how I was teased in school for being fat and homely and smart. I resent that I finally made a choice to turn to bulimia as a way to lose weight. I resent the fact that people treated me so much better when I was skinny. I resent how angry and resentful I am over that fact. I resent how my weight has continued to plague me. I resent how many experiences I’ve missed, activities I’ve skipped because I was incapcitated by my weight or just too embarassed. I resent all the physical pain that accompanies obesity. I resent how people think it’s because I’m lazy or have no self control “just eat less and exercise more”. What a great idea!! Why didn’t I think of that??!! I resent that I’ve had to borrow money to pay for what seems like the last chance for me – bariatric surgery. I’m RESENTFUL AS HELL that my insurance won’t pay for this medically necessary procedure and that I’ll be in hock forever. And I’m resentful that I can’t be open with people about what I’ve gone through and will go through after this surgery because they are too busy judging me for being lazy or “taking the easy way out”.

    And on a separate subject, I’m resentful of my friend’s severe mental illness (bi-polar, DID). I resent the things her mother did to her as a child. I resent how hard it is for her to manage her mind and her life. I resent that her life’s work and legacy may go up in smoke because of this. I resent our society for stigmatizing mental illness. I resent our country’s health insurance policies and laws. I resent that her disease will ruin her financially.

    I resent all the atrocities committed by people and governments in the name of Christ. I resent their telling a story of Christ that isn’t about love but about hate.

    And can I say – I’m grateful to you for doing this?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      You can, of course: Thank you, Anne. I’ll burn these resentments up on Easter.

    • Cathy

      Ann – there is at least one person who understands your struggles 100%- me. And God loves, loves, loves you, beyond all understanding. Hang in there GF!

  • Anon

    I resent the years I wasted being exploited by my mentally ill parents as a caregiver only to be abandoned when I needed them. I resent the years I lost to being sick, broke, and abandoned when I needed them.

    I resent the devastating effects that growing up with mentally ill family members has had on my husband and me and our relationship in the present

    day. And after all this, I really, REALLY resent all the people who try to tell me how my mother and other mentally ill are “victims” when THEY don’t live with them.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Who. Done, Anon. Thank you.

  • http://www.team153.com BC

    I did this exact same thing when I forgave my wife for having her second affair, which led to our final break up; burned that piece of paper like nobody’s business. Guess it seems it’s someone else’s turn, which I did NOT see coming today. (We rarely see the busses before they hit). I resent my parents for making homosexuality a sin to me—for creating a world where I WAS sin, even though I’d consider myself bisexual if I had to choose a label, but regardless, I felt condemned up until about 6 months ago (i’m 35) when Christ set me free from myself. Seems that it’s time for Christ to set me free now from the resentment I have for my parents. Dang He’s good. I blame them for my decision to jump into bed with, and subsequently marry, the first girl who I knew was “safe,” but ended up being the hardest 14 years of my life (I got two amazing kids out of it, and the burning passion to take down the institution of hate that is most religion, so, no regrets at all). I am giving all of the resentment up right now. For my parents were just as broken as I was. They fell prey to all the BS messages that their parents fed them. In the space of forgiveness, there is no room for resentment, and room only for compassion and acceptance of all people and the space they occupy; this includes those lovely enemies spreading hate, who haven’t a clue—yep, gotta love then & let that resentment go, otherwise we’re no better than they. Go ahead and burn that paper on Easter John, but my resentment is up in smoke as of this instant. The “work” of forgiveness was completed over 2,000 years ago; why really would I choose to carry that cross for one more second, much less another week? Makes no sense to carry it at all, other than the fact that a bitter and resentful person will never fully live the life that God has for them, and they don’t even know that they are living in so deceived (after all, if deception was so obvious, it would not in fact be, deception). So, in my case, I fell prey to the “justification of resentment” deception where nobody wins. So, let’s make my resentment past tense, since it went up in smoke like four sentences ago. I WAS resentful of my parents. And, I WAS resentful toward myself and my decisions. It was me who decided this, that, or the other, regardless of how easy it could be to blame someone else. So, I no longer resent myself, my ex-wife, or my parents.

    Wow, what freedom. Victory indeed. I’ll go ahead and add a YAHOO in here as well. I’m so glad God led me to this blog today. One more layer of the onion exposed and burned. Wow, it’s beginning to stink a lot less in this room. Thank you as always John.

    • Cathy

      Thanks BC. “Justification of resentment” – I love that phrase – I bottle up my resentment and carry it around lovingly with me – ridiculous!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this moment with us, BC.

  • Cathy

    After 32 years I still resent that my mom died when I was only 14. I resent that dad deserted us only to also die 7 years later. I resent the lonely, bitter person it all turned me into. nLuckily God accepted/accepts my anger with grace and compassion, and gave me two beautiful sons who make me know that God loves me.

    I will bawl my eyes out, as I do every Easter, when I sing “made like him, like him we rise.”

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Beautiful. I’ll burn these resentments, Cathy.

  • BC Erickson via Facebook

    Looks like that slot may not work & he may need a bigger box! Many (myself included) are touched, moved, & inspired by your work. Thank you John.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Thank you, BC.

  • William George Cook via Facebook

    Just by the addition at the bottom of this post, it sounds like your new pastor understands compassion. I could be wrong (I mean, you hardly had the time to know him [I feel like I'm being sexist, do Episcopalians ordain women? Ignorance on my end] and I only have a sentence to go on) but I do hope I’m not.

  • Beth

    Thank you John…I’d like to add some things I’d like to get off my chest as well.

    I resent that the woman I no longer think of as my aunt didn’t contact me during the two and a half weeks my grandmother was in hospice before she died, that she denied me the chance to say good-bye, and that I had to find out my grandmother passed away from a message on Facebook. I resent that I had to hold my mother while she sobbed. That I had to be the one to comfort her. I resent the pressure I put on myself to be perfect – to maintain my weight loss by over exercising, purging when I’ve over eaten, and denying myself foods I love, even in moderation. I resent the never ending hole of debt that I seem to be in. I resent holding onto this, and I release it.

    Thank you and God Bless You John for all that you do.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Whoa. Extremely powerful stuff, Beth. Thank you for this. I’ll think of you as the smoke rises.

  • Laura

    I resent my brother for putting us through hell when he was a drug addict and alcoholic.

    I recent my father for having a nervous breakdown when I was 13.

    I resent that my mum, the most giving, loving and caring person I know, has cancer.

    I resent that my parents won’t ever accept my sexuality.

    I resent that I can’t come out to my parents.

    I resent that nothing was done by the church when a youth worker sexually abused me.

    I resent Christians who have an unwavering faith in God; I lost my faith seven years ago.

    I resent those who have hurt me.

    I resent the mental health difficulties I struggle with daily.

    I resent that every time I have sex I feel guilty, because of my upbringing; I resent that Christianity caused me to repress my sexuality for such a long time.

    I resent God.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I will certainly burn these, friend Laura.

  • Christine Grothe

    After 11 years, I still resent that my father, my brother, my aunts and uncles, good friends ( or so I thought) refused to attend the funeral of my baby girl. Nora was born still at full term. I went into a coma after delivering her and when I woke up my dad and uncle were gone. They stayed long enough to make sure I was going to survive but then left. The funeral was scheduled a couple days after my release. When I questioned where everyone was, when I questioned why they didn’t stay, the answer I was told hurt like hell. I was told “it” didnt matter , that it was stupid I named “it”, stupid we had a funeral/burial for “it” and the hurtful comments just kept coming, mostly from my father.

    I tried to be a forgiving person and tried to just maintain the relationship with my father though I was very hurt. The fall after my daughter died, my other daughter was molested. I called my father because I didn’t know where to go and he said , ” I am sorry but your life is too damn depressing to be a part of.”

    Things like this just kept happening and finally my counselor told me to walk away but the pain is still sharp. Tears have not stopped since I saw your post this morning. So please take this resentment and burn it. Thank you for all you do.

    • Valerie

      Oh Christine I am so sorry this happened to you! I cannot imagine the pain you must be in. I will not make excuses for what your father did to you but some people just cannot handle loss so they belittle or ignore it. I will keep you in my prayers and my heart and I grieve with you for the loss of your angel and for your daughter’s pain.

    • Mariah

      Oh Christine. I am so deeply sorry for all that you have been through! I mourn your baby girl, and my heart just breaks for your other daughter, as well. I am so sorry your family has not been there for you. The pain you have been through is most definitely more than any person should bear, and then to have your family not there- I am so deeply sorry.

      Please know I am sending you hugs over the Internet, to wherever you are, and all my love. I will keep praying for you, and that things get better for you from here. XOXO.

      • Lisa

        Dear Christine,

        I have had similar situation come from the mouth of one of my siblings all of my life. And the day finally came for me that I could forgive them and finally put them in my past and leave them there. It was more than I could handle, the constant pain, hurt, stress, worry, feeling overwelmed and defeited. I gave it to God.

        I took this person out of my life because I heard this one day “By not forgiving is like drinking posion and expecting the other person to die”. While I sit here hurt, upset, resenting, they are happy dancing and living there lives. These people are poison. I removed them because I also read that just because your family doesn’t mean that you HAVE to be constantly hurt by them. You would not let a friend treat you in that way and then be there for them tomorrow.

        My life is so much better without them and God has given me so many people that are my true brothers and sisters that I thank him everyday for what he has done for me. I pray that you can get the poison out of your life too.

        I pray for both of your babies and for strength for you. Please listen to your heart and soul, it tells all. God Bless, Lisa

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Thank you, Christine. What an extremely difficult thing to read. We’re all feeling for you. I will certainly add your resentments to our box, and think of you as it burns.

  • M

    I cry reading what these beautiful people have been through. I am so sorry for all your pain, everyone.

    I resent that my father was an abused child who continued the cycle of abuse, despite believing he was a survivor. I resent that because he was kicked out of his home with nothing but the shirt on his very scarred back, he believes everyone can pick themselves up by their bootstraps and make something of themselves. He forgets the kindness that was shown to him time and time again throughout his life by friends, neighbors, and other family- and I resent that, as well.

    I resent that he abused my brother and mother, but not me. I resent that he left my mother after 19 years of marriage for another woman, lied to us for several months, and lied some more when I caught him. I resent that when he left my mother, he told me it was my responsibility to seek a relationship with him, not his responsibility to seek me. I was 19 years old. Because of this, I have never sought a relationship with him. I have 2 beautiful and perfect children, and a third on the way, and none of them will ever meet their grandfather, although he ironically lives a block and a half away from us. I have not heard from him in 10 years.

    I resent that I spent 4 years in an emotionally abusive relationship right after my dad left because I found a man that reminded me of my father. I resent that I protected my ex by not calling the police when he told me he had also continued his father’s cycle of abuse by sexually abusing several of his younger siblings up until shortly before he met me. I resent myself for the justice I could have brought for those poor children who had been abused by both their father and their oldest brother- those who should have protected them. When I finally came clean, the police said they did not think there was anything they could do. I still cry when I think about it.

    I resent that my mother suffers from deep depression and cannot be counted on at times, cannot hold a job, has not been able to find work for coming up on 4 years, and instead of applying for assistance, she relies on my husband and I for everything.

    Maybe I should start my own box. It turns out, I hold a lot more resentment than I thought I held.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Well, M., I will certainly add these to the box. Thank you for this. I’ll be thinking of you as the smoke rises.

  • Judy

    I resent the pain and suffering I caused by bringing up my gay son in a fundamentalist church. I resent the fact that I, an educated , intelligent woman believed the lies taught to me by the church leaders. I resent the fact that the spoke lies as if they were truth. I resent the fact that this contributed to my sons pain. I resent the fact that they made me feel as if I had to choose between God and my son. I resent any pain I inadvertently caused any of Gods children because of my thoughts or actions. I recent the fact that I was taught that love the sinner hate the sin was the right way, when all it was was spiritual snobbery. I am so sorry and cannot seem to escape the guilt I feel for all of this even though my son has long ago forgiven me.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow. EXTREMELY powerful, Judy. Will add to box.

  • Jennifer

    I resent my husband for lying about going to college for two years because he was scared of failing. Yes, he put us in more debt and almost ruined our marriage with lying, but he’s sought psychological help, makes great grades in college now, and continues to be a great husband in every other aspect – loving, does almost all the chores, great father with our son, and strives to make it up for me. I promised to forgive him when I stayed with him, and I haven’t done it. I hold it over his head in every argument, especially about money. I want to burn this resentment once and for all and let true forgiveness flow through me. How many times have I failed Jesus and he continually forgives me without punishing me for the rest of my life?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Right on, Jennifer. I’ll burn these in the box.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jandarlenehastings Jan Darlene Hastings via Facebook

    I actually feel better just telling it to you.

  • Carol

    I resent the fact that for 50+ years, I have felt like one of God’s mistakes. I resent the fact that my bisexuality will never be an open part of who I am. I resent also the fact that the only person whose “opinion” really matters to me, my husband, is in the “we can change ‘them’ into the correct orientation” school of belief.

    I resent the fact that I don’t feel like I can truly be myself until I die.

    And I resent myself for having these resentments, and not having the courage to do anything about them…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn these up, Carol.

  • Anony-Mom

    I’m afraid your pastor is going to need a bigger box, but I’m going to add my list of resentments even though I resent having them. (Well there goes #1…

    2. I resent myself for not realizing that all the time I spent with my wonderful (yet imperfect) father meant my siblings did not get the attention they needed from him & that I didn’t realize how other harmful childish choices I made would be in the longterm ! (I have not been able to forgive myself for not being a better sister, deep down I’m sure #6 is all my fault!)

    3. I resent my parents for always being there for their parishioners (even though I’m proud of their work) and for thinking we (their kids) were always capable of being “a light unto the world” even when sometimes we were just stupid kids facing some pretty serious issues!

    4. I resent my husband for using a jerk of a pastor as a reason to not attend church anymore.

    5. I resent the sweet little old church ladies who remind me of my shortcomings when I finally do make it to church with one or more of my kids by saying things like, “Oh, it’s too bad you weren’t here earlier, your little one would have loved the story!” (Ya, I didn’t plan on being late!) & “When do I get to meet your husband? Tell him we really want to see him!” (Ya, if he wanted to meet you, he’d come!) & of course I resent myself for caring what they think!

    6.Last, but definitly not least: I resent my sister for thinking she has a right to give “work hard and stay in school” advice to my teenagers when she “worked hard” as a stripper to fund her “fun” in college and the reason I didn’t finish school was because I chose to put my family first, AND perhaps most painful of all, that she aported my only neice or nephew (they would have been exactly the same age as my 2nd child!!!) and that because I know it’s not any of my business and because I love her and don’t want to damage our relationship further, I haven’t told her how much it hurts me!

    Unlike some of the posters above, I don’t feel like I have given these resentments up yet…even though I know Christ’s forgiveness happened over 2000 years ago. I will work on letting go and imagine their dissapearance on Easter morning…thanks for your idea and to your pastor for allowing it!

    • http://www.theeternaldance.com Lynelle

      I recommend you read Debbie Ford’s book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Brilliance, Creativity and Dreams.

      I actually spoke with my sister for the first time about how I thought I was always the favorite child, and thought I deserved to be so . . . it was an incredibly freeing experience. We are closer now because of this.

      I highly recommend this book to everyone. We all have “shadow selves” – the parts of ourselves that we’ve felt were wrong, unpresentable, unacceptable, etc. Loving ourselves and others, means acknowledging and embrace the entire person, including the shadows.

      • Anony-Mom

        Thanks Lynelle, I’ll look it up!

        • Anony-Mom

          Wow, re-reading what I wrote I’m shocked at what a petty, bitter, old, witch with a “b” I’ve become! Yikes!

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            No, it didn’t seem like that.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow. Thanks for all this, Anony-Mom. I’ll certainly add this to the box on Easter morning.

  • http://loveflowcreations.etsy.com missy

    I resent the way my father treat me, my mother, and everyone else he comes in contact with.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this, Missy.

  • Shelley Van Camp

    I resent the system and all the people who did nothing to protect my children from other students and other staff members when they were in school.

    I resent myself for taking the teacher’s word for what was happening in the classroom and not understanding that she really did have it in for my child.

    I resent the students for telling me about thing that happened both for not reporting it to someone else and for telling me too late.

    I resent that by the time I found out the truth it was too late to do anything about any of it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I will burn these resentments, Shelley.

  • Little Miss Anonymous

    My sister and I are both good women, but we’ve been pushing each other’s buttons since we were kids. We don’t agree on much, but so what? It would be cool to stop fighting.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll put this in the box, LMA.

      • Sharla

        Wow… that could be my sister writing. I thought we were the only ones.

  • Courtney

    I resent every person who had anything to do with my son ending up in the hospital and I resent every person who helped to keep me down for so many years.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Burned.

  • Diana Avery via Facebook

    @ William George Cook: Yes, Episcopalians do ordain women. Of course, not all Episcopalians are happy about that, but life goes on, right?

  • Diana A.

    Re: the update–Cool! Your new pastor is cool! Almost as cool as you, John!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Almost!

  • Elizabeth

    The feelings of worthlessness that I have let others force on me. The hopelessness that I have in it changing – that the attempts I am making to change things for the better are not going to be successful.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Painful. And burned.

  • Katie

    I resent my health problems and how they have hindered my life the past 6 years.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll burn this up, Katie.

  • That Guy

    I resent humanity because after having so many human beings hurt me I have to watch the person who means everything to me, the only one that has ever truly cared for me with all their heart, suffer through cancer.

    I hate (hate maybe isn’t the word I’m looking for, but it’s the first word that comes to mind) that, unless a miracle happens, I am going to lose her. I hate the pain she is going through.

    She has been nothing but good to me. The unconditional love she has given me has shown me God’s love and God’s heart and led me to more understanding than anything else ever has.

    Watching her suffer is what it must have been like for the disciples to watch Jesus suffer. To watch someone who truly deserves no pain go through immense pain, to lose the person who is the best person they’ll ever know, is a pain maybe you have to experience to ever really understand.

    But they went on after losing the greatest one they will ever know. They didn’t move on in the sense that the person was ever any less than constantly in their hearts and minds, but they knew there was hope and that death, as well as all other forms of evil, will be done away with. They went on to change the world in a movement that is still blooming and beautiful and I want to take my part in the ongoing creation of the world.

    So while I have grown so much in love, for so much love has been shown to me, yet I still have some deep resentment for many other human beings that I wrestle with everyday. I want it to burn away, and it has been doing so but the physical burning of it on Easter day is a beautiful metaphor: it reminds us to let our resentments be destroyed like the paper and like the ash going to God’s creation and the smoke rising to His heavens may we give them up to God because She can handle them and through Him we can too.

    On Easter day may we remember that death and pain doesn’t have the final word in the story, God does; which brings me great hope, because God is good, God is love, God is healing, God is our hope and God wins.

    If we focus on Jesus we can find healing here, and now and our hearts can survive the venom of this world by looking upon the cross; because, when we look at the cross, an act of love of which there is no greater, and let that love soak into our hearts our hearts can be loving and survive.

    May we also remember that if we feel we have died inside in some way that we will, like Christ, can and will rise again.

    Thank you, John, for all you do.

    I really think you are a man after God’s own heart.

    May your resentments, and my resentments, and all of our resentments burn up in smoke and be given up to God.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow, That Guy. This was extremely moving. You bet I’ll add it to the box.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kathleenm1 Kathleen Martin via Facebook

    What a great idea.

  • Rose

    I have resented having had twins with disabilities. My twins were born almost four months early, and suffered so terribly much during their lives. It is hard to see any type of gift in watching one’s children suffering. We found out that one of my twins had had a procedure where they insert a tube into her brain to drain the fluid off. We knew that. What we didn’t know – and found out much much later, was that it was done without anesthesia. No anesthesia. Brain surgery. It has been so very difficult to think that saving these babies was a blessing. They have endured too much. I am angry at having to watch my children suffer with their disabilities and medical problems. I am angry at the neonatologist who insisted our one daugther be saved, when we thouught maybe we shouldn’t – shouldn’t put her through all of this suffering. I am angry at society that is so dumb to think that preemies are all miracles. I am angry at my ex-husband for taking the easy road out and leaving me/us because he couldn’t deal with it – and yet goes to church with his new wife and step-children (who are all gifted and athletic). .and everyone at their church thinks he’s wonderful. Yes, burn these resentments for me on Sunday.

  • Rona

    I wish I could have changed how I reacted to a comment, situation or person,in the past. I realize I can not change a person, a situation, or a comment. The only thing I can do is what I do, say, and think about a comment, situation, or person. So my resentment truly lies within me and it is my resentment towards myself for not saying, or doing, or thinking, what should have said , done, or thought. My heart truly aches because of this.

  • hurt

    I resent that I didn’t get to have a natural end to my first real relationship. We were 16 and the boyfriend and his family were Mormon. His father broke us up in quite the public spectacle at a high school football game. I learned later the father called me a whore amongst their family. I was completely destroyed by that whole thing. I have never again felt like the happy, confident person I was before it happened. I resent that I was lied to – the father had told me he loved me and was happy I was with his son. I resent that he made his son go before church authorities and “confess” everything we had done together (which was not much, but how humiliating!). I resent that I haven’t been able to heal even though I have tried so hard. I resent that even though I contacted them several years later (with an apology to them!), they did not reply. So much for making amends like their religion calls for.

  • Donald Rappe

    I resent the way access to our local river is now blocked by pistol packing, green shirted agents of the CIS. The last time I drove near it I was pulled over because the agent hadn’t seen me there before and detained until I let them search the trunk of my car without any reasonable cause. When I left they told me “Don’t come back here.” The bank of the Rio Grande used to be part of America, but, now seems to be part of a fascist country.

    • Diana A.

      Wow. I’m sorry to hear this.

    • Andrew Raymond

      Ouch, man!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nevertoohot Keith Nth via Facebook

    I resent that threw my own convictions that lbgt are not doomed to a eternal life in “hell” that it has hardened my heart towards people who do condemn them. I hate the hate message of the fundy literal Christians. I just want too love all people’s.

  • Elaine Phillips

    To: Rose

    You have a huge burden. I can’t tell you anything that will change your situation but I wanted to say your story touched my heart. I do not have anything in my life such as you wrote about but my Mother’s heart wants to share your feelings. And it does. God bless you and your children.

  • Karen

    I resent my father-in-law. At one point in time, he was the man I respected the second most in the world (only behind my husband). When my mother-in-law was dying of cancer, we were there for him every step of the way. We cried together. We spent every weekend but one at my husband’s home, taking care of the both of them. We took him on our baby-moon over Christmas, because we didn’t want him to be lonely. 10 months after my mother-in-law passed away, he held my daughter when she was seconds old. (FYI, for all women who may be reading this, no matter how great your relationship with your in-laws, do not invite them into the room seconds after you deliver. I didn’t realize that even though I had delivered, the doctors were not finished with ME).

    Around the time that my daughter was born, he started dating a woman whom I have known for a long time. She is manipulative and has done things that are hurtful to members of my family. The first night that we were all together, she stood in front of me, holding my daughter, and lied to me about members of my family. She talked so sweetly about those that she whom she had hurt trying to manipulate and “get in good” with me. I cannot tell you how angry it made me to see her stand there, holding my infant daughter, having her look me in the eye, lying to me about members of my family.

    Less than a year later, things had changed so much with the relationship with my father-in-law that when my daughter has surgery, he flew to Vegas and didn’t call for 3 days to check on her. He didn’t call on her first birthday. We have made our mistakes as well. However, it has gotten to the point where he has told us that at family events, he would rather she be there than us.

    Again, we have made our mistakes. We are not at all blameless. We missed Christmas with my husband’s family, because we cannot let go of our anger and hurt. I completely understand that we are in a cutting off our nose to spite our face situation, so please do not respond telling me that. I know that our lives would be so much happier, if we could just “be the bigger persons”. I know that the anger and pain is taking a place in my heart that should be filled with the joy of our daughter. I get it, I understand it, but I cannot do it. No matter how much I pray, no matter how much I empathize with my father-in-laws loneliness and literal innocence (he married the first woman he married and was married for 42 years. This is only the second woman he has truly “dated”) I cannot let go of the anger toward him or toward this woman. I know that the anger is not justified, it is has caused so much pain and strife.

    I read all these other stories, and I think, how childish of me that I cannot let got of this. I was not raped or abused. I didn’t have somebody die because of his actions.

    In January, I even made a deal with God. We were told that the daughter that I now carry has a higher than normal chance of having Down Syndrome. I promised God that if our daughter is normal, that I would forgive my father-in-law and this woman. After the HD sonogram that told us that our daughter is probably normal, the anger and resentment returned. I feel like I am not living up to my deal with God.

    So Johh, if you would put this in the box, I would appreciate. Literal years of prayers and sleepless nights have not been able to free me from this resentment.

    • MArk

      Karen, your story is so heart-breaking. I know it’s difficult, but whatever happens with your second daughter, I pray that you’ll be able to forgive your Father In Law.

  • MArk

    I have been single raising two boys alone for the past ten years and I resent being single, I resent all the hurt caused to me and my kids by the divorce, I resent all the years I spent having to look for steady work and not knowing how I was going to pay the bills, I resent how hard it’s been to meet people and date and all the judgement and rejection that single guys face, and finally I resent that after all of this I see how my now-teenage son has so much difficulty dealing with relationships of his own with the young women in his life and wonder how much of that is my own fault.

  • Jodi

    I wanted to changes my husband from his anger and marijuana use, so I tried everything and felt I had no other choice and had him arrested. I then had a restraining order for me and our daughter and it still stands we have only taked a little after his hearing this wed. night. He is very hurt and is in counseling and states he wants us back together and wants to change! I do resent not looking to God first and praying for him more and letting God have control because now he still cant see our daughter and may have a criminal record. I resent the drugs that broke our family I resent my husbands lack of respect for me and our marriage and for making me feel forced into getting him arrested. I resent that now I am causing a division between our family, and I resent that I didn’t realize to put God first in my life sooner so I might not have had to go throught all this.

  • Linda

    Hello John,

    Thank You for helping me with these resentments.

    I resent the fact that both of my brothers died early…..Gary at 54 years old (5 years ago) and Rick at 55 years old (almost 3 years ago). I will be 63 in June.

    I resent the fact that my daughter, Michelle, is verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically abused by her husband.

    I am unemployed and I resent the fact that I did not finish college and qualify myself. I did complete 2 years of college after I was married. My parents have been a great financial help to me, but I resent the fact that they still judge me just like they did when I was growing up. I resent the fact that they would not let me go to college 50 miles away from home so I had to live at home and go to the Jr. college. I got engaged to a young man I had been dating for a year, went 1 semester of college and got married….and finally moved out! They are of the old school that practices strict dicipline

    and still tell me what to do. Part of that might be a result of my being single for 35 years

    and raising 2 children on my own. I was married for 10 years. I resent the fact that I have been without a spouse for so long. I resent being alone and now I have a health issue. My children are very attentive, but they have their own lives. My son Michael

    and I live in the same town. Michelle live in another town 3 hours from me. I feel like I am trying to climb out of a deep pit that I dug myself. I do not feel sorry for myself. I feel anger and frustration because I did not protect and prepare for me. I feel totally stiffled, embarresed and horrifyinly disappointed. GOD is BIG in my life and I pray to HIM daily. Thank You John for hearing me.

    Linda

  • cassie

    I resent the fact that my husband had an affair and left me for the woman that I had served dinner to in my house (when she was a “friend”), AND the fact that they’ve been married for longer than I was, and I’m still alone.

  • Amy

    I resent my best friend’s boyfriend for the fact that he gets to spend time with my friend when I haven’t been able to see him in months. I resent that he gets to cuddle with him, and that whenever I do get a chance to visit, I feel like a massive third wheel to the two of them. I resent the fact that I feel lonely and cut off while they both have someone close by they can be intimate with. I resent the fact that I haven’t been able to tell where my relationship with my best friend stands since they got together, and I resent the way my friend shares things with him that he used to share with me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nancy-Rutman/1148441910 Nancy Rutman via Facebook

    I think some people are confusing “resentment” with “regret.”

    • Melody

      Maybe so, but the two often go hand in hand. You can resent yourself for the things you regret, after all.

  • anne

    I resent that i hate my life and that i am so lonely. i cannot take good care of myself and then i resent that. then i get mad at myself for hating myself then i just want to crawl under a rock till it passes. sometimes it does not. I resent that others have families who love them when i have none, i resent that my only son became a drug addict and it’s all my fault. he is clean but i am damaged. i resent that. i resent that i am now broke and can see no light at the end of this tunnel and i dont even care any more about myself. all my friends have families. i just hate myself and i resent that too.

  • Anne Young via Facebook

    who cares if it is a resentment or a regret. anyway, i put mine in.

  • http://facebook Pamela Larson

    Right now I am dealing with the resentment that my body has betrayed me and I can’t do the things I want to.. it may sound petty, but I have cared for disabled people for years and thought I had quite a few years to keep doing that.. and now I can’t and I feel like my reason for being is gone and am also afraid that I won’t be able to see my Grand daughters grow up.l

  • buckeyebadger

    I resent the apathy around me that keeps people so focused on their “me” – their tidy little lives and their perfect families – that they don’t care about anything in the world around them. I resent that because there are more with apathy than those who care, evil humans who march to their own greedy drums – at the expense of our children, our elderly, our disabled, our LGBT brothers and sisters, our homeless, hungry and hurting – are destroying our world. I resent that they are destroying God’s creation and its creatures – entrusted to our care and constantly under attack. I resent that in my state there are laws that invalidate gay marriage, allow wetlands to be filled, wolves to be mercilessly trapped and hunted, elderly to be abused in nursing homes with no legal recourse – and on and on. I resent those in our state government who made this happen and do not care about those they hurt. I resent that all of this burns inside of me, making me so angry that I struggle to enjoy the beauty that still remains around me. Thanks for burning away my resentments, John, so that maybe this Easter will bring me the peace and joy that so often eludes me in the shadows of our days.

  • Linda the New England

    Okay. Here goes. I resent my stepkids who spend their freetime with their spouses’ families. Especially as I reall-truly-honestly-with-tons-of-soul-searching have done nothing to alienate them. To the contrary, I have tried to hold a family together when their own mother abdicated.

    It really hurts.

  • theresa

    i resent that my mother loved my brother more (for years, i thought it was just one of those kid things–EVERYone thinks one of the other kids was loved more. it wasn’t until my mother died that several relatives confirmed it. she really DID love him more)(in recent years i have referred to myself as “the auxiliary backup child).

    i resent that my brother WAS loved more, and was complacent and smug about it. and still is. he still doesn’t speak to me at family gatherings, because apparently I was not sufficiently grief-filled when my folks died.

    and i am ticked at myself for still letting this bother me.

    (Thank you, John, and God bless you, for being here and doing what you do.)

  • Joe Reynolds

    I resent that I was recently fired and the way it was done. I felt betrayed and lied to by people i had some trust in.

    I resent i am facing being homeless at 62 and I am fearful. I resent having these feelings I wake up disappointed I did not just die over night in my sleep which has become difficult to get. I resent my hunger as I conserve what few dollars I have in the credit union for yet another month’s rent while I look for work though I just want to hide or die .

    I find myself crying and full of hate now and I resent that.

    I can’t forgive anyone I am so angry and afraid and I deeply resent that.

    And I can’t forgive me for being envious, jealous of when I look around and I see tat people have things and a home and a family – and I don’t. I resent them for no good reason

    • DR

      This broke my heart. I’m so terribly sorry you’re going through this and I’m so glad you shared it. I understand.

      • Joe Reynolds

        Thank you very kindly and very much. words do help,it is the feelings of helplessness, abandonment that bring out my feeling so resentful, so hateful. Words do tell me I am not alone and are a blessing

        May this weekend be glorious and just the tart for you and yours!

        • DR

          Joe I’d love to help if I could financially in some small way. John has my email address. I’m in a good spot right now and I haven’t before. I’d love to be able to help if that’s of interest to you. xoxo

    • CD

      Dear Joe,

      I wish there was something I can do from where I am sitting. You have good reason to feel such resentment, and unfortunately I have seen too many others with such pain. I have seen veterans with decades of service at my own work let go, often “betrayed” is the only apt word for it. I don’t know where you are and I can’t offer any financial help for you…but if you ever need to vent or if I can be of some help in some way to you, please feel free to get in touch (dineyanti@yahoo.com) I wish you all the best & hope you see better days soon.

    • Shane

      Joe, you will be in my prayers. Stay strong, it gets better brother and there is light at the end of this experience, whether you can see it or not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DianeReischling Diane Re via Facebook

    Nancy I don’t think focusing on semantics is very productive.

  • jw

    I resent that at 50, my husband and I will probably never again be able to afford a home, that we exhausted retirement savings to survive a year of unemployment just to lose our home, equity, security. I feel guilty about hanging onto these hurtful feelings when we have so many other things to be thankful for. Hopefully, this symbolic gesture will allow me to put this behind me at last. Thank you for opening up this discussion and thanks also to your wonderful pastor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/KariSioux Kari Sioux Tewksbury via Facebook

    Here or do we message or just continue to pray about it? seriously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    Kari: see the post

  • http://www.facebook.com/KariSioux Kari Sioux Tewksbury via Facebook

    Thank you. The offer is precious beyond words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    Kari: you’re welcome, of course.

  • Shane

    I resent that my ex-boyfriend’s mother (and family), who he had not been able to come out to, abandoned me after they had found out that I was gay and in a relationship with her son. She told her son, my then boyfriend, that I was sinful and that I was not to be associated with. We continued to see each other and the love was there but we were just unable to live it out and he was forced into a false life, struggling between who he is and what how he can live, bombarded with messages that our love was wrong.

    I resent this “Christian” woman for taking the only true love I ever knew away as there isn’t one day that passes that I don’t think of his smiling face. Also, I resent that I let myself walk away from God for a significant amount of time because of the pain I perceived Christianity to cause.

    John, you have been an excellent help in restoring my hope in Christianity and a great resource as I rediscover the loving embrace of God that has always surrounded me. As a young gay adult in today’s world it isn’t always easy but thank you for burning that resentment and I wish you and your wife a Happy Easter. Special thanks to your pastor as well, for allowing such an amazing analogy to be demonstrated. Please share photos of these burning resentments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shaneosmond Shane Osmond via Facebook

    Done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.b.rieckhoff Cindy Bush Rieckhoff via Facebook

    Thank YOU, John ! I sent in mine…and I already feel better.

  • Shannon

    Might be too late for this, but I have some resentment. I resent that I just failed my comprehensive exams but now have to go to a conference and give academic presentations while pretending that everything is hunky-dory. And I resent God for my illnesses–I resent the ever-present pain of psoriatic arthritis and the diabetes that makes my head feel like sludge most of the time. But I resent those stupid exams more.

  • Brighid Rose

    this is a wonderful gift, John. to detail mine would take up too much of your page (lol) so i’d like to leave this for burning……

    all of my resentments against all of the people in my life who presented themselves as having my best interests at heart, the ones who told me they loved me and didn’t, the ones who appeared to be my friends and/or partners, the ones who used me, the ones who abused me, the ones who taught me i wasn’t worth having anything good in life and too dumb to make anything good, the ones who taught me that i was inherently defective…..and my resentment against myself for allowing it so long and now struggling so much against it.

    the burning of this is hugely symbolic for me too…on so many levels. thank you again. cant wait to see the pictures :)

  • Rick Reiley

    I resent my all- to -quick habit of rushing to judgement of other people. And my tendency to be too harsh with the tongue when I know full well it should stay silent.

    Thank you…..

  • anon

    I resent being in pain every second of every day. I resent slowly losing more and more of my ability to walk. I resent being so desparately poor after working so hard for decades. Only to have my alcoholic ex husband bankrupt me and waste all my savings during our marriage.

  • Arendar

    People using religion to keep others away from God, building a fortress around His Heart. God is love; everything that we are not.

  • natalie

    I resent turning away from Jesus only to turn to selfish pursuits and bitterness.

  • CJ in AZ

    I am resentful that my relationship with my son is not very good. I resent that he is happier spending time with his in-laws than with me, and that my granddaughter, at 20 months, does not recognize me the way I would like her to when I see her. I wish I could talk to him, to understand what I have or have not done that makes it so difficult for us to talk. I am resentful that the son I raised has become a person I can not tolerate, as he has become a religious extremist who is racist, bigoted and intolerant of others. I resent that I was not successful in raising a loving, caring adult. I am outraged that he believes that I will go to hell because I believe in a loving, caring, forgiving God.

    Thank you John, the tears alone are already burning this resentment from my life. Bless you.

  • Keetcha

    Might be too late, but I resent having to live with MS and having no extended family. Makes life feel totally hellish. Makes me damned mad sometimes…..

  • Ray Oflight via Facebook

    “People using religion to keep others away from God, building a fortress around His Heart. God is love; everything that we are not.”

  • Jon Heckerman

    I resent that the co-pastors and lay leadership of the church I was active in are unable to accept the broader understandings which our denomination has adopted. Their attempts to narrow God’s love sadden me.

  • Kristi

    We did a similar act at an Ash Wednesday service, but then burned them then and used those ashes on our foreheads. It was one of the best things for me because I was dealing with a lot of physical and emotional pain and guilt post-cancer surgery, and I had also discovered I was infertile. The infertility had nothing to do with the cancer.

    I recommend that everyone who sent in a resentment to write it down on a piece of paper and burn it in front of their own eyes. It is cathartic.

    For your burning John, please add for me the anger I have toward my husband. My anger toward men in general, I guess. Lots of reasons why, but I am getting through most of them. Too much to share right now, but Jesus knows.

    Happy Easter, and thank you so much for your blog. You are providing a wonderful service for so many people!

  • Carey A

    I resent that I can’t seem to find my happily-ever-after (even if Atticus Finch – my ideal guy – is a fictional character), even though – intellectually – I know that happily-ever-afters rarely, well, ARE. And I resent that my foster kiddo is back with his bio-parents after all of the mess that they put him through, and that I miss him every damn day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cullen.carter3 Cullen Carter via Facebook

    Do you burn the resentments after they’re read by others?
    Or do you burn them unread?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      No one reads them but me; and I don’t even if you tell me not to. But they go right from me into the box.

  • Megan in TX

    I resent my husband, for multiple reasons. I know he is not alone in the blame for the fact that our marriage is circling the drain, but he is the biggest contributor. His distrust, his paranoia, his refusal to trust God, and his general laziness, all put a huge strain on a faltering relationship. I pray and I pray for him to accept God’s light, but Satan has such a hold on him that I’m getting tired of praying for him. I also resent those who use the Bible as a tool for bigotry, hatred, and prejudice. We are commanded to LOVE, not hate, and I resent being grouped in with the right wing. I am NOT like them!

  • beth

    I resent my 4 year old son’s father’s drug addiction and his family’s insane reactions to it. His addiction has robbed my son of 1/2 his family.

    too much to go into but that’s the main thing

  • http://www.factmeetsfiction.wordpress.com FMF

    I resent deceptive, controlling, authoritarian pastors . . . and I resent that they were the reason(s) I walked away from the faith.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      It’ll be in the box, FMF.

  • http://www.facebook.com/KittyMama Jill Jacobs via Facebook

    My resentments are towards those who lie to God’s children and make them hate and despise the poor and infirm.

  • Rachel Koopmans via Facebook

    I submitted one. Thanks for taking care of it for me x

  • Kate

    If it’s too late, writing this here will still be helpful in my process.

    I resent my former husband and his wife for their abandonment of my son, which is doubly painful because it has also separated him from his young siblings. It hurts to see him trying to be strong and move forward with his life when I know how much he is suffering because my father abandoned me as well.

    I resent that while my son is going through this, we are losing my Mom to Alzheimer’s. I guess I feel resentful of so much loss. There’s more, but too much to write here. Thank you John, for providing this opportunity for sharing and releasing. And thanks to your pastor as well.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I’ll include this, Kate. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    Cullen: because I want to–and have said I would–pray for these as they go up in flames, I have been reading them. (And what a heartbreaking experience that has been.) But if you want to send one in that I do not read, simply start your resentment saying you don’t want me to read it, and once I read that I won’t read any further. But I will still cut and paste it into the group I’ll be burning.

  • Bethany

    I resent all those “Christians” who convinced me that God could not and would not love me until I magically became str8.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Natalie-Jones/100001438912549 Natalie Jones via Facebook

    I should’ve explained mine better.

  • Dianne Rizzo via Facebook

    To Natalie J. You knew what it meant, God knows what you need, it will be smoke and ashes.


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