- "That's the third time on this one project that she's ignored my emails until past the deadline when an answer could have possibly helped."
- "That's like the fourth time in a row she either "lost that last email" or "needed clarification" after waiting a week or two to respond." (Actually not the same person as before ...)
- "That person makes everybody wait every single day; it's driving me nuts."
- "And they never give me any useful ideas for a gift. I have to guess and hope."
- "Can you believe what a nasty thing that person did awhile back, when my kids were still small?"
But don't a few of those things need to be addressed? Of course they do; and letting resentments pile up is not "addressing them". It's like a pile of clutter in my mind, or like an endless to-do list that never spurs any action but only resentment. I have been taught better; I know that the way to keep resentments from building is to address the offense as it happens, as Jesus said, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone."
Do I imagine it is better not to say something? Do I imagine it is unkind to speak up? Well, if it really is something I would do best to overlook, then let me really overlook it and not keep a record of it. And if it is something I should not overlook, then how is keeping quiet any different than being irresponsible? Once, when I was very young, I would not have trusted myself to make things better instead of worse; but these days I have enough practice with confrontations that I doubt I would botch the job so badly.
So for this Lent, I hope to not keep a record of wrongs, but to either truly forgive or truly address it.
There are different kinds of laws in the Bible: those that would stop us from doing harm and those that would have us seek and pursue what is good. I have to admit that here I am still on the beginner's laws, where I would need to stop being part of the problem. That will clear the way to love people better.