Were you mistreated by someone you love? Maybe it was your parent, spouse, or a close friend that you expected to always treat you well. This is devastating, and it’s hard to move past the hurt.
Now you are holding a grudge and you want to know how to let go of resentment to repair your relationship… but don’t know how. You know these feelings are not what God wants you to hold onto.
Having resentment in relationships is difficult to deal with but Jesus shows us how we can move on from these feelings. His life—what he did for us and how he responded to those who mistreated him—demonstrated what we can do, too.
He wants to set you free and repair what the enemy is trying to steal. He can mend your relationship and your heart from the hurt. He can bring back your joy. He knows the pain and hurt you have endured.
He also wants to show you that letting go of resentment will give you freedom from the hurt and pain you need in order to love him, to love yourself and love people.
Signs of Resentment in a Relationship
God doesn’t want you to hold on to these feelings of resentment and anger any longer (Ephesians 4:31). How to get rid of resentment first starts with knowing the signs of resentment in a relationship.
Think about how you are responding and acting towards a person in your life. Also, note your heart posture in general and how you respond towards things in the world. Resentment can cause you to be mad at the world and skew how you see people as a whole.
If you see these resentment examples in your life, make note of them. Ask God to bring this resentment to light so you can break free of it and love the person who hurt you again.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you angry for no reason toward them?
- Are your words and responses in conversation rude and/or filled with anger?
- Are you not able to show them the grace of God?
- Are you finding it really hard to show them God’s love?
Hurt is what causes resentment in a relationship. It can go deeper if you don’t deal with it right away.
How to Let Go of Resentment in a Relationship
Recognizing feelings of bitterness and resentment towards family members and friends who hurt you is the first step in allowing you to let go.
Jesus got in touch with his feelings and made them known to his Father. We see this in his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane when he was to die on the cross (Luke 22:42-44).
Do the same. When you know what you are resenting someone for, you can go to God in prayer with your grievances. Pour out your heart to him. Let it all go to love God, love yourself and repair the relationship.
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:13, NIV)
Do this several times if needed because there can be layers of hurt. God is here for you and loves you so much. He wants to hear your heart and wipe away your tears. He wants to comfort you.
This is how to let go of resentment and move on: Jesus is all powerful to take it away, if you let him.
How to Let Go of Resentment
If you are struggling with hurt in your relationship and therefore still feeling resentment, remember that it takes time. The below 3 biblical truths about Jesus can help you release your resentment to him if you are finding it difficult.
Relationships can be so hard; you are not alone in your pain and hurt feelings. Jesus got badly hurt by his friends, so he understands.
He loves you and is here for you—you are not alone. You are seen, known and loved. He wants you to give him your resentment so you can love him more, love yourself well, love people, and not carry a grudge within you any longer. He wants you to have life-giving relationships.
1. Jesus Forgives You
When your heart just feels so heavy and weighed down by resentment, remember that Jesus forgives you. He forgave you from all your past, your future and present wrongdoings. He isn’t bitter or holding a grudge. It doesn’t matter what you did or if you kept doing it. He forgives you.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32, NIV)
This biblical truth can help you to forgive the person who hurt you and allow you to repair your relationship. It will help you to go to God with it all.
Forgiveness also is good for yourself as it sets your heart free. Resentment and anger are toxic for your life.
Remember the never-ending forgiveness Jesus extends you to help you to forgive others. His forgiveness toward you is a gift… and it’s limitless. Show this forgiveness to others, even if you can’t repair the relationship.
2. Jesus Is a God of Justice
When you find yourself resentful because what happened to you just seems so unfair and unjust, remember who God is. He is a just God.
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” (Psalm 89:14, NIV)
God will right every wrong that was done to you. It might not be on earth but it will happen in heaven and when Jesus comes back. Evil will not win out over you when you are his child.
You can hand over these resentful feelings to Jesus when you keep this biblical truth close to your heart. God has the best for you and will also work all things for your good (Romans 8:28).
3. The Compassion of Jesus
In your pain, know that the Lord has great compassion for you (Isaiah 49:13). He hates what happened to you and wants to comfort you. He also wants to help you know how to let go of resentment.
“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15, NIV)
Jesus loves you so much. Because of his great love, he has shown you this deep compassion that allowed him to get on the cross for you. He no longer holds your sins against you. He accepts your imperfections and allows you to come to him as you are. You are not perfect and will never be… but he is making you more like him.
This truth of who Jesus is—compassionate in love—will allow you to let go of your resentment for others if you choose.
If you need to know how to deal with resentment in a relationship, know that these 3 biblical truths will help you. Jesus forgives you, he is a God of justice, and he is compassionate. When you know this about him and see this is who he has been for you, you can get rid of resentment. It’s a choice. Jesus is the answer; you can do it.